Weeks ahead of its official opening, the Praslin special Coco de Mer Nature Reserve, Fond Ferdinand, lifted the curtain allowing government representatives spearheaded by Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, to experience the very cusp of the reserve’s famed 122 hectares of endemic species including the largest number of the island’s unique Coco de Mer palm trees.
Situated at close to Baie St. Anne, the special reserve offers the ultimate in wildlife luxury and is the perfect place to escape to when the city life becomes a bit much. Fond Ferdinand plays home to all manner of wildlife. The most exclusive is hundreds of fruiting endemic Coco de Mer palm trees.
“860 mature female Coco de Mer trees have been surveyed in the reserve over and above the 6,000 male and juvenile trees that are scattered on the 122 hectares of land overlooking the breathtaking views of Praslin and the nearby islands,” Mr. Michel Gardette of the Nature Reserve said.
Welcoming Minister St.Ange and his delegation, Mr. Michel Gardette, the Board Director of the Ravin of Fond Ferdinand Nature Reserve, unveiled Fond Ferdinand’s extensive restoration program. Climbing to the reserve’s stunning viewpoint, the old visitors rest bay has been demolished making way for a new wooden infrastructure. Footpaths and boardwalks have been restored making a nature walk in Fond Ferdinand a unique experience.
For the past few years, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, has been closely monitoring the progress of transforming Fond Ferdinand into a high-end product for visitors to the Seychelles. Minister St.Ange said that this project brings additional value to Praslin, and it is set to entice visitors to extend their stays as more is available for them to do.
“Fond Ferdinand is an asset for Praslin, and it complements the Vallee de Mai World Herigate site. Presently, Praslin needs more interesting sites to incite visitors to come and spend on the island. Emphasis should continuously be put on diversification of products on offer for visitors to the island. The more we have things to do, the more beneficial our tourism industry will be for the Praslin community. It is important for Praslinois to tap into such new projects as it opens new opportunities for everyone on Praslin,” said Minister St.Ange.
Fond Ferdinand is offering a special rate for its soft opening. Between now and the December 31, 2012, the entrance fee is only 50 rupees for visitors and Seychellois are granted free access to the reserve. The entrance fee for visitors will increase to 100 rupees as of January 1, 2013 when the reserve will make its grand opening. Free access will remain for Seychellois.
As a symbolic gesture before departing the special Fond Ferdinand Coco de Mer Nature Reserve, Minister St.Ange planted a Coco de Mer seedling.