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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.