Seychelles, an archipelago of a whopping 115 islands in the Indian Ocean is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations with rich sparkling beaches, water-sports for adventure junkies and luxurious resorts that rejuvenate you from the hustle-bustle of modern-day city life. Apart from the beaches and the water-sport activities, the zoos in Seychelles are incredible sights to visit.
4 Top Zoos In Seychelles
With wildlife and marine life tours, you are allowed to explore natural beauty without having to shell big bucks. The islands have a warm, tropical climate and can be visited at any time of the year. Here are the 4 best zoos and aquariums in Seychelles that you can’t miss out on:
1. Eden Aquarium, Seychelles
Built in 2005, the Eden aquarium is a fairly new attraction in Seychelles. The best part about the Eden Aquarium is that the owner, Charles Savy is strictly against using any artificial breeding techniques for all the species in the huge tank. The marine creatures in this Seychellois aquarium are carefully chosen from the waters of Seychelles and are given all the facilities that make them feel at home. The team at the aquarium go fish-finding but ensure that they do not intrude the natural ecosystems or habitats of the fish. The best practice that Charles Savy and his team indulge in is to bring young fish to the aquarium so that they don’t disturb the already grown fishes and shock their system by changing the environment for them. It is one of the best aquariums in Seychelles.
Highlights of the Eden Aquarium:
- The aquarium has a circular tank where you can experience the marine life just like you would if you were in an ocean but without actually getting into the ocean. The cylindrical tank makes you feel like you’ve walked into an aquarium wonderland of sorts, with myriad marine creatures on your left, right and above you.
- You must’ve seen pictures of eels as a child but when you visit this aquarium in Seychelles, you’ll see three different varieties of eels namely, the Honeycomb Moray eel, the Geometric eel, and the Grey-spotted eel.
- Brace yourselves, as you enter the aquarium, you’ll see an octopus that is straight out of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The King of the Hill octopus looks very similar to Captain Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean and also has the attitude of a movie star when it is disturbed.
- Studied about soft and hard corals in school? Well, this aquarium gives you a first-hand view of these corals and creatures such as starfish, urchins, seahorses, and anemones that live under the corals.
- If you’ve got small children, the Eden Aquarium is the best place to take them as the aquarium educates children about the different aquatic creatures and about the state of oceans with a focus on environmental betterment.
Timings: 10 am to 6 pm, all days of the week.
Entry fees: INR 960 (per person)
Where? Eden Plaza, Eden Island, Seychelles.
How to reach? Eden Island is about a 4-minute drive from the main town of Victoria.
2. Victoria Botanical Gardens
The Victoria Botanical Gardens were established in 1901 and are located in the capital of Seychelles, Victoria. These Botanical gardens were established by a Mauritian citizen by the name of Rivalz Dupont and are spread over a humongous fifteen-acres. These Botanical Gardens are now managed by the National Botanical Gardens Foundation. Just about a twenty-minute walk from the main town, these are the oldest national monuments.
Highlights of the Victoria Botanical Gardens:
- The biggest coconut in the world by the name of ‘Coco de Mer’ and other endemic plants grow in these Botanical Gardens naturally in the Praslin Island, the second most heavily populated Island of the island nation.
- Not only do endemic plants grow here but even endemic birds like the Blue Pigeon which is locally called the pizon olande are found in the Victoria Botanical Gardens. You’ll also find the Indian myna, Barred Ground Dove and the Malagasy Turtle Dove in these gardens.
- There is the tortoise and then there are the tortoises at the Vitoria Botanical Gardens. These are giant land tortoise at the Botanical Gardens that were originally from Aldabra (Aldabra group of Islands in the India Ocean). These land tortoise species live to be over 100 years old and have been on the island even before humans set up their homes.
- Fond of exotic flowers? The Botanical Gardens in Victoria are home to the Venezuelan rose, the Ylang-Ylang, the Frangipani and varieties of hibiscus along with colorful orchids.
- If you’re walking through the Victoria Botanical Gardens and smell some spices, you’ve reached the part that has been growing fruits and spices right from the 1970s. Spices such as nutmeg, cloves, and the most-expensive vanilla pods are also grown here.
Timings: 7:30am to 5pm
Entry fees: INR 538 per person
Where? Mont Fleuri, Victoria, Seychelles.
How to reach? The Victoria Botanical Gardens are about a 30-minute drive from the main Victoria town.
