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Seychelles “Omusee" self-catering a small enterprise on Praslin island with a real passion

Seychelles “Omusee" self-catering a small enterprise on Praslin island with a real passion ( Turning a passion into a true tourism venture can be a gratifying investment. The owners of the home grown “Omusee” self-catering at Cote d`or on Praslin understands the importance of injecting funds into an innovative tourism business model to achieve long-term economic growth. The self-catering establishment`s recipe for success was converting its extensive garden into an open-air eco-museum. At first glance, the garden with its variety of plants, shows no extra need for special interest in what is on offer. But with a guided tour of the grounds, visitors walk closer to nature where a rich variety of biodiversity emerges.

Steve Esther and his partner, Jeanine Niole, owners of Omusee Self Catering, worked with passion to transform their garden into a vibrant eco-museum business. When welcoming Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture; Sherin Naiken, the Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Tourism Board; and her deputy Nathalie Didon on the property, Steve Esther a true custodian of Seychelles nature, walked them through the wonders of his grounds that has become his greatest pride.

Omusee as it is officially called, has a remarkable growth of vanilla plants. In 2013, its output hit the ceiling with 65 kilos flooding the Praslin island market. An abundant of “Bilenbi” trees is now a sanctuary for Black Parrots, an endemic Seychelles species which used to be an attraction only in the Vallee de Mai World Heritage site. Steve Esther bought mature Bilenbi trees and transplanted them into his gardens, and today this exercise has paid off with a profusion of the Seychelles Black Parrot spending time in his garden on the Bilenbi trees. Omusee`s attractions are further enhanced with a number of the flying fruit bats kept in captivity in a cage at the heart of the garden.

Steve Esther explained his inspiring story about his special recipe “to attract the flying fruit bats back to the garden even though he constantly sets them free.” A giant land tortoise pen is also a great attraction at Omusee`s. Much to the delight of its visitors, the garden opens up on built-in traditional houses covered with dry palm leaves. Inside each of these houses, Steve Esther digs into what Seychelles` historical artifacts and exhibits all used to be. Even a traditional kitchen is present, and he is hoping that the government will allow him to use this kitchen for catering for his guests. He moves even further to showcase a rich collection of the island`s traditional musical instruments such as “zez” and an old record player.

Walking in Omusee is an eye opener to the Seychelles` rich cultural amenities, and the visit is set to give the feeling of going back to one`s roots, reviving some of the island`s lost cultural artifacts. Steve Esther believes in remaining true to his culture and working with resources available close to home to achieve his business expansion. He explains his new project is a breeding pond for tortoises. Omusee self-catering on the other side keeps its charm with wooden furniture made in Seychelles.

Minister Alain St.Ange was so impressed with Steve Esther`s passion that he showered him with words of congratulation. He said Steve`s work is exactly what the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is advocating “going back to basics.”


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