Victoria is also known as Port Victoria and is the capital city of the Republic of Seychelles as well as the smallest capital city in the world. It is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé Island, which is the main island of the archipelago. The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government. The population of Victoria is around 25,000, accounting for about 30% of the total population of Seychelles. The principal exports of Victoria are vanilla, coconuts, coconut oil, tortoise shell, soap, and guano.
One of the main attractions of the capital is the Botanical Garden of Victoria, large beautiful gardens within walking distance of the town centre, next to Victoria Hospital at Mont Fleuri. The garden covers six hectares and is remarkably attractive with huge granite boulders integrated into the landscape. Visitors can discover about 500 different species of exotic and native plants, as well as a large number of birds, insects, mammals, reptiles and fish.
Another attraction is the Seychelles Natural History Museum which features some fascinating exhibits like the bones of an extinct type of crocodile, a shipwreck, various stuffed animals and other curiosities of the natural world. The museum hosts exhibitions that not only illustrate the flora, fauna and geological history of Seychelles, but serve to enlighten visitors about major environmental concerns with the aim of promoting positive attitudes and actions in conserving their natural heritage. Seven prominent aspects of Seychelles’ natural heritage are showcased through exhibits and dioramas, and the museum’s documentation/resource centre contains a wealth of research material in various formats.