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Sherin’s perspective

‘On the occasion of the 250 years anniversary of the first settlement in Seychelles’ The year 2020 has a pleasant ring to it, and indisputably it just had to be the year Seychelles celebrates its milestone of 250 years since first settlement. In the millennia of a country’s tale, two hundred and fifty years might not seem much, nonetheless this year Seychellois of all persuasions can take pride in the fact that regardless of this short, but significant amount of time, a homeland with its own culture and identity has been shaped from what were unrelated breeds with diverse and often incompatible interests. So, unquestionably it is opportune that we celebrate how we have pleasantly coexisted with each other thus far, compared to other parts of the world. The celebration of the anniversary of the first settlement in Seychelles is a huge milestone in Seychelles history, where the month of August will become a very important month in the calendar of events for Seychelles

as it celebrates the birth of Seychelles and commemorates the anniversary of 250 years since the first settlement. To ensure the occasion is given its prominence, since August 2018, the President announced the set-up of a national preparatory committee to spearhead the planning and organisation of the events. The committee consists of the following members: Jeannine Chung Faye, Emmanuel D’Offay, Sybille Cardon, Oliver Bastienne, Tony Mathiot, David Andre, Cindy Vidot and Alvin Laurence with Sherin Francis as the chairperson.

                                

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The committee has stated that the event be celebrated the whole year through, starting the countdown 250 days prior to the event. With that said, a PR communications and digital marketing team is ready to take you on a journey right through 2020, to ensure that the event gets transferred to the public right throughout its implementation and final orchestration. In all expectation, the aim here is that the celebrations stay forever in people’s minds.

...continued on page 2 Sherin Francis,Chief ChiefExecutive Executive Officer Officer Sherin Francis, SeychellesTourism TourismBoard Board Seychelles


[ 2 | INSIDE Seychelles ]


[ INSIDE Seychelles | 3 ]

...continued from page 1

Editor’s remarks

                                                                           

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Editor, Glynn Burridge


[ 4 | INSIDE Seychelles ] ...continued from page 1 First things first: with occasions like this, a unique image almost always has to be created. For this special happening, out of the three graphic designers who submitted their proposals, STB’s very own were the ones awarded for having created the design closest to the committee’s vision. Of course, so as to not to have a potential conflict of interest, the chairperson from STB was not part of the judging panel for the logo, which will be used to brand the celebration all the way through. The pre-launch took place last year in August, marking the date and acting as a projection to the chief celebration. It was on this occasion that the first branded commemorative items were distributed and there will be many other unique keepsakes of the like to look out for. Apart from the artisanal craftsmen and artists producing pieces, the committee is open to anybody who wishes to produce items. Designs and logos will be supplied by the committee. Additionally, both the Central Bank of Seychelles and the Seychelles Postal office will be producing silver and gold commemorative coins and stamps respectively for the occasion and possibly we may even see a celebration beer from the Seychelles Breweries. Not to be left out from the hype, up for grabs will be an episodic account of Seychelles history since the first settlement, with supporting images and documents, tackled by a panel of authors, namely: Glynn Burridge, Tony Mathiot, William McAteer, Bernard George, Penda Choppy, Philippe Michaud, Bernard Shamlaye, Marie France Watson and Richard Touboul. The commemorative book is well underway, headed by STB with Glynn Burridge appointed as chief editor. It will be a valuable document for scholars and lovers of history and one of the most comprehensive histories ever undertaken in Seychelles.

Since the official 250 days countdown started in December 2019, to keep up the momentum of anticipation and continuous engagement, there have been several unveilings of historical debates, documentary series and one-minute spots being aired on social media, TV and radio. This is the vehicle to hear from people of all works of life, picked to share their tales or recollections and to express what this celebration signifies to them and what their hopes are for the next 250 years. For Victoria itself, a commemorative replica of the frigate Thelemaque or a similar symbolic icon in Victoria is to be installed as a monument along with a first settlers’ plaque. Also in order for this celebration is a life-size sculptured replica of a typical traditional village of the past to bridge the gap in our history. This is to be a valuable historical and educational tool for both Seychellois and visitors. Let us not fail to remember the second largest island of Seychelles, Praslin where the committee is working with Praslin’s Community to erect a Youth Fisherman Statue in honour of all the people lost at sea. The sculpture is to represent a young boy fishing on a rock, an activity carried out by the elder generation and a practice hardly exercised by the younger generation today in this world of technology. This is to be a milestone achievement for the people of Praslin and Seychelles in general. When it comes to all the events, it is hoped that they will be similarly launched in parallel on Praslin and La Digue. Scheduled, are activities by the various districts monthly from this month of January onwards up until August 2020. These activities are to showcase what makes Seychelles unique by creating an opportunity to celebrate a point of the history of the district, region or island. This has been planned to be undertaken by inaugurating historic milestones, organising activities

ranging from exhibitions to unveiling of plaques and restoring cultural sites, places, products and trails. A calendar of events will be drawn out to be distributed through various channels once all activities have been received. The history fair is the one project to be led by the department of culture in collaboration with the ministry of education. The idea is to have schools across Mahé, Praslin and La Digue work on exposés to be displayed in one National Fair in August 2020. All entries will be made into a book as tokens for those interested to purchase. More interestingly, suggested has been an art exposition titled “Desin mon lavi” to look forward to. Desin mon lavi involves a young artist’s meet-up with an elderly person to paint a picture on canvas of one of his favourite, most remarkable stories. Equally, the activities planned have Government organisations involved to showcase their sector by a walk through in the 250 years of Seychelles, particularly when it comes down to the evolution of land transport, health and maritime voyage. On the whole, the launching event will be a promising one with VVIPS, dignitaries, guests of honour, sponsors and partners and the general public, in the heart of Victoria at Freedom Square, believed to have been formed by the landslide of 1862. Freedom Square, formerly known as Gordon Square is symbolic as a location as it reflects the spirit of the Seychellois solidarity and nationhood, especially during the prolonged struggle for Independence between 1964 and 1976. The main day event will be of two parts: the official ceremony and the cultural show, highlighting the key milestones of the journey through Seychelles. This will be followed by the


[ INSIDE Seychelles | 5 ] unveiling of symbolic pieces and will finish with a float parade which will show the evolution of 250 years since settlement. With all reflected on, our Seychellois tale speaks of adaptation and increasing tolerance; of differences of origin, beliefs and welfares being collapsed to create mutual ground. Regardless, we have come to understand we are literally in the same boat! With that said then, truthfully we didn’t come this far to get just this far and so definitely this is a time to celebrate and carry on weaving the strands of our different roots with great care so as not to come undone.


