Two brochures featuring the botanical and historical highlights in Victoria – the capital city of Seychelles – hope to enhance hikes in the city.
The brochures produced by author and nature enthusiast Steen Hansen map out and explain the variety of plants – some endemic – and monuments and sites with great historical importance found in Victoria.
“First-time visitors might not be fully aware of the tropical and exotic touch and atmosphere that surrounds them while strolling around in town. The many striking and outstanding plants, that over the years have been planted in our capital gives a unique firsthand experience of visiting the tropics without being forced to visit a special garden,’ Hansen told SNA.
Hansen, who is a retired lecturer in biology, added that the botanical leaflet includes photos of the plants and their names as well as a short description about their use and if the plants are endemic, indigenous or introduced.
“I also found it necessary to indicate on the map of Victoria where the plants are found and added whether the plants have any medicinal virtues or if same are poisonous,” explained Hansen, adding that visitors should know of the risks of for instance plucking fruits or picking up leaves whose milk can cause serious itchiness and lead to other complications.
The second leaflet is one of a historical nature and features monuments buildings of historical importance for the island nation. Seychelles’ own
Big Ben – the clock tower – is found on both brochures as it is when a visitor sees the clock tower that they know they are really in the heart of the capital city.
The clock tower is one of the main attractions in the centre of the capital Victoria. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board) Photo License: CC-BY
“The city has some of the most exciting historical sites such as one of the oldest but still most beautiful buildings from 1885, built by the New Oriental Bank Company, which from 1892 till the early 1930s was owned by the Colonial government. Thereafter it was the Supreme Court till 2013. Still standing and exuding the proud past, the building now houses the National History Museum,” said Hansen.
Local historian Tony Mathiot, who assisted Hansen with the research for the brochure said that the leaflet will allow visitors to have historical facts at their fingertips at the same time enjoying a stroll around the world’s smallest capital.
Willette Asman, who works in Victoria, told SNA that she had no idea that there were so many plants of great importance in the town.
“The leaflet is good for us locals as well because it is very informative. For instance, I did not know that some of the plants can be harmful to us.” Asman added that from now on when she walks through Victoria something she does daily to come to work, she will take time to pay attention to her natural environment
Hansel, who hails from Denmark has settled in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. The author said that the brochures, with photos, and a map depicting a trail around Victoria is in full colour and gloss were printed overseas.
“This is a gift to the people of Seychelles,” Hansen added the leaflet will be sold at bookshops and will cost $3.