Hike Through Glacis noir trail in Praslin Island, Seychelles

Seychelles islands, located around a thousand miles off the coast of Kenya in the Indian ocean, are unique as they are the only oceanic granitic islands in the world.  Most of the islands that exist today in Seychelles are approximately 70 million year old mountain tops, formed due to the sinking of Seychelles plateau. With around 40 mountainous granitic islands, including the much visited Mahe, Praslin and La Digue islands, Seychelles offers its visitors many opportunities to embark on various trails.

We chose to experience the Glacis noir trail in Praslin Islands that promised a chance to admire  stunning vistas from the top. The trail is a great way to experience the varied flora and fauna present at Praslin Islands. The trail takes you through a part of native palm forest and gives you a glimpse of coco-de-mer, the world's heaviest seed. 

Initially, the trail led us through a broad path that was an easy walk till we reached a small place that can be used to rest or enjoy a quiet picnic.

From here the vegetation thickened and we had to maneuver through a narrow path till we reached the first view point that rewarded us with excellent views.

On our walk, we kept our ears tuned for calls of black parrot, a bird endemic to Praslin islands and saw many. After 45 minutes climb, we reached the view point on the top of a hill that also had a lookout tower.

We enjoyed a good view of La Digue islands along with few other islands from here. Having read a few reports, we avoided climbing the tower so do check with about its present condition before you embark on the trail. 

The trail gets difficult after the view point and is avoidable.

How Do I Get Here:

From the Vallee de Mai car park, walk towards the bus stop. On the opposite side look out for the Glacis noir trail sign and a path that has a chain across it. This is your starting point.

How Much Do I Pay:

The trail is free for all.

How Much Time Does It Take:

The trail takes approximately one hour to reach the view point but we took 45 minutes at moderate speed.

Pro Tip:

Though the trail is easy, watch out for slippery mud during monsoons. The trail has no facilities but emergency contact numbers are printed on the sign board at the start of the trail, we recommend you take a picture or memorize the numbers. The phone reception is weak at certain points. Do carry enough water, refreshments and a good mosquito spray.