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David Andre, Mayor of Victoria linked to David Andre is our national anthem, ‘Koste Seselwa’, adopted in 1996, which he cowrote with Georges Payet.

He was born in July 1958 and spent his childhood and early adulthood at Mont Buxton. The 3rd Mayor of Victoria is a down to earth, patriotic man, who describes his taste in music as eclectic. Mont Buxton along with the districts of English River, Saint Louis, Bel Air, Roche Caiman, Plaisance and Les Mamelles, form the capital city of Victoria, and in December 2016 the legislative representatives of these districts unanimously elected David Andre as its first male Mayor.

David Andre had never fancied himself as a Mayor. Initially, when he was nominated for the role in 2016, he dismissed the idea. Music was and still is his life. In 1985, upon returning to Seychelles after attending the Conservatoire de Musique in Paris, between 1980 and 1984, a young David Andre was instrumental in setting up the School of Music at La Bastille. After he graduated from the Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in music education and a postgraduate qualification in curriculum development, David Andre made music and music education his career, teaching music at the School of Music, writing countless songs and performing in many concerts. One of the most noteworthy songs

Convinced by his wife to take on this challenge, Mayor Andre started this journey with a vision to turn Victoria into a greener and more vibrant capital city. This is not an easy feat he admitted, given that the Mayor’s Office doesn’t have the power to make the necessary changes at policy and legislative level.The Victoria Forum was launched by President Danny Faure in February 2018 to facilitate working with Government agencies such as the Police, the Ministries of Environment, Tourism, Family Affairs and Finance along with the Departments of Transport, Culture, the Landscape and Waste Management Agency and the Seychelles Licensing Authority. Through this forum, the Mayor’s Office can share ideas to improve Victoria, particularly when it comes to beautification, reduction of congestion and livening up the City, for the relevant ministries, departments, agencies and authorities to act upon. Congestion is a problem prevalent in most cities of the world. Unfortunately, Victoria being the crux of the road network on Mahé and with most businesses and Government offices located in this small city, traffic jams are very common. The Mayor proposes that car users should be offered secure parking outside the city centre, with a shuttle service that goes around, permitting them to hop

on and off at various locations. These two initiatives, along with policy and legislative changes to specify what vehicles are permitted to traverse the city centre, may possibly resolve the congestion and associated air pollution concerns, as well as the shortage of parking spaces. Making Victoria a more vibrant city has proven to be an equally challenging venture. The cruise ship season is currently in full swing and thousands of visitors disembark at Port Victoria, looking for something to do in the capital but finding a very limited choice when it comes to food & beverage, entertainment, souvenirs and and local crafts to purchase. To fill in this gap and to demonstrate to the authorities the impact of small-scale developments on the waterfront, the Mayor spearheaded the development through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) of a small ‘waterfront garden’ comprising of: a cafeteria, the Waterfront Café; kiosks selling artisanal items; the Akoustik Kafe, a music kiosk where musicians may perform, as well as benches, picnic tables and public toilets. The garden named ‘The Passerelle’ was opened on the 14th of October 2019 by the Mayor. In 2020, Seychelles will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the first group of 28 settlers on the island of Sainte Anne in August 1770. A national committee, chaired by the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, was appointed by the President to organise the events to commemorate this important historical milestone.


[ INSIDE Seychelles | 7 ] The Mayor, who also sits on this committee is tight-lipped about the specificities of the celebrations as they are yet to be concretised, however he did let it slip that there may be art exhibitions to showcase the history of our nation, among other activities and events. If you’re interested to meet this fascinating man, who is passionate about his art and his city, drop in at the Mayor’s Office situated in the building once occupied by the National Library and later the Court of Appeal on State House Avenue, or at the ceremony for the switching on of the Christmas lights in Victoria in early December.


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Seychelles Maps One of the most interesting gifts you can get of the islands – and quite literally at that – is a map, of the islands. Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, the three main islands of Seychelles, have captured the fascination of many who have sought to paint and photograph their beauty, or document their charm through stories or works of non-fiction. Local artist Jude Barrallon, who is neither cartographer nor historian, has found a unique way to showcase the physical features of his home islands while highlighting notable historical milestones. Inside Seychelles had the pleasure to sit down with him at his home base to find out more. Inside Seychelles: So you’re not a cartographer. Why maps? Jude Barallon: As an artist targeting the tourist market, which is quite saturated, I wanted to come up with a product that could combine my artistic talent, creativity and my graphic design knowledge to create a product that would also allow my identity to come through. Inside Seychelles: What are the main features of the maps? Jude Barallon: Each of the maps feature a brief history of the island, as well as illustrations and notes that capture historical sites and key events in Seychelles history. Inside Seychelles: And how are the maps printed? Jude Barallon: The maps are produced by a method called screen printing, which is an intricate process. After I have done all the illustrations, the design is finalised on the computer. Then, I print a negative of the design in a darkroom, a process similar to developing photographs taken on film rolls. The negative is then applied to a screen – a piece of canvas

mounted in a wooden frame -1 which is then used to transfer the image on cloth material, which in the case of my maps, is canvas. Inside Seychelles: The colour palette makes the map look old. Is that intentional?Jude Barallon: In fact, I wanted the map to have an old look and feel, as I was going for an antiquated look, the end product being a wall-hanging artefact. The amount of pigment added to stain the map is judged by eye, which means that no two maps are exactly the same. This makes the cloth look like what was used in the olden days. Inside Seychelles: What is your favourite design element of the maps? Jude Barallon: The materials used to stain the maps are all-natural products, used in creole cuisine (I won’t tell you what!) and the maps also smell like old cloth. Inside Seychelles: How can one get copies of the maps? Jude Barallon: Camion Hall, ESA shop, Airport, Vallée de Mai Souvenir Shop. Inside Seychelles: How long was the process, from the research to design? Jude Barallon: A lot of time went into the research, for which I got guidance from local historian Tony Mathiot. Getting the map to scale also took some time as calculations are involved. I designed all the illustrations free-hand, then prepared the canvas to achieve the look, feel and smell of old cloth, which required research as well as imagination. After that came the preparation of the screen, before the map was finally produced. In all, it took about 1 year to get the product to what it is today. Jude Barallon has been in the arts field for almost 3 decades, starting out as technical designer with a printing company after graduating from the

