It is the world’s largest seed, and with a shape suggestive of a woman’s hips and myths of love-making powers, the coco de mer is an icon of the Seychelles.
Efforts are underway to develop a fire contingency plan for Seychelles’ second-most populated island of Praslin. Two firefighters from Reunion – a French department in the Indian Ocean – conducted an audit and needs assessment inventory of gaps and needs of the agencies on the island end of February.
The Seychelles’ Vallee de Mai, which is home to the world’s largest nut, the unique coco de mer, celebrates its 35th anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage Site this month.
Surely you have a bucket list, even if you don’t call it that. Things you mean to do and places you want to visit before your passport here on planet earth expires. So, what’s the name of the island…
Planning a trip to Seychelles? From lazing on the beaches to exploring rustic towns, you can do it all. Check this list of top things to do in Seychelles and have a great vacation!
The Seychelles’ coco de mer is the stuff of legend. It is one of the many wonders of the island nation and considered as a giant in the plant kingdom.
The coco de mer grows naturally only on two of Seychelles’ islands. On Praslin, the second most populated island, in the Vallee de Mai special reserve which is also one of the island nation’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, and on Curieuse, located very close to Praslin.
SNA looks at 4 botanical records of the coco de mer.
World’s biggest nut
The most renowned feature of the coco de mer is its enormous fruit which is the largest in the plant world. The fruit takes between 6 to 10 years to mature and is generally two-lobed but may have four or even six lobes. It typically reaches a size of 40–50 cm in diameter.
World’s heaviest nut
The fruit of the coco de mer typically weighs between 15 to 30 kg. The largest fruit recorded weighed 42 kg making it the world’s heaviest nut.
Read more from source: 4 amazing things you should know about the Seychelles’ coco de mer
For visitors to Seychelles interested in exploring special reserves and protected areas, Seychelles’ two World Heritage Sites sites are places that warrant a slot on your to-do list.
Both properties are legally protected under national legislation and managed by a public trust, the Seychelles Islands Foundation, with daily operations guided by a management.
A World Heritage Site since 1982, the Aldabra Atoll is an outstanding example of a raised coral atoll. Due to its remoteness and inaccessibility, it has remained largely untouched by humans for the majority of its existence.
Aldabra is one of the largest atolls in the world and contains one of the most important natural habitats for studying evolutionary and ecological processes. It is home to the largest giant tortoise population in the world. The richness and diversity of the ocean and landscapes result in an array of colours and formations that contribute to the atoll’s scenic and aesthetic appeal.
As a remote and fragile atoll over 1,000 km southwest of the main island of Mahe, there are significant logistical challenges in getting to Aldabra.
Located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, Seychelles are a group of 115 islands that are basically the definition of paradise. White sand beaches, warm turquoise water, giant tortoises, and all the palm trees await you there.
And while the Seychelles are most often associated with honeymoons (Prince William and Kate Middleton vacationed here after their 2011 marriage), the truth is that there’s SO much more to the Seychelles than just romantic beach resorts.
In fact, to truly experience these islands, you really need at least a week in Seychelles.
Lucky you, though, that I’ve put together the perfect itinerary for one week in the Seychelles! Here’s everything I think you should do with a week in this island paradise.
Travel itinerary: 1 week in the Seychelles
Day 1: Arrival and Mahe
Getting to the Seychelles can take a bit of time.
Seychelles’ Aldabra and Vallee de Mai conservation outlooks have been deemed ‘good with some concerns’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in one of their reports published late last year.
Released during the United Nation climate change conference that took place in Bonn, Germany, the IUCN World Heritage Outlook 2 report evaluated all 241 natural UNESCO World Heritage sites. Their threats, management and the status of the features that led to their inscription were examined.
‘Good with some concern’ is considered to be the second-highest optimistic category with ‘good’ being the highest. It indicates that the sites’ values are in good condition and are likely to be maintained in the long term, provided that minor additional conservation measures are put in place to address existing concerns.
On Aldabra, the overall threats have been found to be high.
A piece of paradise on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
The sultry granite wonderland of Praslin sitting off the coast of east Africa, is Seychelles’ second-largest island after Mahé. Home to a pocket-sized population of 7,533, the island ushers you in with a mesmerising montage of skies emblazoned in blue, pink and purple, coconut trees shimmying away to the whisper of the warm tropical breeze and routinely blushing sunsets. The island’s homes, shops and shrines are paragons of the vibrant Creole culture, and coupled with the gentle lull of the Indian Ocean, make for an unparalleled Seychellois experience.
Why travel to Praslin
In Praslin, undulating hills segue seamlessly into aquamarine waters as an assortment of unique flora and fauna entice your senses.
One of my favorite stops on my travels around the Seychelles was Praslin Island. And I’m not alone in loving it! This place is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet, and one of the most traveled islands in the archipelago.
With stunning beaches, emerald waters, and lush jungles, the second largest island of Seychelles is insanely gorgeous.
Here’s my guide to Praslin Island in the Seychelles!
Getting To & Around Praslin
Getting There: Jumping between islands in the Seychelles is pretty easy– you can choose from ferries or flights. There are speed ferries that run between the main island, Mahé, and Praslin (with onward connections to La Digue), that take about 50 minutes. A flight from Mahé to Praslin will cost a bit more, however it will only be about 15 minutes (I opted for the flight!).
During my time exploring the Seychelles Islands, I was lucky enough to spend some time on the Crystal Esprit Yacht and check out more of the beautiful archipelago.
This is actually my second time sailing with Crystal Cruises only– the first was over New Years 2015 when I took my mom aboard the Crystal Symphony for her first international trip! This time, I was even more blown away.
Crystal Cruises is truly the ultimate in luxury & adventure travel.
Not only does the Esprit yacht feature luxury staterooms and all-inclusive Michelin-level dining, guests can kayak, snorkel, paddle board, jet ski and dive down on the yacht’s personal submarine.
Here’s a little more about my 9-day Seychelles cruise and all of the amazing stops we had along the way!
DAY 1: Victoria, Mahé
In 1881, General Charles Gordon (later known as Gordon of Khartoum) made the long trek from the United Kingdom to an archipelago off East Africa.
The Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, spent most of their existence completely uninhabited by humans. The British officer didn’t know what to expect – but no one was prepared for what he found.
Gordon, a religious man and a Christian cosmologist, recognized this land from descriptions in the Book of Genesis: it was the Garden of Eden.
Here, 135 years later, I stood in the same valley as Gordon on the island of Praslin, aware of what I had come to see but still equally entranced. Within the first few steps of entering the Vallée de Mai, I was enveloped in a world of intense greenery.