Around the center of the Earth, very close to the equator, an archipelago constitutes the sovereign state of Seychelles. For those readers who are thinking right through their geography books which say that the equator is the hottest part of the earth with extreme climate etc, You will be pleasantly surprised by the breathtaking landscapes, maritime climate and rich natural resources of this place. One of the most popular islands in the entire archipelago is Mahé. Mahé is known for its picturesque landscapes and the Morne Seychellois National Park. The total area of the national park is 3,045 hectares which is 20 percent of the total area of Mahe. The national park extends from the coast to the highest point of the mountain.
Morne Seychellois National Park: What you need to know
How to reach Morne Seychellois National Park
Morne Seychellois National Park can be accessed from the bay of Anse Major. Although the national park cannot be completely covered by car, bus or any other vehicle, you can reach Bel Ombre or Denzil by canoe and then board a bus to the terminus. After this your only resource will be your own legs. The dense mangroves make it impossible for any vehicle to trespass. Also it is advisable to take a guide with you unless you want to find a home in this forest for the rest of your life.
Best time to visit Morne Seychellois National Park
Morne Seychelles National Park is to be visited during the months of April, May, October and November. During this time the climatic conditions are favorable for trekking in the jungle or indulging in some beach activities. It is a time of transition between hot and humid weather and cooler months. Although the climatic conditions remain similar throughout the year, the spring and autumn months are considered slightly pleasant compared to the rest of the year.
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History of Morne Seychellois National Park
Seychelles has been under continuous French and British rule until gaining independence in 1976. The forests of Mahe Island have attracted traders from around the world for their stores of timber and spices, with dense mangroves hidden beneath. However, now, the Seychelles government has become very strict about its conservation policies to protect the endemic species of flora and fauna in the Morne Seychellois National Park.
Flora and fauna in Morne Seychellois National Park
A dense network of secondary forests, bushes, intermittent cliffs and huge blocks of granite are some of the features that welcome you as you begin your journey to the highest peak of the island. You cannot enter the primary forest before walking up 600 metres. You’ll be greeted by countless endemic plant species along the way – half of which you’d never imagine existed. The region is also home to some of the rarest and most sought after spices, tea plantations and many more. One of the major attractions here is the Pitcher Plant which is known to eat the insects that sit on it. Like these, there are many poisonous plants here too, so walk carefully.
The national park is home to some beautiful birds, including blue pygmies, kestrels, scoop owls, bulbuls, swiftlets, white-eyes and Selshell’s sunbirds. Aladabra Giant tortoises can be seen resting on the beach or grouped together on granite stones. Other mammals found in the region include fruit bats and tenrecs; and among reptiles chameleons, frogs, stick insects and snakes.
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Places of attractions in Morne Seychellois National Park
The very first glimpse of the island welcomes you with its powdery beaches, granite boulders, coral reefs and crystal clear waters. The island is a beautiful mix of beaches, caves, mountains and waterfalls. These landscapes seem to have come to life from an artist’s canvas. The dense network of rainforest is home to diverse plants and animals, many of which are rare and even endangered. A guided tour through Morne Seychellois National Park will prove to be a life-changing experience for a traveller.
The world of wonders that opens in front of you leaves your eyes wide open and at the same time you become suspicious of even touching it. Be it giant coconuts or giant turtles resting and sunbathing on the beach, you will get the real essence of nature. There are many places of attractions around the Morne Seychellois National Park.
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1. Coppola Trail
It takes at least 25 to 45 minutes to see the breath-taking views as you climb to the top of the plateau through the rainforest. Here you can have a top view of the entire Mahe island. With the forest behind you, the entire city can be seen and the view is amazing to say the least. It is advisable to start early and be fully prepared with all your trekking gear.
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2. La Misère Exotics Garden Center
The vivid array of tropical plants found in this garden is simply incredible. It is a perfect paradise for botanists and gardening enthusiasts. Once you enter the garden, you are handed a guided map for a successful self-tour. This compact and well maintained garden is also equipped with a pond full of turtles, birds and fish. Most importantly, the staff is very cooperative and hospitable towards the guests.
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3. Trois Freres Trail
Another green belt that is also easy for solo travelers to explore. The trek route is marked with small streams and granite stones and ropes have been strengthened to facilitate climbing. There is also a tea factory here for those who want to see it. The picturesque view from the top is worth the trek and sweat. The jungle is no different, but the view of the city, beach and ocean is truly refreshing and invigorating.
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Irresistible, isn’t it? You can also plan a trip to Seychelles with your partner or family to enjoy in this paradise-like island nation.
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