school of arts and design, before becoming an arts teacher. He later combined his perceptiveness for detail with his love for design to Specialise in digital art as a graphics designer, then decided to venture in screen printing, which he has been doing since 2014. Jude’s first memories of himself doing art is as a child, drawing in the soil outside his home, small wonder he was inspired to do maps of the islands in which soil he played. His maps can be bought at the Boutique des Artisans at Camion Hall building in Victoria, in the duty free at the Seychelles International Airport departure terminal and at the souvenir shop at the Vallée de Mai on Praslin. The maps also have a new edition, produced in collaboration with STB, in commemoration of 250 years of the establishment of the first settlement in Seychelles, on the 26 August 1770 on the island of Ste Anne.


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ŠTorsten Dickmann

Rendez vous with destiny and wed or honeymoon in sublime Seychelles - where romance is always in the air.


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[ INSIDE Seychelles | 11 ] Robert Grandcourt is one of the sweetest, most amazing people you could ever meet. Born on Praslin in 1944, Robert grew up rock fishing around Grand Anse with his brothers, Pierre and Luc. At the age of seventeen he left his idylic life to join the British Army, then the cheapest way of seeking better opportunities overseas.

the 250-year history of our young nation, and Robert felt it fitting that he erects a statue in their honour. The statue is based on a black and white photograph of a young unknown boy, taken in a bygone era, rock fishing. Robert came across the photograph, when its owner, Helen MacDonald shared it with a friend.

While his brothers pursued maritime studies and careers, he used his stint in the Army to gain a place at Ruskin College, Oxford, to study politics and economics followed by another degree course at the University of Sussex in development economics. Eight years after working as a civil servant in Seychelles, he returned to Oxford to study for a Master of Philosophy, which led to an illustrious career in the African Development Bank and UNICEF.

With the permission of Helen, Robert decided to immortalise in bronze, this young boy, capturing the love for the sea and the wanderlust in all those young boys who grew up to become sailors.

When he retired, Robert started writing his family history. He found it rather unjust that the official records told only the stories of those of his colonialist descendants. He could barely find information about those who were slaves. Yet he wanted to tell their stories. So, using the little he could find in the archives about them and a lot of imagination to fill in the gaps, Robert wrote the book ‘Beyond the Horizon’ about Yaya, a Makonde girl, who was captured in Tanzania in 1792, brought to Seychelles to work as a slave and raped at 15 years old by a white colonialist. A story not unlike the story of many of our African descendants that will remain forever untold. Something happened in August 2018 that would change Robert forever; his brother Captain Pierre Grandcourt, lost his life in a marine accident. Tragedy struck again two months later when he lost his son, Edwin Grandcourt, the distinguished marine scientist. Captain Pierre is one of many sailors and passengers, most of them unknown, with stories untold, who were claimed by the sea throughout

Sculptor Joseph Norah did not need much convincing to work on the statue. He was overjoyed and wanted to get started straight away. He made a model that he and Robert presented to the STB-leading the 250th Anniversary of Seychelles Committee, which welcomed and endorsed for the statue to be unveiled as part of the anniversary celebrations that will take place in 2020. While many philanthropic individuals, such as Charles Pool, Luc Grandcourt and the Ally family, and businesses, such as Hunt Deltel, have contributed towards the 200kg statue, which is forecasted to cost one million rupees , financing is required for the bronze casting of the full height model in a foundry in London and Robert welcomes

any contributions in any shape or form to make this monument a reality. The model is planned to be shipped to London in December and for the bronze statue to arrive in Seychelles in February 2020. It will be erected on Praslin next to the new passenger jetty at Baie Sainte Anne, next to the sea, where it may gaze at the horizon as that young boy did many decades back. And what will Robert do once he is done with this memorial statue? Well, he still has his family history to write, hasn’t he?


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Elements of the Seychelles islands, in particular, its coconut oil, are the main inspirations behind RIKOKO, a hair care brand that has been buzzing in the beauty world in the past couple of years. Inside Seychelles gets to know more about RIKOKO and its founders, Seychellois Richy Kandasamy and Renee Cascarina. About Richy Kandasamy The distinctive background of expert educator and color visionaire Richy Kandasamy, is born from extensive training and a global point of view. A native of the tropical Seychelles islands, Kandasamy is inspired by exotic color palettes and universal hair textures.

visionary, Renee Cascarina.“From a colorist perspective, I saw a gap in the market. I also the need to return to simple healthy solutions from nature, how I was raised. I knew that coconut oil naturally sealed the cuticle and would lock in color, but of course that was just the beginning…we were in development for 2 years before we perfected the collection for launch.” - Richy Kandasamy

About Renee Cascarina Renée Cascarina is an accomplished creative director, designer and entrepreneur. Known for her expertise in brand design and product development for a range of high In a journey that spans the globe and profile beauty, fashion and celebrity the course of 20-plus years, Kandasamy clientèle including Makeup Forever, has acquired a disciplined mastery Carol’s Daughter, Valentino, Rocawear, of color technique, trend forecasting, Gwen Stefani, JayZ and Mary J. Blige. product development and education Cascarina’s holistic approach to brand implementation. building and product development is attributed to a 360° integrated vision. As the first technical creative director for TIGI Italy, followed by the United Her unique process and incubation Kingdom and ultimately America, model for taking brands from strategy Kandasamy has colored the globe to marketplace lays the foundation for RIKOKO BEAUTY. and spread his wealth of knowledge headlining shows and seminars from “The RIKOKO concept emerged Taipei to Copenhagen, Buenos Aires, from a key vantage point and Montreal, New York and beyond. streamlined approach to beauty brand development. Passionate about pushing the boundaries of the excellence in We are at the intersection of design, professional haircare industry, Kandasamy launched RIKOKO BEAUTY innovation and authenticity. ” - Renee Cascarina in 2016 with wife, partner and brand

Inside Seychelles: What is RIKOKO?

