There are different ecological attractions in the Seychelles which visitors can enjoy. Such attractions include visits to the National Parks (e.g. Morne Seychellois, Praslin and Silhouette), nature reserves (e.g. Vallee de Mai and Ravins Fond Ferdinand Coco de Mer Reserve) and to the Marine National Parks.
Some information on sites to visit is given below:
Morne Seychellois National Park
Morne Seychellois National Park was created in 1979 and is the largest terrestrial Park in the Seychelles. It covers a total surface area of 3,045 ha, more than 20% of the area of Mahé from sea level to the highest peak of the Seychelles, the Morne Seychellois (910 m). It boasts a wide variety of landscapes, panoramic views, a unique flora and fauna, and ruins of the colonial times. A trail network has been developed to promote the discovery of these wonders by locals and tourists alike.
You should not miss:
- Viewpoints:At the top of the trails of Dans Gallas, Trois Frères, Copolia, and Morne Blanc (see Nature Trails)
- Landscapes: The valley of La Mare aux Cochons and its pond surrounded with pandanus; the ‘glacis’ habitats unique to Seychelles at Copolia and Trois Frères; the beauty of the shore line between Danzil and Anse Major; the sub-montane forest of Morne Blanc and the mangrove at Port Launay.
- Ruins:The ruins of cinnamon distilleries scattered in the valley of La Mare aux Cochons.
- Fauna and flora:the pitcher plants on Glacis, the loud peep of one of the tiniest frog in the world (Sooglossus gardineri )in damp forests, the beautiful flight of the ‘paille en queue’, the unique song of the Scops owl, and the rest of a unique and thriving fauna and flora.
- Contacts: The National Parks Authority, Laurier Avenue, PO Box 1240, Victoria, Mahé. Leaflets of the trails network are on sale at the Account section within the National Park Authority Head Office and at the information kiosk of the Victoria Botanical Gardens.
Praslin National Park
Praslin National Park was created in 1979 and is the third largest terrestrial Park in the Seychelles. It covers a total surface area of 324 ha of the upper lands of Praslin and provides a buffer zone to the World Heritage site of the Vallée de Mai. Its altitude ranges from 80 meters in the ravines to 367 m at the highest point of the island. It offers a wide variety of landscapes and viewpoints. It hosts the six species of palms endemic to Seychelles, among which the world-famous Coco de Mer (Lodoicea maldivica). Its fauna is rich with birds such as the Black Parrot unique to Praslin and its surrounding islets.
The Glacis Noire trail provides the following attractions:
- Landscapes: an amazing overview of Vallée de Mai and its Coco de Mer Forest
- Viewpoints:at the top of the trail, the panorama from the fire tower covers the inland of Praslin and the surrounding islands (La Digue, Ronde, Félicité, Marianne) and further away to Denis, Frégate and Mahe.
- Fauna and flora: try to recognise the six endemic palm species, and do not miss the black parrots which will fly above you once in a while, or whistle loudly in nearby trees.
The National Parks Authority’s office at Fond B’Offay on Praslin.
Vallee de Mai is located within the Praslin National Park, Vallee de Mai is managed by the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) and contains a well-managed train system. For more information on Vallee de Mai click here
Le Ravin de Fond Ferdinand Coco de Mer Reserve is adjacent to the Praslin National Park and contains the largest population of Coco de Mer in existence. It is managed by the Fond Ferdinand Foundation and contains a growing trail system. Visitors must be accompanied by a local guide, provided at the site.