In the 19th century, General Charles Gordon referred to the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve in Seychelles as the “Garden of Eden” and on a visit, it’s not hard to see why; here’s more of what to expect.

Plan Your Trip

Part of the Praslin National Park, this nature reserve is on Praslin Island; even if you are based at another island at properties like Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas, excursions are on offer here. The reserve is open from 9:00am to 04:00pm and those visiting independently can hire a guide before beginning their hike.

Rich Biodiversity

Those visiting from Seychelles resorts should know that the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with rich biodiversity; its unspoilt forest was formed over millions of years and features the nation’s six endemic palm species including the famed coco de mer and diverse fauna too.

The Coco De Mer

A signature attraction here is the coco de mer palm trees, part of the park’s primaeval forest. This is one of two places in the world where they grow and a unique feature is a huge nut produced by the female tree; similar in shape to a female pelvis, it can weigh up to 20 kg and is the largest nut on the planet!

Brocken InagloryMale and female coco-de-merCC BY-SA 3.0

Fascinating Wildlife

Birdwatching enthusiasts visiting the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve have a chance to spot the rare Seychelles black parrot as well as the Seychelles kestrel, swiftlet and blue pigeon. The reserve supports other fauna too including tiger chameleons, tree frogs, Seychelles skinks and various freshwater fish.