RIKOKO is a luxury hair care brand based on exotic ingredients and ancient rituals from the Seychelles islands. It is a story where ancient roots meet color mastery, brand development and modern chemistry, RIKOKO was born from true love, a passion for beauty and a desire to create and innovate the global beauty industry.

Inside Seychelles: Tell us how and when the idea of RIKOKO came about?

The coconut oil of the Seychelles is at the heart of our brand as is global hair texture which you find abundantly in Seychelles with the mix of African, Indian and European roots.

Inside Seychelles: How did you choose the name?

R is for Richy and Renee. Koko is for COCONUTS, in creole of course ! We needed something that could be easily pronounced in all parts of the world as we are a global brand focused on all ethnicities, cultures and hair textures. Inside Seychelles: How much did ‘ Seychelles’ influence the brand and the products? How? We use ingredients like cinnamon for its anti-inflammatory benefits in our post-color scalp treatment. Wild Ginger is an amazing detangler, while Vetiver and passion fruit are rich in vitamins and minerals that strengthen the hair cuticle. These are all ingredients we grew up with in the Seychelles. I wanted


[ INSIDE Seychelles | 13 ] to preserve the old school roots of our

beautiful country and share them with the world. Inside Seychelles: Who is your target audience? Mostly female as of course women LOVE their hair, but our products are unisex and KOKOBALM - our solid coconut oil, is actually an amazing treatment and styling agent for men’s beards. Inside Seychelles: What is next in the RIKOKO plan? Only God knows but we have a big visions and hope to bring more support and love back to the islands as we grow. Inside Seychelles: Where are the products available? We are available globally online but mostly through professional haircare distribution and salon partners throughout the U.S. and U.K. We recently launched in Asia starting in Taiwan. www.rikoko.com


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Tourism Updates The 2nd edition of the Tourism Festival The Seychelles Tourism Festival 2019 took place during the last week of September, under the theme ‘We Are Tourism: Our Pathway to Prosperity’ and activities focused on raising awareness of the role and significance of tourism in our country. The second edition of the festival saw the repeat of some popular activities such as the Food Fiesta which took place at Beau Vallon on Mahe and Cote D’Or on Praslin. Other activities included: •Recognising seven tourism pioneers of the tourism industry • ‘Adopt a Student’ forum and the French Public speaking competition • A beach clean-up with employees of STB and the Department of Tourism On World Tourism Day itself, STB partnered with Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority and Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation for a special “Meet and Greet” at the Seychelles International Airport. The Tourism Festival came to a close at Hilton Northolme Resort and Spa, during a panel discussion of the festival theme “Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all”.

STB strengthens its outreach in India The Seychelles Tourism Board conducted a three-city roadshow in the cities of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, Ahmedabad in the State of Gujarat and the capital city of India; Delhi in September. The STB team connected with approximately 225 prominent Indian travel and tour operating companies to strengthen their outreach in India. Hotel accommodation and DMC partners were present at the roadshow. The trade partners and travel agents were given the chance to network with the exhibitors to learn more about the destination including the diverse products and experiences the Seychelles offers during this interactive roadshow.

IFTM Top Resa 2019 The 41st edition of the IFTM Top Resa, held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, took place in October. As the industry’s leading business-to-business trade show, IFTM Top Resa is the only French event that brings together the whole tourism sector, featuring multiple segments over four days including, Leisure, Tourism, Business Travel, Group Tourism and Events.The Seychelles delegation

was led by Minister Didier Dogley. Other partners included the Seychelles Tourism Board, and trade partners from 7° South, Masons Travel, Creole Travel Services, Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resorts, Banyan Tree Seychelles, Coral Strand Hotel, Savoy Resort & Spa and Hilton Seychelles. Various meetings with travel trade professionals were held and interviews with some high-profile media networks were conducted. Additionally, a press conference, with the presence of approximately a dozen journalists, was organised on the second day where the delegation updated the media on the Seychelles tourism development.

The Nordic Roadshow The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) embarked on the sixth edition of the Nordic Roadshow in September, travelling to Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm and Gothenburg. The marketing mission was headed by STB’s Marketing Director for Nordics, Karen Confait, and joined by the various partners and local business representatives, from Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resort, Hilton Hotels, Le Duc de Praslin, Valmer Resort, Castelo Beach Hotel, Maia Luxury Resort, Paradise Sun, Creole Travel Services Masons Travel, Masons Hotel Group, Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways.

Seychelles launches its first Nature Trail competition In a press conference at Botanical House, Mont-Fleuri, the Seychelles Tourism Board announced the launch of the Seychelles Nature Trail (SNT) competition to be held in May 2020. The partners for the SNT project alongside the STB will include the Seychelles National Sports Council (NSC), the Seychelles National Park Authority (SNPA), Air Mauritius, Seychelles Breweries, ABSA (Barclays Bank), Cable and Wireless and Skychef. The SNT aims at further promoting the archipelago's concept of green tourism as well as enticing potential visitors to the discovery of Seychelles rich biodiversity. The 25km trail which will be competed on Mahé on May 3, 2020 will start in the region of Port-Glaud and round Anse Major, through the well-known hiking routes including the Mont Le Niol and Congo Rouge areas, finishing at Grand Anse. In addition, a publicity campaign in collaboration with the Seychelles Public Transport Company (SPTC) will be activated in Seychelles in the coming weeks.


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Tourism Updates The TTG Travel Experience The Italian Exhibition Group gave the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) and its trade partners exposure to three international exhibitions dedicated to the travel industry in October at the Rimini Expo Centre. The event brought together the 56th edition TTG Travel Experience, the 68th edition of SIA Hospitality Design and the 37th SUN Beach & Outdoor Style exhibitions, which gave the delegation from Seychelles significant insights into the Italian market as well as other tourism related topics. The delegation from the small island nation was headed by the STB Chief Executive, Mrs. Sherin Francis. The Seychelles trade partners present in Italy were Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resort, Berjaya Resorts Seychelles, Hilton Seychelles Resorts and Savoy Resort & Spa Seychelles, 7° South and Creole Travel Services. This year’s event saw a significant international presence with representatives from 130 destinations including Seychelles and industry players from 85 countries worldwide.

