One of the funnest things that Dan and I did in the Seychelles last November was visit the Seychelles’ very own Takamaka Rum Distillery (which Dan almost skipped!). If you drink rum and are in the Seychelles, Takamaka is not to be missed!
Takamaka Distillery was started by a Seychellois family back in 2002 (under a different name). Takamaka is still owned by the same family and has a presence all of Mahé – a great success story. While initial distilling began in the family swimming pool, Takamaka’s current location is at La Plaine St. André, which is a grand property dating back to 1792. Takamaka has already done a lot of work on La Plaine St. André, but is continuing to restore it and open more of the property to the public. I’m here for it!
Now, getting to the Takamaka tour rum! Takamaka offers 3 free tours daily – 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. The tours last about an hour and ends with an optional paid tasting. Our tour started outside in the property’s gardens, where we tried a local plant that is used in the rum. We also some the distilling area, as well as an underground cellar.
After our tour, those who wanted to taste Takamaka’s rum, take a tasting of six rums for 125 Seychelles Rupees (about $9.50 USD at the time of writing). The tasting was generous and consisted of a variety of rums, from the standard to one that drinks like whiskey to a super strong one to our favorite, Koko, which tastes JUST like coconut! The tasting went pretty quick – about 20 minutes – but it was fun and definitely worth the money. Takamaka does not skip on the servings!
After the tour, many guests shop in Takamaka’s cool swag shop or visit Takamaka’s two Giant Aldabara Tortoises, Taka and Maka! This is a good place to see the giant tortoises if you are not seeing them elsewhere, such as Moyenne Island. We paid a quick visit to Taka and Maka, but then beelined for drinks at Takamaka’s al fresco rum bar!
The drinks at the rum bar are fantastic and reasonably priced. On this visit, we had a couple…including my favorite, the banana daiquiri. We could have stayed here all day. For those hungry (or tipsy!) there is also a food trunk on site selling casual fare at great prices for the Seychelles. We split a veggie wrap with local sauce and fries. Even if you don’t take the tour, I highly recommend a visit to the rum bar for a casual lunch.
On Friday nights, Takamaka stays open until 10:00 PM and has music, the rum bar open, and a barbecue, which is the same food truck but at night grilling meat and seafood. Again, at reasonable prices. We had so much fun on our tour that we went back on Friday night for dinner! Dan did the seafood grill, which included a hefty plate of food, and I did the local hotdog with the local spicy mayo…LOL. I enjoyed it! I think it cost 50 cents (USD). We, of course, had more cocktails and enjoyed the music. We even met a few locals, including a couple of which one was a helicopter pilot and the other was a professional SCUBA diver. How cool!
For those planning a visit to Takamaka, you currently do not need a reservation for the tour, you just show up a few minutes early. If you are planning to go on Friday night or Saturday, check the website for special events and hours. Also on the weekends, the distillery and the gift shop are closed. Credit card readily accepted, even at the food truck. Finally, while sold all over the world, Takamaka is not sold in the US and, according to our guides, is not planned to be sold in the US. “The market is too saturated” was what Takamaka had to say. So definitely visit in the Seychelles and when abroad, pick it up!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Takamaka Rum Distillery: Pointe Au Sel, Seychelles. Open Monday – Friday 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM, until 10:00 on Fridays. Check website for special events on weekends. Free tours Monday – Friday at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. Tasting at end of tour is 125 Seychelles Rupee.
ON A BUDGET
A visit to Takamaka is a great budget friendly activity on Mahé. The tour is free and the tasting, with generous pours, is less than $10 USD. The food truck and drinks were also reasonable, both of which you can visit without taking the Takamaka tour. If you are looking for a fun Friday night, definitely check out Takamaka! There is live music and if you don’t want to buy cocktails, beer and wine are also for sale.