The tranquil island of Praslin is the second biggest island in Seychelles. However, it only has a fraction of the population of the other islands with just 7,500 people living there. Less developed than neighbouring Mahe, Praslin is still big enough to explore when you are taking some shore leave.
The island is nothing short of beautiful. A tangled velvet jungle leads to curvaceous hills which plunge down into turquoise waters. Palm trees edge the lengthy stretches of soft sandy beach. Stylish buildings adorn the friendly towns. It really is a dream holiday destination.
It was named Isle de Palmes by the explorer Lazare Picault who discovered Praslin, in 1744. At the time, it provided a hideaway for pirates and Arab merchants. In 1768 the island was renamed Praslin after the French diplomat César Gabriel de Choiseul, Duc de Praslin.
There are two administrative districts which are also the main towns: Baie Sainte Anne and Grand’ Anse. There are three official languages spoken in the islands: Seychellois Creole, English and French. Most of the locals speak in Creole, which is an island version of French. Praslin has its own small airport with flights to Mahe. It is also the only island where you can enjoy an 18 hole round of golf on a championship course.
Seychelles flora and Fauna
The tropical forests have an abundant array of flora and fauna. Some of the bird species are endemic to Seychelles such as the Bulbul and the Black Parrot. The Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve houses the unique Coco de Mer (Double coconut) and Vanilla Orchid plants. When he visited Praslin, General Charles George Gordon of Khartoum (1833-1885) became convinced that the Vallée de Mai was the Biblical “Garden of Eden”.
Praslin is an excellent base for day trips to the neighbouring islands. Cousine Island is worth visiting to see the fantastic seabirds. You can explore the hills and mangroves and meet giant tortoises on Curieuse. St Pierre, like most of the islands in the Seychelles, is famous for having superb dive sites.