Seychelles strengthens GCC reach through a four-city roadshow STB, through its office in Dubai, in partnership with Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways, has embarked its fourth edition of the Four-City Roadshow staged in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait and Doha Qatar in October this year. The roadshow comprised of a strong delegation including the representative of the STB Office in Dubai, Mr. Ahmed Fathallah; STB Marketing Executive from Headquarters, Ms. Winnie Elisa and the Embassy of the Republic of Seychelles Tourism Attaché, Aliette Esther. Partners from the hotel and accommodation sector as well as the destination management companies and operators were also present. In each city, the GCC roadshow gathered a roster from Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways team, both official partners for the roadshow. The event, targeted top trade partners in each city where all participants were given the chance to network with the exhibitors and understand the dynamics, services and experiences of the Seychelles.

Seychelles welcomes back Air France The blue, white and red colours of the Air France Airbus A330-200 was welcomed by ceremonial canon-water at Seychelles International Airport, in October 2019, after a 23-year absence. Air France was previously operating through its subsidiary, JOON, and is now flying its national colours once more. Air France customers are able to travel to Mahé through the 3 weekly flights departing Paris-Charles de Gaulle. These flights will operate throughout the winter season from October to March 28th 2020 on the Airbus A330-200.

Another successful World Travel Market Representatives from various sectors of the Seychelles tourism industry were present at the World Travel Market, held in early November at ExCel London. Minister Didier Dogley led the Seychelles delegation, which also saw the participation of representatives from Maia Luxury Resort, Hilton Seychelles, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Coco-de-Mer hotel (and Black Parrot Suites), Eden Bleu, the H Resort Beau Vallon and Savoy Resort & Spa, 7 Degrees South, Creole Travel Services, Mason’s Travel and Satguru Travel. The Seychellois Company Maz Million was also represented, present at WTM promoting the Maz Luxury Seychelles Tourism Lottery.

STB takes the Seychelles to Los Angeles. The STB recently conducted a ‘Seychelles product & destination training’ for a group of 45 Los Angeles based tourism professionals. The session was conducted by the STB Regional Director for Africa and the Americas, Mr. David Germain, who presented the products and services available in the Seychelles for the North American travellers visiting the island paradise. Aside from training programmes, STB also organizes familiarization trips to the Seychelles for North American agents in collaboration with the various airlines and trade partners, allowing the agents to understand the destination they are selling to their clients.


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Island in Focus

Aldabra. To those familiar with this name it evokes a powerful sense of magic, mystery and longing. Derived from the Arabic word, AlKhadra, to mean the green one this name is believed to originate from the occasional green shimmer Arab seafarers would witness when they first chartered the surrounding waters. Today we know that this phenomenon is created by Aldarba’s wisp of land encircling a turquoise lagoon twice the size of Manhattan. Ultimately, the lagoon – which fills and empties twice a day with the tides – is reflected into the skies above creating a vista, now captured in a name, that only begins to denote this island’s exceptionalness. Aldabra is a raised coral atoll and one of the world's largest. It is located over 1100 kilometres’ from Mahé, Seychelles’ main island and is categorised as an outer island. Its low-lying coralline land and encircling reefs rise over a thousand metres from the depths of the Indian Ocean to be one of only 50 marine UNESCO World Heritage natural sites. This international recognition along with the national significance of making Aldabra a Special Reserve since 1981, stems from that fact that it is a sanctuary for fauna and flora that has escaped most of humanity’s imprint. This evasion from people is a result of Aldarba’s extreme remoteness and harsh conditions that have prevented and restricted human settlement and exploitation. As such, the atoll’s rain scarce climate and punishing terrain is something that has kept life, but simultaneously has

also forced it to adapt to the extreme. This combined with Aldabra’s isolation makes it a time capsule for prehistoric life, natural wonders and oddities that science is keen to learn from. An apparent example of Aldabra’s timelessness is the fact that its terrestrial ecosystem is dominated by a large slow moving herbivore, the Aldabra Giant tortoise, whose population on the island (approximately 130,000) outnumbers the Seychellois population, and is the world's largest. The atoll is also the final refuge for the Indian Ocean’s remaining flightless bird, the white-throated Aldabra rail, which lives alongside the world’s largest terrestrial crustacean: the coconut crab. In the sky above and around the atoll, sea and land birds rule. The notable species being the Frigate birds, greater and lesser, which number over 11,000 individuals, making Aldabra also home to the largest breeding population of this species in the Indian Ocean. These birds live among and live off (through kleptoparasitism: parasitism by theft) red footed boobies in Seychelles largest mangrove forest. Moreover, diving from life in the air to that in the ocean, recent research carried out by the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF), the public trust that is Aldabra’s custodian, indicates that this atoll is most likely to be the West Indian Ocean’s most significant nesting site for the critically endangered green turtle. Research also carried out by SIF shows that this species has experienced an exceptional population increase by eight times in the four

decades preceding the ending of turtle exploitation and beginning of Aldabra’s protection. Moreover, with over 240 species of fish recorded, vast tracks of coral, resident spinner dolphins as well as migratory humpback whales, it is also the only place in Seychelles where dugongs can be sighted. In any case, if you were to ask most Seychellois about this famously remote atoll they would tell you how they only dream to visit it, but generally accept how hard it is to get to. The very privileged few who get to experience this secret corner of Seychelles must either take a three hour flight from Mahé to the nearest island with an airstrip, Assomption, to then take a 45 kilometre boat ride to the atoll. Alternatively others may travel directly, three to four days, by private/ charted live aboard yatch or small expeditionary cruise. These logistics are due to the fact that Aldabra has no airstrip, harbour, jetty or helipad. Neither does it have a hotel or guesthouse as the atoll with SIF’s research station is not set up to accommodate general visitors. The few tourists, numbering just around a 1,000 a year, who get the chance to visit for only several hours, are all ship based. Thus, the only people who witness such a place, work or volunteer with SIF on its research station. Therefore, visiting scientists and researchers, wildlife photographers and film crews and several lucky “Eco-school” children – winners of what is arguably the best field trip in the world – are the research station's only other human visitors.


