Mahé and Praslin are two of three main islands and are the largest of those that can be found in the Seychelles. They are known for their tropical paradise status, composed of granite rocks, gorgeous beaches and crystal clear waters that are met with tropical jungles of mountainous walks and hiking trails that any outdoors lover is sure to enjoy.
If you’re on the lookout for great walks and trails on Mahé and Praslin, then you’ve come to the right place.
Walks and trails on Praslin
Vallee de Mai
Commonly known as the original “Garden of Eden”, this nature park and UNESCO world heritage site is a ‘top of the list’ attraction on Praslin. It’s a primeval jungle that has been highly protected since the 1960’s. Modern means of conservation have been put in place to maintain the original state of the jungle, by ridding the area of plant species that affect the park and to avoid the destruction that humans can cause when visiting these sites. If you wish you visit the Vallee De Mai, it will only set you back €20.
For that price, you have the ability to spend as much time as you like exploring the nature park. It’s comprised of three walking trails that should average about three to four hours of walking time. The trails of Vallee De Mai are suitable for absolutely anyone. You are even welcome to wear your flip-flops. What’s more, most of your walk will be shielded from the sun, but it is still advised to apply some sunblock before you set off. And make sure to take some bug repellent, just in case.
Discover the heart of Praslin and all it has to offer. With over 6,000 Coco de Mer trees, you are sure to come across one of these giant seeds on your walk. And as a birdlife hotspot, you can discover birds such as the Seychelles bulbul as well as the endangered black parrot. Whilst there are navigation boards around the park, it is suggested that you book a guide, if you so wish, to ensure that you get the absolute most out of your experience.
Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve
The Fond Ferdinand nature reserve is relatively new and remains secret to many tourists and locals alike. It is easily accessible via the coastal road, however, you need to keep a lookout for the small red and white signboard. With Rs100, you can enter the nature reserve and explore with your very own guide. Fond Ferdinand is less known than Vallee De Mai, yet it is six times larger, and much richer in plant and animal species.
Visitors can enjoy walking along the winding path or can take a two to three-hour walk up to the viewpoint. On your way up, you are sure to see a few seeds from the Coco de Mer trees, known as the ‘forbidden fruit’ of the Seychelles. You may even come across blue-eyed eels that are so tame you could even feed and pet them. Upon reaching the summit, visitors can enjoy stunning views above the canopy of trees of Praslin as well as many of the surrounding islands.
Walks and trails on Mahé
Feel like you’re on top of the world with one of the most popular walking trails for beginners. Take a quick and easy 45-minute walk to the top of Copolia, which is around 500m above sea-level and is where adventurers can enjoy spectacular views over Victoria. Exploring the beauty of what this island has to offer is sure to leave a long-lasting impression to add to your internal book of memories.
There truly is nothing better than to escape the city and to see it from above. Take your time to enjoy all the trail has to offer. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with stellar views and the wonders of this granite mountaintop. As part of the Morne Seychellois National Park, visitors can expect to find an abundance of flora and fauna that are indigenous to the Seychelles. Take in the scenery on your way to the top as you trek through a jungle of lush greenery. And make sure to snap a picture or two as well.
Start your morning early with a fantastic climb to the top of Morne Blanc. We recommend an early start due to the regular mists that roll in between mid-morning and noon. Park off at the tea factory and begin your journey to the top to experience one of the best hikes that Mahé has on offer.
The starting point is easy to find and the trail is simple to follow. It is recommended that you avoid straying too far off the path for your own safety. There are a few holes and caves that are camouflaged by vegetation, so it's important to be aware of what you’re doing. This climb is better suited to more experienced hikers, as it is labelled with moderate difficulty. You can expect a challenging and steep climb, which continuously takes you uphill. With an estimated time of an hour and a half to complete the hike, enjoy the sights of birds and fauna that are endemic to the Seychelles. Climb through the heart of the forest, pass through the old tea plantation and complete your journey with a stellar, panoramic view that sweeps the island.
Yes, we’ve saved the best for last. What gives the national park its name is the Morne Seychellois mountain. At 900m above sea-level, Morne Seychellois is the highest point on Mahé. This five-hour hike is not for the faint-hearted. Recommended highly for the veteran adventurers, trudge through the undergrowth across a trail that has been left to exist in the state it was found in. The national park, which hugs all the aforementioned Mahé trails, covers over 3,000 hectares, consuming 20% of the island.
Explore 15 kilometres of the tropical jungle that encompasses this tall mountain. You are sure to come across an array of indigenous flora and fauna, as well as 12 endemic birds. If you’re lucky, you may even see the Scops-Owl, which is a rare sighting for visitors. Morne Seychellois is both enduring and equally as rewarding. If you can imagine the view from the summit, you’ll understand why this is a must while travelling on Mahé.
Mahé is a great island holiday destination and has a lot to offer. From markets to historical sights, the home of the archipelago’s capital is on the top of everyone's list of places to visit. Or you could take the path less travelled on your trip through Praslin. Explore the outdoors and make sure to add at least one of these walking trails onto your holiday to-do list. Enjoy spectacular sites from the view tops of popular nature reserves or take a leisurely stroll through the island jungles. If you describe yourself as someone who enjoys exploring the outdoors, you have to try a few of these walks and trails on Mahé and Praslin.