Natural Wonders Of The Seychelles
Vallee de Mai Reserve
Almost 100 years ago, when the British General Gordon of Khartoum visited Praslin Island, he saw the suggestive ‘Coco de Mer’ and became convinced this was the original Garden of Eden. For him, the enormous nut, shaped like a female pelvis, represented Eve – and the phallic stalk of the male tree suggested Adam. These unique coconuts grow on the ancient giant palm trees only found in the Vallée de Mai Reserve, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Locals use the ‘Coco de Mer’ in an aphrodisiacal drink and in past centuries, philosophers believed it was the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
An easy walking hike through the Vallee de Mai National Park can take roughly 1 hour or up to 3 hours, depending on the routes you choose and how much of the park you want to explore. In the midst of this prehistoric palm forest, you will find the Coco de Mer palm – unique only to this island and this forest, producing a nut weighing some 40 lbs or 18kg (which makes it the largest nut in the world.)
Other botanical wonders such as the Screwpine will also astonish you. Waterfalls will enchant you. The call of the Black Parrot, Blue Pigeon and Seychelles Bulbul will be some of the only sounds to break the stillness that surrounds you. This UNESCO World Heritage Site will inspire you to appreciate the miraculous beauty of our planet.