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Seychelles travel – Lonely Planet

Splendid Beaches

Mother Nature was very generous with these 115 islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, and has spoiled them rotten. Undeniably, the beaches are the big attraction, and what beaches: exquisite ribbons of pearlescent sand lapped by topaz waters and backed by lush hills and big glacis boulders. And hardly a soul in sight. Choosing your favourite beach is like trying to pick a flavour of ice cream they’re all so good! Hot favourites include world-famous Anse Source d’Argent, secluded Anse Marron, sexy Anse Takamaka and picture-postcard perfect Anse Lazio.

Diving and snorkelling are the most popular activities in the Seychelles, and rightly so. Healthy reefs, canyon-like terrain, shallow shelves, exciting shipwrecks, impressive granite outcrops and splendid coral gardens give divers and snorkellers almost instant access to a variety of environments. The water is warm and clear, and teeming with life from the tiniest juvenile tropical to the largest pelagic creature, including whale sharks. Whether you’re an experienced diver or slapping on fins for the first time, there are sites for all levels. And you’ll be welcomed by qualified, multilingual instructors in state-of-the-art dive centres.

White-sand beaches, secluded coves, coral-coloured sunsets, swish hotels, slick restaurants, hushed spas. With such a dreamlike setting, it’s not surprising that honeymooners and those seeking a glamorous tropical getaway have long had the Seychelles at the top of their wish lists. You too can live the high life at one of the country’s star-spangled hotspots, provided you have the cash. If youre not a millionaire, fear not. This paradise is more affordable than you think. On top of ultraluxurious options, the Seychelles has plenty of self-catering facilities and family-run guesthouses that are easier on the wallet and offer local colour.

Charge your camera batteries, people the Seychelles is not dubbed ‘The Galpagos of the Indian Ocean’ for nothing. Watching sea turtles nesting on Bird Island’s sandy beaches or giant Aldabra tortoises roaming freely on Curieuse is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. If you’re hoping to spot sooty terns, tropicbirds, warblers and magpie robins in their natural habitats, the bird sanctuaries of Aride, Cousin, and Bird Islands should figure heavily in your planning. And Praslin’s Valle de Mai is a slice of Eden where you can see the very rare coco de mer palms in their natural state.

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Seychelles travel – Lonely Planet

Seychelles Spa – Palmetto, Fl : Spa

Welcome To Seychelles Day Spa in Palmetto

We invite you to step into a tranquil oasis dedicated to your personal well-being. We offer specialty spa treatments for your face, body, hands, feet and hair, catering to both male and female guests.

Seychelles is a day spa like no other in Palmetto FL. Take your time and explore this great website to help you learn about us and discover the all the spa experiences we offer ( Hair Design, Facial Specialties, Massage Therapies, Nail Treatments, Special Occasions).We have selected a team of experts to help you customize ideal programs for you so you can look and feel your best.

Visit us for an hour or a day as we invite you to unwind in an island influenced environment Seychelles is a place that will leave you feeling truly relaxed, revitalized and refreshed.

To reserve a consultation or should you have additional questions feel free to contact us Spa@SeychellesSpa.com

Pampering Hours:

Tuesdays & Thursdays:9am – 7pm Wednesdays:9am – 4pm Fridays:9am – 5pm Saturdays: 9am – 4pmClosed Monday and SundayAfter hours by appointment

Gift certificates are always available online or in Spa.

Continued here:

Seychelles Spa – Palmetto, Fl : Spa

Seychelles | Culture, History, & People | Britannica.com

Seychelles, island republic in the western Indian Ocean, comprising about 115 islands, with lush tropical vegetation, beautiful beaches, and a wide variety of marine life. Situated between latitudes 4 and 11 S and longitudes 46 and 56 E, the major islands of Seychelles are located about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) east of Kenya and about 700 miles (1,100 km) northeast of Madagascar. The capital, Victoria, is situated on the island of Mah.