[ INSIDE Seychelles | 17 ] All in all, Aldabra despite being a green shimmer at end of the horizon, has had a tremendous impact on the world with it prehistoric and abundant life being written about, filmed and marvelled by conservationist such as Charles Darwin, Jacques Cousteau and David Attenborough to name but a few. Still, despite its isolation and biological worth, and unfortunately like most of the natural world today, it is threatened by global issues, such as the climate crisis and plastic pollution. It is thus the canary in the coal mine and a natural laboratory that reminds us that if protected places such as this one can not survive, very few to none can. Contributed by the Seychelles Island Foundation For more info please check out: www.sif.sc https://blueparks.org/parks/aldabra-atoll/ http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1800

Island in Focus


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Giving Hawksbill turtles a fighting chance on Cousin Island Special Reserve

populations is therefore incredibly important work. Cousin Island Special Reserve, a small island measuring just 29 hectares, is a safe haven for Hawksbill turtles and is considered the most important rookery for nesting Hawksbills in the Western Indian Ocean. Turtles come to Cousin's beaches because they are free from human threat. The beaches are protected, patrolled and kept free of pollution. The marine reserve (400m around the island) is also protected.

A contribution from Nature Seychelles

The conservation programme for the turtles is one of longest running in the world; it was put in place in 1972. To collect data, nesting beaches are

Every year, Nature Seychelles staff and Conservation Boot Camp participants on Cousin Island Special Reserve in Seychelles behave like anxious parents waiting for the arrival of a newborn. They walk up and down the beaches from dawn to dusk, peering at the sand, inspecting the vegetation and looking with anticipation towards the sea. In a sense, they are waiting for newborns. During the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) nesting season many hatchlings will begin their lives on the sandy beaches of this island, the offspring of female Hawksbill turtles on an annual nesting pilgrimage as old as time. These turtles become the charges of the island during this time, from the day the females arrive to nest to the final mad dash to the sea by the hatchlings. As long as a female Hawksbill turtle keeps coming to nest where she was born, it's like keeping the maternity open forever. And it's important to keep the maternity open; Hawksbill turtles are listed as "Critically Endangered" on the World Conservation Union's list of endangered species. Historically, the worldwide trade in sea turtles along with the 6 other species of marine turtles has drastically changed fortunes. Keeping turtles alive, providing safe nesting areas and monitoring nesting

patrolled several times a day, from dawn to dusk. Each turtle emergence is recorded as is the type of nesting activity, track and shell measurements, tag numbers, the position and time of laying. All new turtles are tagged. This is added each year to the long-term data set. All this work has borne fruit. According to a scientific paper published in 2010, the nesting population has increased a phenomenal 8-fold since the 70s, and Cousin is seen as a global conservation success story for the Hawksbill turtle.

Back on the island, as the first female is spotted, excitement builds. She crawls out of the sea and slowly drags herself up to the beach to a suitable site. Then she digs a pit with her flippers in which she lays her eggs and uses her flippers to fill up the chamber with sand, carefully camouflaging it against predators before returning to the sea. Two months after nesting begins, the wait for hatchling emergences begins. They come out of the nest, orient themselves and scramble to the ocean and are sent off with as much fanfare as a child leaving home.


Seyscapes

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Yacht Charter

In operation since June 2017.

Services include bespoke, individually organised skippered and crewed charters on a full board basis, with emphasis on comfort, safety and great hospitality.

Best known for their gourmet food, especially the sunset gourmet

dinners. Guests also love the fact that they do not have set itineraries but are able to choose each day's activity while onboard.

What the guests say…

“The best thing you can do in the Seychelles, is going on a sailing trip with Edwin and Tina. It’s the perfect combination of nature, sea life, relaxation and fun.

Even for us as a couple with two small kids, we’ve spent four unforgettable days on the Seyscapes charter. The nature is absolutely stunning, but the hospitability of Edwin and Tina was just incredible. They were very careful and found great ways to entertain our kids: made a toy out of nearly everything on the boat, turned the dingy into a swimming pool, showed our kids schools of fish and even dolphins and offered to babysit while we were snorkeling. One day we even found our youngest sleeping on Tina’s lap when we got back out of the water! Edwin is very concerned with everyone’s safety and knows lovely quiet bays to anchor for the night. Also they made a great effort preparing an early dinner for the kids and spoiled them (and us) with the most delicious local fruits. We couldn’t wish for anything else. Besides sailing, we’ve enjoyed fishing underneath the milky way, snorkeling - Edwin truly knows the best spots - and the tasteful dinners with freshly caught fish accompanied by a variety of side dishes.All together it was an unforgettable experience!

Edwin and Tina! " Annegie Alberse

Thank you so much We’re hoping to return some day.


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The hike begins here on the side of the road on a plantation that once produced tea (Camellia sinensis). The trail climbs up a steep slope deep in the forest, where the trees protect hikers from the sun for most of the journey. As soon as you set out, you will be struck by the mix of vegetation that grows at this medium elevation. The tea plants are now overshadowed by cinnamon and pandan trees. At 200 to 400 m (650 to 1,300 ft.) above sea level, the forest is composed of imported species such as the luxurious but invasive silk trees and the cinnamon trees that were brought here for cultivation. There are also many endemic species, including the six palms that only grow in Seychelles; these are easily Recognisable and due to the spines on their trunks. According to legend, giant tortoises used to scratch their shells on them. The intense humidity is conducive to mosses, ferns and a little further up, lichens. After several hundred meters and two boardwalks, the trail wends its way through large granite boulders, between which crevasses can be spied from time to time. One of these, marked on the trail, is named “Puits du Morne Blanc“ or the Morne Blanc Pit. If you lean carefully on the barrier, you can just make out the bottom. We recommend that you do not leave the trail, especially on the higher part of the route, as there may be hollows hidden under leaf litter and vegetation. At the end of the trek, the slow climb up the mountainside gives you time to admire the wealth of flora and fauna on Morne Blanc. Here you can observe the endemic Seychelles wolf snake (Lycognathophis seychellensis) and a multitude of insects, including the spectacular stick insect

(Carausius morosus) that is often seen on certain ferns, along with its cousins. Once you reach the ledge, after crossing some small bridges, the path ends at a specially constructed observation area. A breath-taking view encompassing more than 180 degrees looks out over the west coast of Mahé and the neighboring islands. From right to left, your eye rests on Cap Ternay, Launay Bay, Conception island, Thérèse Island and ÎLe aux Vaches Marines. If the sky is clear, you will be able to see all the way to Grande Anse and Anse Boileau, and then to Lazare Bay to the south. Do not miss the amazing sight below the observation area: the deep, intense green of the rainforest and the incredible granite glacis, the hallmarks of Mahé landscapes. The return journey is naturally all downhill. Watch out for wet sections and mossy rocks. When you stop for a rest, enjoy the sight of the cerulean flaxlily (Dianella ensifolia), whose flowers form little cobalt balls that look as though they are made of clay.

