Vallee de Mai
Vallee de Mai is a valley in the heart of Praslin National Park, an area that was untouched until the 1930s and still retains primeval palm forest in a near-natural state. This palm forest includes the endemic species coca de mer, of outstanding universal value as the bearer of the largest nut in the world. The massive ‘sea coconut’ can weigh up to 20 kg, take seven years to mature, and has been the subject of all sorts of myths and legends because of its erotically-- shaped bi-lobed form. This place has been described as a ‘living museum’ because it supports a community of plants that existed before the evolution of more advanced plant families. It is the only place where all six of the Seychelles endemic palm species occur together, and there are many other endemic and threatened species of flora and fauna. These include 14 species of reptiles (caecilians, geckos, skinks and snakes) that are endemic to the Seychelles, and a unique tree frog. The area falls within one of Birdlife International’s Important Bird Areas, and supports populations of rare endemic birds including black parrot, blue pigeon, Seychelles kestrel, bulbul, sunbird and swiftlet.