Seychelles, one of the worlds smallest countries, is composed of two main island groups: the Mah group of more than 40 central, mountainous granitic islands and a second group of more than 70 outer, flat, coralline islands. The islands of the Mah group are rocky and typically have a narrow coastal strip and a central range of hills. The overall aspect of those islands, with their lush tropical vegetation, is that of high hanging gardens overlooking silver-white beaches and clear lagoons. The highest point in Seychelles, Morne Seychellois (2,969 feet [905 metres]), situated on Mah, is located within this mountainous island group. The coralline islands, rising only a few feet above sea level, are flat with elevated coral reefs at different stages of formation. These islands are largely waterless, and very few have a resident population.

The climate is tropical oceanic, with little temperature variation during the year. Daily temperatures rise to the mid-80s F (low 30s C) in the afternoon and fall to the low 70s F (low 20s C) at night. Precipitation levels vary greatly from island to island; on Mah, annual precipitation ranges from 90 inches (2,300 mm) at sea level to 140 inches (3,560 mm) on the mountain slopes. Humidity is persistently high but is ameliorated somewhat in locations windward of the prevailing southeast trade winds.

Of the roughly 200 plant species found in Seychelles, some 80 are unique to the islands, including screw pines (see pandanus), several varieties of jellyfish trees, latanier palms, the bois rouge, the bois de fer, Wrights gardenia, and the most famous, the coco de mer. The coco de merwhich is found on only two islandsproduces a fruit that is one of the largest and heaviest known and is valued by a number of Asian cultures for believed aphrodisiac, medicinal, mystic, and other properties. The Seychellois government closely monitors the quantity and status of the trees, and, although commerce is regulated to prevent overharvesting, poaching is a concern.

Wildlife includes a remarkably diverse array of marine life, including more than 900 identified species of fish; green sea turtles and giant tortoises also inhabit the islands. Endemic species include birds such as Seychelles bulbuls and cave-dwelling Seychelles swiftlets; several species of local tree frogs, snails, and wormlike caecilians; Seychelles wolf snakes and house snakes; tiger chameleons; and others. Endemic mammals are few; both fruit bats (Pteropus seychellensis) and Seychelles sheath-tailed bats (Coleura seychellensis) are endemic to the islands. Indian mynahs, barn owls, and tenrecs (small shrewlike or hedgehoglike mammals introduced from Madagascar) are also found.

Considerable efforts have been made to preserve the islands marked biodiversity. Seychelles government has established several nature preserves and marine parks, including the Aldabra Islands and Valle de Mai National Park, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Aldabra Islands, a large atoll, are the site of a preserve inhabited by tens of thousands of giant tortoises, the worlds oldest living creatures, which government conservation efforts have helped rescue from the brink of extinction. Valle de Mai National Park is the only place where all six of the palm species endemic to Seychelles, including the coco de mer, may be found together. Cousin Island is home to a sanctuary for land birds, many endemic to the islands, including the Seychelles sunbird (a type of hummingbird) and the Seychelles brush warbler. The nearby Cousine Island is part private resort and part nature preserve, noted for its sea turtles, giant tortoises, and assorted land birds. Bird Island is the breeding ground for millions of terns, turtle doves, shearwaters, frigate birds, and other seabirds that flock there each year.

The original French colonists on the previously uninhabited islands, along with their black slaves, were joined in the 19th century by deportees from France. Asians from China, India, and Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) arrived later in smaller numbers. Widespread intermarriage has resulted in a population of mixed descent.

Creole, also called Seselwa, is the mother tongue of most Seychellois. Under the constitution, Creole, English, and French are recognized as national languages.

More than three-fourths of the population are Roman Catholics. There are also Anglicans, Christians of other denominations, Hindus, and Muslims.

More than four-fifths of the population lives on Mah, many in the capital city, Victoria. The birth and death rates, as well as the annual population growth rate, are below the global average. Some one-fifth of the population is younger than age 15, and an additional one-sixth is under age 30. Life expectancy for both men and women is significantly higher than the global average.

Seychelles has a mixed developing economy that is heavily dependent upon the service sector in general and the tourism industry in particular. Despite continued visible trade deficits, the economy has experienced steady growth. The gross domestic product (GDP) is growing more rapidly than the population. The gross national income (GNI) per capita is significantly higher than those found in most nearby continental African countries.

