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Morne Seychellois National Park

Mahe Island, Seychelles

The Morne Seychellois National Park is situated on the island of Mahe, the largest island of the Seychelles archipelago. Morne Seychellois covers an area of approximately 3,045 hectares, more than 20% of Mahe and made up of a mixture of mangroves, lush tropical jungles, and tall mountains.

The national park covers roughly 20% of the total area of Mahé. The park is named after its highest point – Morne Seychellois – that reaches a height of 905 meters above sea level. Travellers can take hiking tours through the park.

The role of the National Park defined by the act of 1979, is to protect the already fragile ecosystem by minimizing the effect of human disturbances. Morne Seychelles is home to a vast amount of indigenous flora and fauna, twelve endemic land birds of the granitic, seven of which are to be found on Mahe. These include the Seychelles Scops-owl, one of the most elusive species of all.

The Seychelles Kestrel, Blue Pigeon and Sunbird are common sights in the park, which makes it perfect for bird lovers. You will always be able to spot the endemic Bulbul, the Pitcher plant and have interesting encounters with the Seychelles wolf snake.

The park is home to some of the most rewarding hikes on the island. For experienced hikers, a tour to the top of the highest mountain, the 905-meter Morne Seychellois (3,000 ft), certainly cannot be topped and promises sensational views. The starting point is a path below the plantation on Sans Souci road. The main trails involve, Copolia, Morn Blanc and Casse Dent.

Morne Seychellois is one of the last places where relics from the 20th century can also be seen. These cultural sites where originally used for the exploitation of Cinnamon and coffee. These ruins of old distilleries and houses is the last link that the population has with its past agricultural life before turning to a tourist destination. To allow visitors to explore the vast and spectacular Morne Seychellois National Park, a number of official trails exist.

Anse Major was once important for the production of cultivated vanilla, cinnamon oil, copra, citrus fruit, and patchouli (from which essential oil is extracted for use in perfumes). Produce was transported mainly by local wooden pirogue boats but a good path was also built from Danzil to Anse Major during the 19th century. It is reputed to have been possible to ride a bicycle along with it at one time.

Choked in thick forest, the enigmatic central part of the park is virtually deserted and can only be reached by walking trails; the trailheads are mostly accessible by road. Up here, you don't have to go very far before the outside world starts to feel a long, long way away.

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