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President Solih plants coco-de-mer tree and explores attractions on Mahé |05 August 2019

President Solih plants coco-de-mer tree and explores attractions on Mahé

The President of the Republic of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, accompanied by First Lady Fazna Ahmed, had an opportunity on Saturday to explore the natural wonders Seychelles has to offer as they visited the Botanical Gardens, Mont Fleuri and the Viewpoint at La Louise.

The President and his delegation commenced their visit at the Botanical Gardens where they were greeted and guided by the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) Wallace Cosgrow and principal secretary for environment Alain de Comarmond as well as officials employed at the 15-acre garden, one of the oldest national monuments and a popular attraction among visitors.

As the guests walked around the luscious vegetated garden, Minister Cosgrow and PS de Comarmond showed them the countless flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the islands of Seychelles. Among the attractions was of course the largest nut in the world, the coco-de-mer, its male and female flowers and coco-de-mer trees, including a 63-year-old tree, planted by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1956.

The garden also received a new addition to its collection as President Solih planted a coco-de-mer seed. The seeds need two years to germinate, and the plant must grow 20 to 40 years to start flowering.

A trip to the Botanical Gardens would be incomplete without a look at the giant tortoises. The delegation thoroughly enjoyed learning about this species from the Aldabra Atoll, one of the largest tortoises in the world.

The visit to the Botanical Gardens concluded with a selection of local snacks and refreshments comprising fresh passion fruit, mango and lime juices as well as a selection of cassava, banana and breadfruit chips before the delegation were whisked off to the next attraction, the Viewpoint at La Louise.

At the viewpoint, the delegation were welcomed by chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Sherin Francis. Mrs Francis talked them through the beautiful island of St Anne visible from the viewpoint and the St Anne marine park.

The viewpoint offers a breathtaking view of the capital of Victoria on the left, some inner islands and a view of the eastern district of Pointe Larue on the far right.

The accompanying photos show highlights of the presidential delegation’s visit to the Botanical Gardens.

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