Agriculture accounts for only a fraction of the GDP and employs an equally modest proportion of the workforce. Arable land is limited and the soil is generally poorand the country remains dependent upon imported foodstuffsbut copra (from coconuts), cinnamon bark, vanilla, tea, limes, and essential oils are exported. Seychelles has a modern fishing industry that supplies both domestic and foreign markets; canned tuna is a particularly important product. The extraction of guano for export is also an established economic activity.

The countrys growing manufacturing sectorwhich has expanded to account for almost one-sixth of the total GDPis composed largely of food-processing plants; production of alcoholic beverages and of soft drinks is particularly significant. Animal feed, paint, and other goods are also produced.

Seychelles sizable trade deficit is offset by income from the tourism industry and from aid and investment. Although the countrys relative prosperity has not made it a preferred aid recipient, it does receive assistance from the World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and a variety of contributing countries, and aid obtained per capita is relatively high. The Central Bank of Seychelles, located in Victoria, issues the official currency, the Seychelles rupee.

Seychelles main imports are petroleum products, machinery, and foodstuffs. Canned tuna, copra, frozen fish, and cinnamon are the most important exports, together with the reexport of petroleum products. Significant trade partners include France, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Italy.

The service sector accounts for nearly four-fifths of the GDP and employs the largest proportion of the workforce, almost three-fourths of all labourers. After the opening of an international airport on Mah in 1971, the tourism industry grew rapidly, and at the beginning of the 21st century it provided almost one-fourth of the total GDP. Each year Seychelles draws thousands of tourists, many attracted by the islands magnificent venues for scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, fishing, swimming, and sunbathing. The warm southeasterly trade winds offer ideal conditions for sailing, and the waters around Mah and the other islands are afloat with small boats.

The majority of Seychelles roadways are paved, most of which are on the islands of Mah and Praslin; there are no railroads. Ferry services operate between the islandsfor example, linking Victoria with destinations that include Praslin and La Digue. Air service is centred on Seychelles International Airport, located near Victoria on Mah, and the smaller airports and airstrips found on several islands. Seychelles has air connections with a number of foreign cities and direct flights to major centres that include London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, and Bangkok. Scheduled domestic flights, provided by Air Seychelles, chiefly offer service between Mah and Praslin, although chartered flights elsewhere are also available. The tsunami that reached Seychelles in 2004 damaged portions of the transportation infrastructure, including the road linking Victoria with the international airport.

Telecommunications infrastructure in Seychelles is quite developed. The country has a high rate of cellular telephone useamong the highest in sub-Saharan Africaand, at the beginning of the 21st century, the use of personal computers in Seychelles was several times the average for the region.

Under the 1993 constitution, since amended, Seychelles is a republic. The head of state and government is the president, who is directly elected by popular vote and may hold office for up to two consecutive five-year terms. Members of the National Assembly serve five-year terms. A majority of the available National Assembly seats are filled by direct election; a smaller portion are distributed on a proportional basis to those parties that win a minimum of one-tenth of the vote. The president appoints a Council of Ministers, which acts as an advisory body. The country is divided into 25 administrative divisions.

The Seychellois judiciary includes a Court of Appeal, a Supreme Court, and Magistrates Courts; the Constitutional Court is a branch of the Supreme Court.

Suffrage is universal; Seychellois are eligible to vote at age 17. Women participate actively in the government of the country and have held numerous posts, including positions in the cabinet and a proportion of seats in the National Assembly.

The Peoples Party (formerly the Seychelles Peoples Progressive Front) was the sole legal party from 1978 until 1991. It is still the countrys primary political party, but other parties are also active in Seychellois politics, including the New Democratic Party (formerly the Seychelles Democratic Party), the Seychelles National Party, and the Seychelles Movement for Democracy.

Seychelles defense forces are made up of an army, a coast guard (including naval and airborne wings), and a national guard. There is no conscription; military service is voluntary, and individuals are generally eligible at age 18 (although younger individuals may serve with parental consent).

In general, homes play a highly visible part in maintaining traditional Seychellois life. Many old colonial houses are well preserved, although corrugated iron roofs have generally replaced the indigenous palm thatch. Groups tend to gather on the verandahs of their houses, which are generally recognized as social centres.

