Today we visited the nature reserve Fond Ferdinand on Praslin and learned more about the flora and fauna of the Seychelles. In the park there are many different, sometimes even endemic, i.e. only in the Seychelles, to marvel at animal and plant species.
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The Nature Park Fond Ferdinand
Compared to the great well-known sister Vallée de Mai, the Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve, which opened in 2013, is still an insider’s tip on the island of Praslin, as significantly more tourists visit the former.
The location on the island of Praslin
The Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve is located in the south-east of Praslin and is very easy to reach by car as well as by public bus.
Opening hours, parking, entrance fees & tours
The Fond Ferdinand can only be explored via a guided tour, which is already included in the entrance fee of currently 150 SCR (about 10 EUR). So it is (unfortunately) not possible to explore the park on your own.
The guided tours take place at the following times:Monday to Friday: 9.30 a.m. / 11 a.m. / 12.30 p.m. / 1.30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 9.30 a.m. / 11.30 a.m.
The park is closed on public holidays.
Following the large island road, a gravel path on the right side of the island goes about at the height of the Anse Marie Louise in the southeast of the island. A large entrance sign shows the way here, so that you can not miss the descent. After a few meters you will reach the free parking facilities, from where you can walk directly to the small shop. This is a white building on the right, where on the one hand the entrance tickets are sold, but also certified Coco de Mer seeds. There are also toilets. Until all the tourists had gathered for our tour at 9.30 a.m., we looked at the little turtle enclosure directly at the park entrance.
Our guided tour of the nature reserve
Just in time at 9.30 a.m. our guided tour through the nature reservestarted. In total, the group consisted of about 30 people. We didn’t expect that much crowding, but probably everyone thought that the early tour wasn’t so well attended. Our guide conducted the tour in English. However, as there were also some guests from France who did not understand English, our guide always translated everything that was said into French. Accordingly, the tour, which is actually scheduled for 90 minutes, has dragged on to about 2 hours.
The way through the park
The Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve extends over an area of 122 hectares and is practically a densely overgrown jungle. If trees or leaves fall due to age or weather conditions, they will be left lying. Therefore, the reserve looks rather wild and natural. A total of 600 steps are divided into 23 stations, where there are interesting things to see and interesting things to know. We stopped briefly at almost every station so that our guide could tell us a little something.
The Coco de Mer (Seychelles Palm)
The Fond Ferdinand is best known for the famous Seychelles palm, which has become known as Coco de Mer. The palm is endemic and occurs exclusively on the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in the Seychelles.
Our guide told us that there are about 850 Coco de Mer palms in the Ferdinand Fond and of which about 800 to 900 seeds (only those that fall off) are collected each year. Since the seeds of Coco de Mer with a weight of up to 30 to 40 kg are the largest seeds of the plant kingdom and still look very interesting, they are very popular as souvenirs with tourists. Therefore, 80 of the collected seeds are sold as (certified) souvenirs and 20 are used for the re-breeding of the palm trees. It is interesting that the maturation of a seed can take up to seven years and a palm usually only produces one seed per year.
Of course, we were also allowed to touch and lift a fallen seed once – once with inner life (insanely heavy) and once without content (very light).
The flora and fauna in the park
To have a guided tour with a guide we actually found very advantageous in the Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve, as we would probably have just walked past most things without knowing what to see next to us. And so we could see many plants, small animals and spices like a cinnamon tree, vanilla plants or spiders.
The viewpoint with a fantastic panoramic view
After “tormenting” the 600 steps in hot and sweltering weather, we were rewarded at the top of the viewpoint with a fantastic panoramic view of the Baie St. Anne Bay. In addition, you can see many offshore islands such as La Digue, Sister Island, Félicité, Coco Island and Round Island. In addition, the turquoise-blue-glittering sea and the best weather – what more could you want? 🙂
A map with all the sights of Praslin Island
On the following Google MyMaps map we have mapped our hotel, the most beautiful beaches and sights on the island of Praslin.
Our travelogues from the SeychellesWhite dream beaches, crystal clear water, sun and palm trees: the Seychelles are the epitome of an island paradise. For 2 weeks we explored the main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and saw the most beautiful sights: From gorgeous beaches, fascinating nature parks to hidden photo spots, animal islanders and beautiful viewpoints. Seychelles: Things to know & Travel Tips (Mahé, Praslin & La Digue)
Seychelles: Travel Planning, Flight & Rental Car
Mahé: Things to know & places of interest
Mahé: Tropical Hideaway Apartement & Beau Vallon Beach
Mahé: Victoria – Things to do & beautiful photo spots
Mahé: The Rock Pool (Ros Sodyer) at Anse Takamaka
Mahé: Top 10 most beautiful beaches on the island
Cerf Island: Snorkeling in Sainte Anne Marine Park
Praslin: Things to know & places of interest on Praslin
Praslin: Acajou Beach Resort on the Cote d’Or Beach
Praslin: Fond Ferdinand – Coco de Mer Nature Reserve on Praslin
Praslin: Vallée de Mai – UNESCO National Park on Praslin
Praslin: Top 5 most beautiful beaches on the island of Praslin
Curieuse Island: A trip to the giant tortoises
Félicité: The luxury resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon
La Digue: Things to know & Travel Tips from the island of La Digue
La Digue: Cat Cocos Ferry & La Diguoise Guesthouse
La Digue: Crystal Water Kayaks – Transparent kayak tours on La Digue
La Digue: Anse Marron – Hike around the south coast of La Digue
La Digue: Top 10 – The most beautiful beaches on La Digue
La Digue: The resort Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie