Hop off the beaten track and onto one of the many Seychelles hiking tracks.
The best way to get up close to the natural Seychelles is on foot. So fill up your backpack with plenty of water, a packed lunch, snacks and sunscreen and set off for the adventure of a lifetime.
Did you know that almost 60% of the Seychelles Islands’ landmass is designated as protected nature reserve? With two UNESCO Heritage sites (Aldabra Atoll and the Vallée De Mai) and many pockets of untouched and unspoilt scenic spots. Visitors are treated to one on one nature experiences minus the great bus loads of tourists pounding down the tracks beside you.
Perhaps the best part of these hikes is the solitude and in fact most of the time you will rarely come across others on these trails giving you a real feeling of Robinson-Crusoe style isolation.
For descriptions of the different tours, you can visit the Seychelles National Park Authority’s office at Orion Mall in Victoria. They have detailed explanations of the landscape, flora, and fauna that you will encounter.
Give yourself plenty of time to stop along the paths to inspect the incredible nature, weird and wonderful bugs and maybe even spot the worlds smallest frog at just 1cm he’ll be hard to find but has a surprisingly loud call that may give away his location.
Along the way observe incredible flora and fauna such as the carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher plant that traps and eats insects, wild pineapples and other unusual fruits, spices such as cinnamon and vanilla. There are also magnificent granitic rock formations, stunning waterfalls, several historic ruins and caves all waiting to be discovered.
The most popular of the hiking trails would have to be Le Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé Island – the most famous and largest of the Nature reserves in Seychelles it has been a protected National Park since 1979. With an extensive trail network covering more than 15km, it boasts the highest point of the archipelago at 905 meters – at its summit take in great big bucket full of the cleanest purest air in the world, along with lashings of sunshine, beautiful tropical forest teaming with some of the rarest endemic plants and birds on earth and you have got yourself a recipe for the most unforgettable nature experiences.
On Praslin Island the UNESCO heritage site the Vallée de Mer is where you will find the iconic Coco De Mer tree growing in its natural habitat. There are numerous trails winding in and out through the dense tropical forest, which remains virtually untouched. The shortest trail is about 1km and the longest is 2km – all are clearly marked and easy going.
Exploring the Seychelles Nature Reserves is completely safe so have no fear of some wild eyed beastie rushing out of the forest at you. Aside from perhaps bumping into the locally named “Tang” (Tenrec)– a small rodent like creature – that looks like a cross between a tailless fat rat and a hedgehog. This cute little fellow shuffles along on his way sniffing out bugs and grubs and wont bother you at all.
You can expect to see a wide variety of endemic wildlife, untouched scenic beauty with panoramic views and many of the trails lead to secluded waterholes and deserted beaches.
The Hiking trails vary from easy to moderate difficulty so beware that some of these trails are deceptive, they start off gentle and meandering and get progressively more and more intense. But if reaching the summit with breath taking panoramic views is not a reward in itself – content yourself with the thought of the refreshing Takamaka Rum Cocktail awaiting your decent – go on you earned it – quench your thirst and complete a fantastic day with a fantastic taste sensation!
Just the promise of a Takamaka Rum Cocktail will have you hurtling back down that track double time!
List Walks & Trails:
- Mission Lodge
- Glacis Trois Frères
- Dans Gallas
- Mare Aux Cochons
- Anse Major
- Morne Blanc
- Casse Dent
- Salazie – Fairview
- Anse Capucins
- Vallée de Mai
- Glacis Noire
- Salazie and Pasquière Track
- Nid d’Aigle
- Southern Circuit – Grand Anse to Anse Source d’Argent