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Up and down in Seychelles

Hiking has become one of my favourite pastimes. Granted, I am always half cranky on my way down, but I find that hiking is perfect for killing two birds with one stone. I get to work out and enjoy the scenic route. The fresh air is an added boon.

Mahe, the main island in Seychelles has stunning vistas, which one can get a better view of when hiking. There are numerous hiking trails to choose from depending on the level of exertion one is willing to put in. Stunning panoramic views at the end of each is more than enough reward.

Smiling at the peak, though the journey up was anything, but smile inducing.

I had to choose between scaling Mont Blanc, following the Copolia trail to the Copolia peak, or chasing waterfalls at Cascade waterfalls.

Morne Blanc is harder to summit than Copolia, so I settled on the latter.

The trail is just a short distance from Mahe town and is clearly marked, with chairs placed at the start which is also the finish of the trail. It is an enjoyable one hour trek to the top.

The hike starts off easy with minimal climbing, while the dappled sunlight filtering through the trees giving it a magical ambience. The trail goes through Morne Seychelois park, a protected area in the park.

“Seychelles is big on conservation tourism. We all recognize that the environment is a fragile ecosystem that we as humans depend on.

That is why we are big on protecting the environment. It is illegal to cut down any tree in the park,” Allen my informative guide tells me.

I really liked the trail as it had clear markers with how much distance was left to the peak. I am that person who always wants to know how much distance I have covered and how much distance I have to go. I like control, and sort of being able to know exactly where I am and how long anything is going to last.

Pitcher plants found at the peak.

On our way up, we spotted many plants endemic and indigenous to Seychelles such as the Latannyen lat, a palm tree, which has visible roots above ground. The hike soon became steeper, with the final few metres being so steep that I had to crawl up.

The peak is beautiful, as it is made up of numerous granite boulders. Pitcher plants, a carnivorous plant that largely feeds on insects can also be found at the peak. One can have unrestricted views of Eden island, a man-made island built entirely from reclaimed land as well as the nearby islands. There is an amazing 360 degree view that encompasses the turquoise waters and the green of the park that words alone cannot fully describe.

After an almost reverent 30 minutes at the top, we started our descent after which I was more than happy to sit on the seats already provided at the beginning and now finish of the trail. I felt lucky to have experienced both the beautiful beaches as well as the rugged hiking terrain that Seychelles has to offer. Why don’t you try a spot of hiking next time you are in Mahe?

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