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Vallée de Mai is government land and falls within the Praslin National Park, with associated protected area status. The Vallée has an area of 19.5ha. It extends from 150m to 310m altitude, and as is typical for the Seychelles contains slopes of 30%. It is bounded on one side by the main road used for crossing the island of Praslin, with a great deal of associated traffic.

The high canopy sometimes reaches 30-40m tall. The Vallée de Mai palm forest is dominated by the endemic Coco de Mer (Koko-d-Mer Lodoicea maldivica). The valley itself contains all of the 6 palm species endemic to the Seychelles, all belonging to monospecific genera: Lodoicea maldivica, Deckenia nobilis, Nephrosperma vanhoutteana, Phoenicophorium borsigianum, Verschaffeltia splendida, Roscheria melanochaetes. The palms grow intermixed with Pandanus hornei and broadleaf endemics dominated by Northea hornei and Dillenia ferruginea.

The forests of the Vallée de Mai area remained relatively untouched until the 1930s and still retain some patches in a near natural state. Since then some deforestation and planting of alien exotics such as fruit trees has affected the vegetation, but attempts are currently being made to remove alien species for the conservation of endemics. A few of the least invasive are currently allowed to remain, to provide interest for tour


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