The basis of the school system is a free, compulsory, 10-year public school education. Education standards have risen steadily, and nearly all children of primary-school age attend school. The countrys first university, the University of Seychelles, began accepting students in 2009. The literacy rate in Seychelles is significantly higher than the regional and global averages for both men and women.

Seychellois culture has been shaped by a combination of European, African, and Asian influences. The main European influence is French, recognizable in Seselwa, the Creole language that is the lingua franca of the islands, and in Seychellois food and religion; the French introduced Roman Catholicism, the religion of the majority of the islanders. African influence is revealed in local music and dance as well as in Seselwa. Asian elements are evident in the islands cuisine but are particularly dominant in business and trade.

Holidays observed in Seychelles include Liberation Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the 1977 coup, on June 5; National Day, June 18; Independence Day, June 29; the Feast of the Assumption, August 15; All Saints Day, November 1; the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8; and Christmas, December 25.

Because of the exorbitant expense of the large and lavish wedding receptions that are part of Seychellois tradition, many couples never marry; instead, they may choose to live en mnage, achieving a de facto union by cohabitating without marriage. There is little or no social stigma related to living en mnage, and the arrangement is recognized by the couples family and friends. The instance of couples living en mnage increases particularly among lower income groups.

Dance plays an important role in Seychellois society. Both the sga and the moutya, two of the most famous dances performed in Seychelles, mirror traditional African customs. The sensual dances blend religion and social relations, two elements central to African life. The complicated and compelling dance movements were traditionally carried out under moonlight to the beat of African drums. Dances were once regular events in village halls, but these have largely died out in recent years; now dances take place in modern nightclubs.

Seychellois enjoy participating in and watching several team sports. The national stadium, located in Victoria, offers a year-round program of events. Mens and womens volleyball are popular, and several Seychellois players and referees participate at the international level. Football (soccer) is also a favourite, and Seychellois teams frequently travel to East Africa and India to play in exhibition matches and tournaments. The Seychelles national Olympic committee was established in 1979 and was recognized that year by the International Olympic Committee. The country made its official Olympic debut at the 1980 Moscow Games, but its first Olympic athlete was Henri Dauban de Silhouette, who competed for Great Britain in the javelin throw at the 1924 Paris Games.

Much of the countrys radio, television, and print media is under government control. There are several independent publications, including Seychelles Weekly and Vizyon.

The islands were known by traders from the Persian Gulf centuries ago, but the first recorded landing on the uninhabited Seychelles was made in 1609 by an expedition of the British East India Company. The archipelago was explored by the Frenchman Lazare Picault in 1742 and 1744 and was formally annexed to France in 1756. The archipelago was named Schelles, later changed by the British to Seychelles. War between France and Britain led to the surrender of the archipelago to the British in 1810, and it was formally ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1814. The abolition of slavery in the 1830s deprived the islands European colonists of their labour force and compelled them to switch from raising cotton and grains to cultivating less-labour-intensive crops such as coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon. In 1903 Seychellesuntil that time administered as a dependency of Mauritiusbecame a separate British crown colony. A Legislative Council with elected members was introduced in 1948.

In 1963 the United States leased an area on the main island, Mah, and built an air force satellite tracking station there; this brought regular air travel to Seychelles for the first time, in the form of a weekly seaplane shuttle that operated from Mombasa, Kenya.

In 1970 Seychelles obtained a new constitution, universal adult suffrage, and a governing council with an elected majority. Self-government was granted in 1975 and independence in 1976, within the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1975 a coalition government was formed with James R. Mancham as president and France-Albert Ren as prime minister. In 1977, while Mancham was abroad, Ren became president in a coup dtat led by the Seychelles Peoples United Party (later restyled the Seychelles Peoples Progressive Front [SPPF], from 2009 the Peoples Party [Parti Lepep]).

In 1979 a new constitution transformed Seychelles into a one-party socialist state, with Rens SPPF designated the only legal party. This change was not popular with many Seychellois, and during the 1980s there were several coup attempts. Faced with mounting pressure from the countrys primary sources of foreign aid, Rens administration began moving toward more democratic rule in the early 1990s, with the return of multiparty politics and the promulgation of a new constitution. The country also gradually abandoned its socialist economy and began to follow market-based economic strategies by privatizing most parastatal companies, encouraging foreign investment, and focusing efforts on marketing Seychelles as an offshore business and financial hub. As Seychelles entered the 21st century, the SPPF continued to dominate the political scene. After the return of multiparty elections, Ren was reelected three times before eventually resigning in April 2004 to allow Vice Pres. James Michel to succeed him as president.

