The Praslin National Park was established in 1979 and is the second largest terrestrial National Park in the Seychelles. As the name suggests it is located on the second largest island, Praslin. It covers a total surface area of 324 ha of the upper lands of Praslin and includes the World Heritage site of the Vallée de Mai. Its altitude ranges from 80 meters in the ravines to 367m at the highest point of the island. It offers a wide variety of landscapes and viewpoints.
The park is habitat to a variety of endemic, indigenous and native plants as well as a variety of insects and other animals, such as the Black Parrot unique to Praslin and its surrounding islets. There are a number of short trails dissecting the park however there is only one official trail- ‘Glacis Noire’ which is found just before the world heritage site ‘Vallee de mai’.
‘Glacis Noire’ Trail should not be missed, maximum walking distance from the main road to main fire tower is 1 hour. This trail is not frequented by many visitors and thus looks more natural. So if you desire an authentic feel of Paslin’s forest, ‘Glacis Noire’ is the place to visit. The view at the end of the trail is simply spectacular! The islands of La Digue, Ile Ronde, Felicite, Marianne and further away Denis, Mahe and Fregate Islands can easily be seen. Along the first part of the trail, considering the devastating effects that fire can have, it is surprising how many native species survived amongst the secondary vegetation. Bracken fern (Dicranopteris linearis) is a typical species in fire-prone areas, but in spite of the predominance of introduced plants such as Calice du pape (Tabebuia pallida) and Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco), endemic species such as Café marron grande Feuille (Paragenipa wrightii) and (Pandanus multispicatus) also flourish.
There are also other endemic species such as: the Bwaponm (Eugenia wrightii), Bwa bannan pandan (Gastonia lionnetii) and several endemics Palms like: the famous Coco de mer (Lodoicea maldivica), Latanier Palm or Latannyen Oban (Roscheria melanochaetes), Thief Palm or Latannyen fey (Phoenicophorium borsigianum) and many more.
A beautiful high altitude wetland is also to be found, containing several endemics species which were in the past planted around it.
The best time to visit Seychelles depends on you. If you want calm weather, the best months to visit are April and October. If you want cheap flights to Seychelles and great deals on hotels, the best time to visit is between January and November. The conditions for snorkelling and sailing is great year-round.