Located on Praslin's southeastern end, the Vallée de Mai National Park protects some of the last ancient virgin Mascarene forest in the world. This World Heritage Site is also the only place on earth where the unique double coconut or Coco de Mer palms grow wild and abundantly. Some 6,000 specimens bearing the largest nut in the plant kingdom flourish here. This idyllic paradise is also home to the other five species of Seychelles endemic palms, the rare black parrot,
fresh-water crabs, giant crayfish, and vanilla orchids. Visitors can take the tarmac road from Bay St. Anne toward Grand Anse for a drive through the park that will introduce them to its charms, but the only real way to experience it is to walk along the very well-maintained nature trails (sandals will suffice) that run through the valley. Allow at least three hours to really explore the park. A nice gift shop where you can buy certified Coco de Mer seeds, a café, and luggage lockers are on the premises. There is also a free one-hour guided tour daily at 10 and 2.
Vallée de Mai, Vallée de Mai, Praslin, Seychelles