In late 2004 some of the islands were hit by a tsunami, which severely damaged the environment and the countrys economy. The economy was an important topic in the campaigning leading up to the presidential election of 2006, in which Michel emerged with a narrow victory to win his first elected term. He was reelected in 2011. One of Michels ongoing concerns was piracy in the Indian Ocean, which had surged since 2009 and threatened the countrys fishing and tourism industries. To that end, the Seychellois government worked with several other countries and international organizations to curb the illegal activity.

In October 2015 Michel called for an early presidential election, rather than wait until it was due in 2016. Michel was standing for his third term, again representing the Peoples Party. The election was held December 35, 2015. For the first time since the return of multiparty politics in 1993, the Peoples Partys candidate did not win outright in the first round of voting. Michel garnered 47.76 percent of the vote; his nearest challenger was Wavel Ramkalawan of the Seychelles National Party (SNP), who took 33.93 percent. Ramkalawan was an Anglican priest who was the leader of the SNP and had run for president in previous elections. The runoff election was held December 1618. On December 19 Michel was declared the winner by a very narrow margin, taking 50.15 percent of the vote, with only 193 votes between him and Ramkalawan. Michel was quickly sworn in the next day for his third term. Ramkalawan voiced allegations of voting irregularities and filed two petitions with the Constitutional Court with the goal of having the election results nullified: one claiming that neither candidate had received an absolute majority of the votes cast and another alleging that voting irregularities and electoral noncompliance had occurred. In May 2016 the court dismissed both petitions and upheld Michels victory but did note that there had been instances of voting irregularities and noncompliance with electoral laws.

In April 2016 the constitution was amended to change the number of consecutive terms that a president could serve. The number of terms was reduced from three to two.

Legislative elections were held September 810, 2016. For the first time since independence, the Peoples Party did not take a majority of the legislative seats. Instead, a coalition of opposition parties took control of the National Assembly, winning 15 of the 25 directly elected seats and receiving 4 of the 8 proportional representation seats while the Peoples Party won and received the rest of the directly elected and proportional representation seats. The new legislators were sworn in on September 27, 2016. Later that day Michel announced that he would step down as president, citing the need for new leadership. He formally resigned on October 16, and vice president Danny Faure was sworn in as president to complete the rest of Michels term.

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Seychelles | Culture, History, & People | Britannica.com

Seychelles travel – Lonely Planet

Splendid Beaches

Mother Nature was very generous with these 115 islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, and has spoiled them rotten. Undeniably, the beaches are the big attraction, and what beaches: exquisite ribbons of pearlescent sand lapped by topaz waters and backed by lush hills and big glacis boulders. And hardly a soul in sight. Choosing your favourite beach is like trying to pick a flavour of ice cream they’re all so good! Hot favourites include world-famous Anse Source d’Argent, secluded Anse Marron, sexy Anse Takamaka and picture-postcard perfect Anse Lazio.

Diving and snorkelling are the most popular activities in the Seychelles, and rightly so. Healthy reefs, canyon-like terrain, shallow shelves, exciting shipwrecks, impressive granite outcrops and splendid coral gardens give divers and snorkellers almost instant access to a variety of environments. The water is warm and clear, and teeming with life from the tiniest juvenile tropical to the largest pelagic creature, including whale sharks. Whether you’re an experienced diver or slapping on fins for the first time, there are sites for all levels. And you’ll be welcomed by qualified, multilingual instructors in state-of-the-art dive centres.

White-sand beaches, secluded coves, coral-coloured sunsets, swish hotels, slick restaurants, hushed spas. With such a dreamlike setting, it’s not surprising that honeymooners and those seeking a glamorous tropical getaway have long had the Seychelles at the top of their wish lists. You too can live the high life at one of the country’s star-spangled hotspots, provided you have the cash. If youre not a millionaire, fear not. This paradise is more affordable than you think. On top of ultraluxurious options, the Seychelles has plenty of self-catering facilities and family-run guesthouses that are easier on the wallet and offer local colour.

