The Island of PRASLIN

Map of Praslin Island

Praslin

Praslin is the second largest granite island of Seychelles. Lying 45 kilometers northeast of Mahé, measuring 10 x 4 km. It is a 15 minutes trip from Mahé to Praslin by Air Seychelles domestic service, which offers many scheduled flights every day (timetables: Summer ’13, Winter ’13/’14). By boat it takes about one hour with the powerful Cat Cocos catamarans, which make up to 4 trips each way per day (book your tickets at CatCocos).

The island has a population of about 7, 000 inhabitants. A leisurely tour around the Island by car will take approximately 2 hours. Praslin is not as mountainous as Mahé – the highest point being only 330 meters – but it has similarly great granite outcrops surrounded by beautiful beaches, and a coral reef enclosing the crystal-clear waters, which are typical for Seychelles. Praslin is perfect to explore on foot and is covered by a network of walkways. There is no danger of getting lost as the island is so small that one needs only an hour or less to cross it width-wise. Prior to settlements of the islands by the French in the mid-18th century, Praslin’s „Cote D’or“ was a favorite haunt of pirates. The island was named after the „Duc de Praslin“, the French minister of marine in 1768 when the original “stone of Possession” was erected on the island.

The fabulous national park „Vallée de Mai“, a World Heritage Site, is home to the huge „Coco de Mer“ nut and also home to one of the world’s rarest birds, the Black Parrot. Opening hours are from 08:30 to 16:30. The entrance can be found on the road from Grand Anse to Baie Ste Anne. This area is heavily protected and is being allowed to return to its natural state following ill-founded attempts to introduce non-native plants in the 1930s and 1940s. Paths are well maintenanced and clearly marked, and a nature trail leads you to all the interesting botanical species. You can find leaflets and information at the entrance of the reserve, managed by the Seychelles Island Foundation.

To walk through the „Vallée de Mai“ is to step back into a primeval forest, canopied by thick palm fronds that block out the sun. The silence is broken only by the call of the black parrot and the clatter of huge sturdy leaves as the wind blows through the trees. In streams freshwater crayfish and crabs can be seen. And around you plants includin the Coco de Mer, Bois Rouge, Ferns, Lataniers, Coco Marron, Screwpines and Orchids, all growing around the the granite mass. Furthermore Fruit Bats, Blue Pigeons, Bulbuls, Lizards, Geckos, Chameleons, Snails and Insects can be observed in the „Vallée de Mai“. 

Leave a reply