Sir Selwyn Clarke Market
Sir Selwyn Clarke Market
If there is one place where all the flavors and colors of Seychelles come together it is at the Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke market in the center of Victoria.
It is the “bazaar” as it is known in the Creole language, always lively, always noisy, and folkloric. This market is one of the top attractions on Mahe and named after a former English governor, offers a fascinating view of Mahé’s daily life: the nonchalant side of the inhabitants, the bright colors, the scents of spices, the sounds of conversations… It is also the market where farmers come to sell their weekly crops on Saturday morning, the day of the great festival of local products.
The stalls are set up in the central courtyard of the market, laid out across narrow aisles where fruit and vegetable sellers rub shoulders in a market-like hubbub. You should ask Daniel, the pineapple vendor, to explain how he looks after his plantation, how he works in his field to harvest beautiful pineapples with a dazzling yellow inside and an even more appetizing sweet flavor. Next to him are small piles of ripe papayas and mangoes, all local.
Spices are almost omnipresent in this market, with their colors and scents that make you dream of those succulent curries that Seychellois housewives have the secret of. Powdered coriander, saffron, and cinnamon stalks are just some of the spices that make everyday dishes so delicious.
Fish market a little further on, it is the fresh fish merchants who make themselves heard. They are noisy and use every possible gesture to attract the housewife or the cook who has come to get the catch of the day. The famous bourgeois, the red captain, the silver mackerel, or the sliced tuna often give the embarrassment of choice.
The small fish are almost all sold in packs of 4 or 5, while the larger ones are offered individually or by the slice. Never ask to weigh your fish at the Victoria market, it is not common and after all, no scales are visible in the whole building! Upstairs, clothing, souvenir, and craft shops have taken over part of the floor space. As far as clothing is concerned, the perfect tropical tourist will find everything he needs: brightly colored shirts or t-shirts, pareos with fish designs, straw hats.
History of Sir Percy Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke
Sometimes the right man is in the right place at the right time to make a difference in the world. Sir Percy Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke, Governor of Seychelles from 1947 to 1951, was one of these men. Shortly after the end of World War II, the people of Seychelles yearned to move on from that period of turmoil into a period that would result in an improvement in their lives. There was optimism that the standard of living would rise, and people were willing to take more responsibility for their political future.
Sir Percy Selwyn Selwyn-appointment Clarke’s as governor of Seychelles in 1947 was fortunate; his sympathy for and understanding of the Seychellois people and their ways, as well as his efforts to improve their lives, made his tenure so successful that he is still fondly remembered. The central market in Victoria’s capital city, Victoria, was named in his honor because of that depth of feeling.
The central market in Victoria was renamed the Selwyn-Clarke Market to honor Sir Percy Selwyn Selwyn-service Clarke’s as Governor of Seychelles. This market, which was built in 1840, is a thriving hub of commercial and social activity, offering a bounty of Seychellois produce, crafts, and arts to both locals and visitors. It is fitting that such a focal point of daily life is named after a man who adored and gave so much to Seychelles.
What can you buy at Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke market?
The fishmongers will have an incredible selection of fresh-from-the-sea fish. Varieties such as parrotfish, grouper, tuna, kingfish, marlin, and red snapper are available. You can also have the fishmongers fillet it for you. They will even share their expertise on the best way to prepare each type of fish!
- Vegetables and fruits
There are a few fruit stalls where fresh produce begins to arrive around midday. You can buy breadfruit, golden apple, passion fruit, jackfruit, coconuts, soursop, custard apple, java apple, mangoes, papaya, star fruit, passion fruit, guava, and bananas
The Victoria Market has a colorful selection of pareos, sarongs, and shirts on display. You find also hats, art made from local wood, and coconut shells. These will make excellent souvenirs of your trip. You can also select from a variety of herbs and local spices to take home.
When is the Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke market open?
- Monday to Friday: 07:00 AM – 05:30 PM
- Saturday: 06:00 AM – 02:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
Hotels nearby the Market
There are no hotels in the center of town in Victoria, the nearest hotels are at the Beau Vallon area, where you find the Savoy Seychelles Resort, the Fisherman’s Cove Resort, and the STORY Resort Seychelles.