Hiking in Seychelles by Remy Ravon & Romain Latournerie


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Seychelles Traveller’s Edition It is the last shop you will see before leaving Seychelles through Gate 1 of the Seychelles International Airport departure terminal, but by far, the one shop you will never forget if you are an arts enthusiast. Described as a “boutique art gallery” by its owner, Josette Webber, Seychelles Travellers’ Edition sets itself apart from the other duty free shops by being an outlet specialising in branded local products made by local artists. Other than just being a place where you can by some lovely curios before leaving the islands, Seychelles. Traveller’s Edition proposes a delectable offering of sights, tastes and scents of Seychelles through visual art work, wooden and bronze sculptures, artisanal jewellery, organic beauty products and artisanal craft rum. Seychelles Traveller’s Edition brings together the local brands of a select number of local artists in one location: in a sense, it is like a mini department store showcasing some of the established names as well as emerging art brands in Seychelles. Local artist names and brands currently housed at the outlet include The Scops Owl, Tom Bowers, Michael Adams, George Camille, Tristan Adams, Alyssa Adams Art & Fabrics, Tropik Collection, Zil Lokal, Bellish, Vasco Rums, La Marine, Carbognin Silver, Laurent Alis Photography, Pineapple Studio, SEYWEI Soft Toys and L’Union Estate Products, each with unique pieces on show. Adams, George Camille, Tristan Adams, Alyssa Adams Art & Fabrics, Tropik Collection, Zil Lokal, Bellish, Vasco Rums, La Marine, Carbognin Silver, Laurent Alis Photography, Pineapple Studio, SEYWEI Soft Toys and L’Union Estate Products, each with unique pieces on show.

On how the idea for the outlet came about, Josette, who has her own art brand ‘The Scops Owl’ specialising in Seychelles inspired Christmas ornaments – for the travellers who like to collect festive items from various destinations (or for those who simply wish it could be Christmas all year long) – wanted to have a place to showcase her items. Noticing a niche in the market for local brands of artists with limited visibility for their creations, Josette quickly got the idea of having a little art gallery in the duty free, where the stock is not just run of the mill commercial items but rather art pieces to be marvelled at. While other outlets in the duty-free of the departure terminal specialise in quality artisanal curios, clothing, jewellery, liqueur, as well as some international brands, Seychelles Traveller‘s Edition stands out as being a platform not just for people to buy beautiful items, but also to appreciate unique pieces of local art and craft, especially for the travellers whose stays don’t provide them with enough time or opportunity to visit art galleries on the islands.

Just like the items in the shop, the team of five girls who assist Josette in the boutique gallery is also one hundred percent local, ready to serve with bright smiles and exuding the authentic local charm of the islands. Josette successfully opened the doors of Seychelles Traveller’s Edition in July 2019 and with the support and encouragement of her husband and children, plans for another outlet on Mahé are already on the horizon.


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BLOGGER’S CORNER

VADRINE BOULLÉ’S

tion tips, healthy vegan recipes, tips for going to university, guides on how to live sustainable and minimalist lifestyles and a page dedicated to holidaying in the Seychelles.

My name is Vadrine, but my friends call me Vadz, which is how the name of my blog Vanilla Vadz came about. Born and raised in Seychelles, I’m 22 years old and currently in the final year of an undergraduate law degree in London. However, my passion is in writing and I’m on a journey to see the world, slowly, fully and sustainably, to fuel a passion for telling stories, living different cultures and photographing the wonders of the Earth. Inside Seychelles: What is the blog about? Vadrine: Vanilla Vadz is a lifestyle and travel blog that was started with the aim of sharing different experiences in the author’s life, to create a space that would inspire others to travel, try new things, eat delicious healthy food and live intentional lives. The blog features travel guides and destina-

Inside Seychelles: What is your favourite thing about Seychelles? Vadrine: The beaches and the ocean. There’s nothing quite like sitting on a quiet beach, dipping your toes in the crystal blue water and just being in the moment, listening to the swish of the waves and the wind in the coconut trees. Vadrine’s Top3Reccomendations AnneMarine MarinePark Park -Go snorkelling in the SteAnne -Have a pizza at Baobab Pizzeria -Spend a weekend on La Digue Island Favourite blog posts to date -FUN & FOOD FILLED GUIDE TO LISBON. Travel tips for what to see, where to stay and where to eat in the capital of Portugal -40 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE SEYCHELLES. 40 fun facts about the beautiful Seychelles islands -HOW SIMPLE IS SIMPLIFYING & 25 STEPS TO GET STARTED. A beginner’s guide to learning about minimalism and simple tips on where to start simplifying -20 BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS FOR THE EAGER TRAVELER. Tips on how to save money when traveling travelling Photos (L-R): Camping on Fraser Island: Dingos and Amigos in Australia | Fun and food filled guide to Lisbon | Festive Vegan Mushroom Pockets Tofu & Vegetable Garlic Stir fry | Everything you need to know to visit the Seychelles


