Vallée de Mai on Praslin – the garden of Eden in the Seychelles
"Paradise lost – the Paradise we have lost people."
Dread this sentence I read a few days ago. And in fact, I have to think a lot lately about what you think will happen to the paradises of this earth in the future, or already has become. Paradises, which are popular, for a change, and in the worst case, at some point no longer are as they once were. In the case of the Seychelles, which are currently experiencing a real Boom, is that with me sometimes. Only today I see a cruise ship off the island of anchors. On Board: 500 Passengers. Objective: a small 3×5 km wide island with approximately 3,000 inhabitants. As soon as the anchor is thrown in front of the island, you come to the country. If so many people come on a small island, then it is more than noticeable, and then you have to wonder: Has the Paradise at this Moment, a Chance to be Paradise?
But there are still places in the world that you enter and suddenly feels like being in another world. Places that enable a back to a time when nature was left to itself and the man played a secondary role. Places, which are today protected by the UNESCO, for example, so that this value is preserved.
The Vallée de Mai on Praslin, the second largest main island of the Seychelles is such a place.
The palm forest is A garden of Eden in the Seychelles.
- Vallée de Mai – General information
- The legendary Coco de Mer
- Vallée de Mai – why is it worth a visit?
- What can you see there?
- How much is the entrance fee?
- How're you gonna get?
- What are the opening Hours?
- A Guide is necessary?
The Vallée de Mai is a national Park and one of the most famous sights of the Seychelles. The 19.5-hectare Park was declared in 1983 by UNESCO as a world heritage site as an outstanding example of a special place with a special value. It's just some palm-forest but is not. It is the smallest of the world's nature heritage of the world and at the same time, the largest intact forest of the endemic Coco de Mer, Coco de Mer. Over 5,000 copies of this unique palm trees, it should be. And actually: who drives the Bus or car up the road to the entrance of the Park along, gets a first impression of the giants that grow here by the roadside is already up to 40 m in height – very impressive.
A part of the Vallée de Mai existed, allegedly, already, as the Seychelles Islands still belonged to the continent of Gondwana, with Africa, South America, Australia, Madagascar, India, Antarctica and new Guinea were a single continent, formed millions of years ago – hard to imagine. Until 1930, the valley remained untouched, and in 1945 it went from a Private in the government's possession until it passed about 50 years later in the protection of the UNESCO.
An excursion in the Vallée de Mai is worth, so be sure to. On well-maintained paths, visitors can hike through the valley and the many, partly endemic to marvel at animal and plant species. This is on your own or with a Guide is possible.
The legendary Coco de Mer
The endemic Seychelles palm tree Coco-de-Mer is a Sensation in the world of plants. It is even in the Guinness book of records, because it has the largest seed in the world. This can be up to 50 cm long and 25 kg heavy, and has the shape of a woman's butt. Therefore, it is said to at the beginning, an aphrodisiac effect. It is originally only in the Seychelles and, of course, so without the help of the people planted to find in addition to Praslin to Curieuse. A few more copies there are on Mahé in the Botanical garden, Jardin du Roi spice garden and La Digue – all, however, are not in their natural environment.
Even if it is proven that birds and the Wind to transfer the Pollen from plants, so the legend says, that the male and female Plant a hug on stormy nights, and then pairs.
Who wants to take the Coco-de-Mer nut as a souvenir to Germany, do not need to engage with approximately 200 EUR only deep in the bag, but requires a license. This is only in official points of sale, such as, for example, in the Vallée de Mai, in the Fond Ferdinand, Park, or just a few souvenir shops.
Vallée de Mai – why is it worth a visit?
On the Seychelles there are two UNESCO World heritage sites the Vallée de Mai is one of the two. The other is the Aldabra Atoll for visitors, nearly not reachable. Who wants to see a world natural heritage site in the Seychelles, you cannot just pass this national Park. Who would like to learn more about the Flora & Fauna of the Islands, you should plan a trip necessarily. In the Park there are different routes, from 1 km (1 hour) up to 2 km (3 hours), which can be explored on your own. On a lookout platform, you have a beautiful Overview of the Park.
What you can see in the Vallée de Mai?
In the Vallée de Mai is the endemic Coco de Mer palm tree to see that here in the truest sense of the word is rampant, and in some cases up to 40 feet high grows. In the Park are all of the six endemic palm species of the Seychelles to find.
Who wants to see the animal species that live here, must be particularly attentive. In the Vallée de Mai lives, for example the Seychelles Black Parrot. This is a black parrot, which is found with a Population of 520-900 copies only on Praslin, and nowhere else in the world. Other animals, which may be encountered in the Vallée de Mai and the Praslin Snail, Seychelles Tree Frog, Seychelles Bulbul, Palmiste, Green day Gecko, Giant Bronze Gecko, Seychelles Skink and the Seychelles Blue Pigeon.
How much is the entrance fee?
The entrance to the Vallée de Mai is 350 SCR, 25 Euro. Did you know that 50% of your money occurs in the Aldabra Atoll is flowing? You're doing with your visit, as always, something Good! The Rest flows in the Vallée de Mai (30%) and in the organization of the SIF, which manages the two World heritage sites.
How're you gonna get?
The arrival in the Vallée de Mai is best by rental car, Taxi or Bus from the port. The best the bus driver when Boarding ask again, to make sure that you are in the right direction. The island of Praslin, with a size of 12 x 5 km manageable. With the Bus one comes for 5 Rupees each way almost everywhere (about 35 cents).
What are the opening Hours?
The Vallée de Mai is open daily (except 25.12 and 1.1) from 8.30 am to 16.30 PM.