Praslin Island – Seychelles (Part 1 of 2)
Seychelles has many islands, out of them Victoria is the main and Praslin (pronounced as Prale) and La Digue are the others. Most of the activity (whatever little it is) is on the main island, Victoria. The other two are necessarily tourist attractions. (There are many other islands of Seychelles, some of them are having star properties on them, but most of them are unoccupied.)
So when you are in Seychelles, visit to these islands, is necessary part of your itinerary. There are regular flights available from Mahe (Victoria) to Praslin. The flight duration is just 15 minutes. There is regular ferry service also available, the ferry from Mahe to Praslin, takes about an hour.
The island of Praslin has public transport service, but Taxies or car hire is more comfortable option.
Here is the photo gallery.
- We caught an early morning Air Seychelles flight from Mahe. As soon as we took off, we see the beautiful tiny islands.
- Just before landing in Praslin, I saw a vast golf course, little did I know, that I would be crossing the entire length of this beautifully landscaped golf course.
- The airport of Praslin, is a beautiful and spacious. Here are some snaps of the place.
- We had booked Coconut Services Taxi. Mr Ryan was already waiting for us at the airport. He drove us towards the national park, called Fond Ferdinand. There are two national parks on this island. The other one is called Valle de mai. The later one is UNESCO world heritage site. The entry ticket for Valle de mai is Seychelles Rupees 350/- per person, whereas Fond Ferdinand charges only SCR 125/- per person. (Being residents, for us it is free of cost.) They do have guided tours of the park, and the fees are included in the entry ticket. These are some snaps at the entrance of the park.
- The guide Merina arrived on time (9.30 a.m.) The booking office had not opened, but she allowed us to carry on the tour, and we could settle the entry fee on return. This tour involves hike on a hill. So sports shoes are absolutely necessary. You need to carry water too. (There is a stream flowing at the entrance and half way thru the hike. The water is absolutely safe to drink. There are cold drinks available at the entrance, but not on the way. So it would be necessary to carry supplies.) The hike is well marked trail with steps till the peak. There are 21 stages. Up to stage 15, there is shade, after that you get exposed to the sun. So sun protection and suitable hat is recommended. )
- The guide is knowledgeable and introduces to various plants and birds.
- And insects too. There are very few of them in this country though. This particular spider is harmless and enjoys being photographed !
- This is vanilla creeper. It is an orchid, but the pollinations needs to be done by human hands, as the insects doing this, are not living in Seychelles.
- On the way you do hear many bird calls, but due to thick canopy, it is very difficult to see them. This particular bird is called as Flag of Holland, as it has colours of that country. (This is the best view, I could capture.)
- The main attraction is the coco de mer (Fruit of the sea ). This is the largest nut in the world and may weigh up to 18 kilograms, when ripe. There are separate male and female trees. The male tree produces flowers, and the pollination is done, mainly by geckos. The nut is edible, so it is extracted and the empty shell is stuck together again. This tree is found naturally only on this island. ( It is grown in Victoria, too ). Here it is kept, for you to handle. In case you want to buy as souvenir, then you must officially purchase it from legal traders. Without the certificate, you are not allowed to carry it, outside the country.
- These are flowers of the male tree. The flowers are very aromatic and smell like, basmati rice.
- Almost at the top.
- This is the view from the top.
- This young boy made it, till the top !
To be continued .