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Tourist Guide Policy Explained OWNERSHIP Being a small operation in which a person with minimal capital but with the knowledge and qualification can easily invest, such a venture shall be reserved for Seychellois only. Seychellois only, means the licence holder must be a citizen of Seychelles. A licence may be issued to a firm specialising in tour guiding. However, the guides employed must be Seychellois citizens and possess the necessary qualifications, determined by the Seychelles Licensing Authority or Department of Tourism. QUALIFICATIONS The SLA or Department of Tourism may, from time to time, require the tourist guides to attend and successfully complete courses recognized by the Department of Tourism or other bodies necessary for the continued professional development of tourist guides. Those who fail to attend shall not be allowed to practice. Qualification also includes successful completion of first aid courses approved or endorsed by the Ministry of Health. The first aid certificate should be submitted with the application of licence to the SLA. A tourist guide may engage the services of a person with specific language skills to act as translators who may accompany the guide when required. SCOPE OF WORK A licensed tourist guide is allowed to meet or pick up clients at a licensed accommodation establishment to go on arranged tours. The licence does not provide for meeting clients at the airport and transferring them to and from the airport. RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN AND INSURANCE COVER All tourist guides should have a Risk Management Plan for risk reduction, disaster preparedness and emergency response. They should also have appropriate insurance policies to cover activities provided within their business. TRANSPORT A licensed tourist guide is allowed to have a vehicle to conduct tours only, but not to transfer or pick up clients to and from the airport. The maximum vehicle age shall not exceed five (5) years. POINT OF CONTACT A tourist guide should always have a point of contact for conducting his business. IDENTIFICATION BADGE A licensed tourist guide shall always wear a visible

identification badge while on duty. The badge shall be the type approved by the SLA. For guides employed by tour operators, they shall wear an identification badge issued by their employers. CODE OF ETHICS All licence holders must comply with the conditions of the licence including the code of ethics published in the licensing regulations.


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The Chef has spoken Travis Neville Roseline

Travis is a private chef of Private Chef Service Plus, which he started over two years ago. He offers a freelance service whereby he cooks where the client is. He says, “Growing up, food and being in the kitchen was very special to me. My parents and grandparents loved cooking and it was a must to learn to cook.”

olive oil. Cover up and refrigerate.

Featured recipe Steak kingfish with spicy vegetables served with mango salsa Travis says, “As a Private Chef I like to work with fresh products and during the yacht charters catering, I got the chance to prepare fresh kingfish. Cooking fresh fish and combining flavours and spices is one of my favourite things. This dish is one of my favourites as it really is the ultimate culinary experience to have in paradise.

- Set a pan over medium-high heat and pour in the olive oil, add the chopped garlic then sear the steak for 2 minutes. Turn over and cook for 3 minutes on the reverse side or until the steak is cooked medium well.

Ingredients Steak kingfish: 2 slices of fresh steak kingfish 1tbsp creole masala 1tbsp cumin powder 3 whole garlic cloves 1 whole lime 2tbsp olive oil Pinch of Salt|Pepper Spicy Veg: Half a carrot Quarter of purple cabbage 1 whole green Capsicum Half of one onion 2 whole creole chilli 2tbsp of tomato paste Mango Salsa: Half of a cucumber 1 whole mango Spring onions 1 whole lime 2tbsp olive oil METHOD Marinate the slices of kingfish with salt and pepper, creole masala, cumin powder and lime. Keep it refrigerated until ready to cook. Clean the cucumber (remove the seeds), mango and spring onion, chop them up and place in a mixing bowl. Squeeze in some lime, and add salt and pepper and the

-Clean the carrots, cabbage, capsicum and onion and cut them up in oblique cut style/ chop the chili. On a medium heat pan add 2tbsp cooking oil and sauté the vegetables. Add the chopped chili, tomato paste, salt and pepper then stir until cooked.

Then you can plate your dish in any style you desire. *Chef Travis recommends a nice creole octopus salad as a side dish. In order to bring out the richness of the flavours a lovely Australian Pinot Noir or a bright Red Sangiovese wine will do the trick. Contact Chef Travis on +248 2642164, Email: cheftrav6@ gmail.com and follow him on Instagram and Facebook: Private Chef Service Plus


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Wildflour Cafe Bringing ‘wholesome eating’ to the community

chew, so we are sticking to a blackboard menu that changes each day depending on what’s available locally from where we source our raw foods, and what we can make,” Elza explains. It was Elza’s mother who first had the idea for a coffee shop over a decade ago. Elza had kept that idea in the back of her mind, waiting for the right moment to bring their dreams to fruition. As a child, she always had home-made cooking and this has tuned her taste buds to what she now practices with her children, and what she offers as a service as well.

New cake and coffee shop Wildflour Cafe offers a variety of pastries, sweet treats, and healthy lunch bites crafted with the many fruits, vegetables, and spices available seasonally in Seychelles. Since the opening on the 1st October 2019, their menu has been dictated by what is locally grown and available each month - for instance, avocado based dishes only available as from December, or their year-round special iced teas with typical Seychellois flavours such as lime, mango, passionfruit, or green tea with ginger, to name a few. This attention to the ingredients is no coincidence,

as businesses in Seychelles shift their focus to more sustainable options. “We wanted to keep the menu as local as possible and use fresh grains,” explains owner Elza Frichot-Dahoo. “Our menu is quite varied but we didn’t want anything unnecessary or artificial.” She describes their menu as “wholesome eating”, something which has pushed her to make creative dishes (for instance tuna meatball sandwiches or grilled aubergine baguettes). She also works closely with farmers, bakers and others in the industry. “We did not want to bite off more than we can

“We are very much a familyrun business, with my mother and I in the kitchens, and my husband as the handyman, accountant and designated cheese slicer,” she adds with a smile. “My sister also helps out between her yoga classes.

Many families come to our coffee shop after picking up their kids from school or dance class, working people come to get a quick coffee before a meeting or even have their meetings here on our premises, and friends come together here.” Wildflour is more than just a place to grab a bite to eat; it has a strong community base, with a main clientele of locals and residents. Tourists waiting for their ferry to Praslin also stop by, as the building is across the road from the jetty. The next step, says Elza, is offering more vegetarian options. “We try to incorporate at least one vegetarian dish each day,” she adds. Wildflour also plans to host more community-led events and activities in the near future. Wildflour is located at the Espace Building just outside Victoria, open on Mondays from 0900-1500hrs and Tuesdays to Fridays from 0900-1600hrs


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Profile for Seychelles Tourism Board

Inside Seychelles (Issue 16)  

The 16th issue of the quarterly newspaper produced by the Seychelles Tourism Board which gives insights into the tourism industry of the Sey...

Inside Seychelles (Issue 16)  

The 16th issue of the quarterly newspaper produced by the Seychelles Tourism Board which gives insights into the tourism industry of the Sey...

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