Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve – In Nature’s cradle!

 

Vallee De Mai Nature Reserve is a protected UNESCO world heritage site which is located in the Praslin island of Seychelles Archipelago. This tropical reserve is home to a number of distinctive plant and animal species that cannot be seen elsewhere in the world. Read on to know more.

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve

Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve | Img by: Leila Maziz via  Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

About

Located in the middle of the Praslin Island which is the second largest Island in Seychelles; the Vallee De Mai Nature Reserve is rich in biodiversity. The reserve is composed of a well- preserved palm forest that is home to the world’s rarest plants and animals in the world.

History

The park was an unspoilt virgin forest till 1930 and after the exploration and researches done by environmentalists, the forest obtained a Nature Reserve status in 1966. The reserve later, became a popular tourist destination and words about this wondrous reserve started to spread and during 1983 under Criterion (vii), (viii), (ix), and (x) the reserve obtained recognition as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Flora

The reserve is home to 6 endemic plant species that includes the flagship species of global significance as the largest seed-bearing plant in the world – their coco-de-mer. The 19.5 ha area of palm forest includes a wide range of plants that have not undergone any changes since the prehistoric times.

Fauna

The animal species that belong to the reserve include a myriad of bird species most of them being endangered species, law enforcement and penalties for harming these creatures have been made strict by the government. The reserve is also home to small amphibians and mammals such as turtles, hedgehogs, fruit bats and more.

Visiting here and accommodation options

You can visit the island by a boat or ferry which is located 40 kilometers away from Mahe. You can choose to stay at a hotel in Seychelles in the mainland of Mahe the likes of Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino or you can also find accommodations in the island of Praslin itself where the reserve is located.

 

 

 

 

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travelers across all walks of life. Google+

 

 

 

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve: the Rumoured Garden of Eden

Nestled in the centre of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is home to not only a national treasure but a natural park of global significance. Found on the island of Praslin in Seychelles, the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is one of pristine beauty and national importance and its significance is celebrated by UNESCO naming it a World Heritage Site in 1983.

UNESCO recognizes locations worldwide which they believe house universal value and has up to date recognized nearly a thousand such locations as World Heritage Sites. Such locations are often of intrinsic value that is immeasurable and worth protecting and preserving for future generations. The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve located in Seychelles too is one such site that is of importance not only to the country of Seychelles, but the rest of the world as well. It derives its value from a Coco de Mer palm forest, a type of palm tree which is endemic to the region. The seeds of the Coco de Mer tree are the largest in the plant kingdom and even its leaves are often a stunning 14 metres long. What makes this forest of palm trees so unique is that it appears to have been preserved since pre historic times and the added belief that the Vallée de Mai was actually the Garden of Eden found in religious scripture.

In addition, the forest is also believed to be home to a number of endemic mammals, birds and reptiles. For an instance, the extremely rare Seychelles Black Parrot is said to reside in this valley. Other birds such as the bulbul, the blue pigeon, the sunbird as well as reptiles such as the endemic chameleon, bronze and green geckos and blind snake are said to reside in the valley as well.

The lush greenery from the palm forest coupled with the diverse wildlife brings to life one of the most attractive of forests in the Southern Hemisphere. Therefore, a holiday in a Seychelles hotel would provide you with the opportunity to be surrounded by nature. If you wish to visit this World Heritage Site as well, you should arrange for accommodation at a Praslin hotel. In this regard, one need not look any further than the Raffles Praslin Seychelles a mere 15 minutes away by air from the capital of the country.