3. Aride Island Nature Reserve
The Aride Island Nature Reserve is located in the Aride Islands that fall on the northern-most side of Seychelles. Bought by Christopher Cadbury in 1973, the Aride Island Nature Reserve is now taken care of, by the Island Conservation Society of Seychelles.
Highlights of the Aride Island Nature Reserve:
- It is one of the prime breeding centers for seabirds and the only breeding place for the Red-tailed Tropicbird here. Other birds that breed here are the Brown Noddy, Fairy Tern and Wedge-tailed Shearwater.
- It is not only birds from different parts of the world that breed in the Aride Islands but even birds from Seychelles such as the Seychelles Warbler, the Seychelles Magpie Robin, the Seychelles Fody breed.
- With so many birds flying in, out and around the Nature Reserve, it also has a wide-spread native woodland which also has the unique Wright’s Gardenia, a fern that has a natural scent and one that is only found in the Aride Island. The Peponium species from the cucumber family can also be found in this Nature Reserve.
- The Aride Island Nature Reserve also boasts of having the largest number of lizards in the entire world as it has 3 skink species, a species of non-threatening snakes and 3 species of the gecko.
- The only missing element till now was the marine life but the Aride Island Nature Reserve also has a protective coral reef, four hundred species of fish that include Whale Sharks to Flying Fish.
Timings: 10 am to 6 pm. Open from Monday to Friday. Visits on Saturdays and Sundays can only be arranged with prior consultation with the Island Manager.
Entry fees: INR 3476 (per person) for tourists and free entry for locals.
Where? Aride Island, Seychelles.
How to reach? You can reach Praslin from Mahé by ferry, it would take you about one and a half hour to reach Praslin and cost INR 4857. From Praslin, you can hire a car to drive you down to the Aride Island Nature Reserve.
Suggested Read: 6 Things You Should Buy While Shopping In Seychelles
4. Jardin du Roi
Jardin Du Roi is a spice garden nestled on a hilly piece of land, above the Anse Royale beach on Mahé’s south-eastern coast. In the 18th Century, Seychelles was a primary spice trade hub.
Highlights of Le Jardin du Roi:
- As you walk into the spice garden, you will be enticed by the aroma of the spices in the garden. Spices like nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla are found in abundance at this Spice garden.
- If you are looking to go hiking in Seychelles, the Jardin du Roi is your place. However, you would have to tell the garden staff about a day in advance if you wish to go hiking.
- A restaurant in the Jardin du Roi also serves up some of the best food prepared using the freshest and richest of spices. If you are visiting the spice garden, you cannot miss a meal at this restaurant.
- The spice garden is also home to some giant land tortoise that out-live humans, you will get to watch these creatures in their natural element at the garden.
- The owner of the garden, Pierre Poivre is a French spice entrepreneur also has a one-room museum within his house.
- A visit to the spice market is incomplete without picking up some home-grown spices, jams, and marmalade for yourself, for friends and family, back home. Cooking with these spices will only remind you of the amazing time you had at the spice garden.
Timings: 10am to 5:30pm. Open every day.
Entry fees: INR 656 per person
Where? Anse Royale, Seychelles.
How to reach? You can drive down to Le Jardin du Roi from Victoria, it would take about 20 minutes
The zoos in Seychelles are a treat for all nature enthusiasts. However, if you’ve got swimming, snorkeling, and diving on your Seychelles itinerary , it would make sense for you to go in the months of April, May, and October, November as the temperature of the water is about 29 degrees Celsius in these months.
Frequently Asked Questions About Zoos In Seychelles
A. The zoo in Seychelles is good to visit all-round the year, however not recommended to be visited in monsoons. Mostly it is about water-based mammals, hence it is good to be here at other times. Monsoons could be a messy affair.
A. These zoos are one of a kind. You could experience har rocks corals in this zoo. Mostly the zoo is sea-based, so you get to experience marine life at its best. You could also visit Seychelles National Parks to watch wildlife in its natural habitat.
A. The zoo in Seychelles is a dream for any nature lover, however, if you also want to visit the Water world here and enjoy things like snorkeling and diving, then you must go there during April and May as it’s the best temperature to enjoy water-based activities.
A. Seychelles is a combination of 115 islands and mainly has four big zoos in this area. Each one is distinct from another.
A. You can visit Seychelles, for a beach holiday as this is full of islands and beaches, and make your trip more adventurous by opting for water sports.
A. Yes, it is mainly about the spices and not much about the animals.
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