Charge your camera batteries, people the Seychelles is not dubbed ‘The Galpagos of the Indian Ocean’ for nothing. Watching sea turtles nesting on Bird Island’s sandy beaches or giant Aldabra tortoises roaming freely on Curieuse is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. If you’re hoping to spot sooty terns, tropicbirds, warblers and magpie robins in their natural habitats, the bird sanctuaries of Aride, Cousin, and Bird Islands should figure heavily in your planning. And Praslin’s Valle de Mai is a slice of Eden where you can see the very rare coco de mer palms in their natural state.

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Continued here:

Seychelles travel – Lonely Planet

Seychelles Spa – Palmetto, Fl : Spa

Welcome To Seychelles Day Spa in Palmetto

We invite you to step into a tranquil oasis dedicated to your personal well-being. We offer specialty spa treatments for your face, body, hands, feet and hair, catering to both male and female guests.

Seychelles is a day spa like no other in Palmetto FL. Take your time and explore this great website to help you learn about us and discover the all the spa experiences we offer ( Hair Design, Facial Specialties, Massage Therapies, Nail Treatments, Special Occasions).We have selected a team of experts to help you customize ideal programs for you so you can look and feel your best.

Visit us for an hour or a day as we invite you to unwind in an island influenced environment Seychelles is a place that will leave you feeling truly relaxed, revitalized and refreshed.

To reserve a consultation or should you have additional questions feel free to contact us Spa@SeychellesSpa.com

Pampering Hours:

Tuesdays & Thursdays:9am – 7pm Wednesdays:9am – 4pm Fridays:9am – 5pm Saturdays: 9am – 4pmClosed Monday and SundayAfter hours by appointment

Gift certificates are always available online or in Spa.

See more here:

Seychelles Spa – Palmetto, Fl : Spa

Seychelles Map / Geography of Seychelles / Map of Seychelles …

The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar.

Pre-European colonization the islands were known by Arab navigators on trading voyages, but were never inhabited.

Eventually Seychelles was settled by France in the 18th century, but it wasn’t long before the British fought for control. A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter.

Although the new governor to the islands was British, he governed according to French rules, and allowed previous French customs to remain intact. Slavery was completely abolished in 1835, and the island nation subsequently began to decline as exportation decreased.

The anti-slavery stance was taken very seriously by the British government, and conditions started improving when it was realized that coconuts could be grown with less labour.

In the late 19th century, Seychelles became a place to exile troublesome political prisoners, most notably from Zanzibar, Egypt, Cyprus and Palestine.

Independence for the islands came in 1976, after the Seychelles People’s United Party was formed and led by France-Albert Rene, campaigning for socialism and freedom from Britain.

Socialism was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert Rene, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004.

Vice President James Michel took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term.

Upon independence in 1976, economic growth has steadily increased, led by the tourism sector and tuna fishing. In the past few years, the government has also created incentives for foreign investments. Per capita, Seychelles is the most indebted country in the world and currently had a population of 90,024.

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Seychelles Map / Geography of Seychelles / Map of Seychelles …

Seychelles – Wikipedia

Coordinates: 435S 5540E / 4.583S 55.667E / -4.583; 55.667

Seychelles ((listen) say-SHELZ; French: [sel]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: Rpublique des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelago and sovereign state in the Indian Ocean. The 115-island country, whose capital is Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932mi) east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte (region of France), Madagascar, Runion (region of France) and Mauritius to the south. With a population of roughly 94,228, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country; however, it does have a larger population than the British overseas territory Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.[5]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. After proclamation of independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, Seychelles has developed from a largely agricultural society to a market-based diversified economy, with agriculture being supplanted by rapidly rising service and public sectors as well as tourism. Since 1976, nominal GDP output has increased nearly sevenfold and the purchasing power parity nearly sixteenfold. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade these sectors. Today, Seychelles boasts the highest nominal per capita GDP in Africa, excluding the French regions. It is one of only a handful of countries in Africa with a high Human Development Index. Despite the country’s newfound economic prosperity, poverty remains widespread due to a high level of income inequality, one of the highest in the world, and unequal wealth distribution.[6]

The Seychelles were uninhabited throughout most of recorded history. Some scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. This assumption is based on the discovery of tombs, visible until 1910.[7] The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral). The earliest recorded landing was in January 1609, by the crew of the “Ascension” under Captain Alexander Sharpeigh during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid on Mah by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Schelles, Louis XV’s Minister of Finance.[8]

The British controlled the islands between 1794 and 1810. Jean Baptiste Quau de Quincy, French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.

Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970.

Independence was granted in 1976 as a republic within the Commonwealth.[9] In the 1970s Seychelles was “the place to be seen, a playground for film stars and the international jet set”.[10] In 1977, a coup d’tat by France Albert Ren ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham.[11] Ren discouraged over-dependence on tourism and declared that he wanted “to keep the Seychelles for the Seychellois”.[10]

The 1979 constitution declared a socialist one-party state, which lasted until 1991.

In the 1980s there were a series of coup attempts against President Ren, some of which were supported by South Africa. In 1981, Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries masquerading as holidaying rugby players in the 1981 Seychelles coup d’tat attempt.[10] There was a gun battle at the airport, and most of the mercenaries later escaped in a hijacked Air India plane.[10] The leader of this hijacking was German mercenary D. Clodo, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS.[12] Clodo later stood trial in South Africa (where he was acquitted) as well as in his home country Germany for air-piracy.[13]

In 1986, an attempted coup led by the Seychelles Minister of Defence, Ogilvy Berlouis, caused President Ren to request assistance from India. In Operation Flowers are Blooming, the Indian naval vessel INS Vindhyagiri arrived in Port Victoria to help avert the coup.[14]

The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the requisite 60% of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.

In January 2013, Seychelles declared a state of emergency; the tropical cyclone Felleng caused torrential rain, and flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses.[15][16]

The Seychelles president, who is head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The cabinet is presided over and appointed by the president, subject to the approval of a majority of the legislature.

The unicameral Seychellois parliament, the National Assembly or Assemble Nationale, consists of 34 members, 25 of whom are elected directly by popular vote, while the remaining nine seats are appointed proportionally according to the percentage of votes received by each party. All members serve five-year terms.

The Supreme Court of Seychelles, created in 1903, is the highest trial court in Seychelles and the first court of appeal from all the lower courts and tribunals. The highest court of law in Seychelles is the Seychelles Court of Appeal, which is the court of final appeal in the country.[17]

Seychelles’s previous president France Albert Ren came to power after his supporters overthrew the first president James Mancham on 5 June 1977 in a coup d’tat and installed him as president. Ren was at that time the prime minister.[18][19][20] Ren ruled as a strongman under a socialist one-party system until in 1993, when he was forced to introduce a multi-party system. He stepped down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, who was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2011.[18][19][20] On 28 September 2016, the Office of the President announced that Michel would step down effective 16 October, and that Vice President Danny Faure would complete the rest of Michel’s term.[21]

The primary political parties are the ruling socialist People’s Party (PP), known until 2009 as the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF), and the socially liberal Seychelles National Party (SNP).[22]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the francophone Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), La Francophonie, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth.

Seychelles is divided into twenty-six administrative regions comprising all of the inner islands. Eight of the districts make up the capital of Seychelles and are referred to as Greater Victoria. Another 14 districts are considered the rural part of the main island of Mah with two districts on Praslin and one on La Digue which also includes respective satellite islands. The rest of the Outer Islands (les Eloignes) are the last district, recently created by the tourism ministry.

An island nation, Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600km (994mi) east of Kenya. The archipelago consists of 115 islands. The majority of the islands are uninhabited, with many dedicated as nature reserves.

A group of 42 islands, referred to as the inland islands, has a total area of 244km2, comprising 54% of the total land area of the Seychelles and 98% of the entire population.

The islands are divided into groups as follows.

There are 45 granite-based islands known as the Granitic Seychelles. These are in descending order of size: Mah, Praslin, Silhouette Island, La Digue, Curieuse, Flicit, Frgate, Ste-Anne, North, Cerf, Marianne, Grand Sur, Thrse, Aride, Conception, Petite Sur, Cousin, Cousine, Long, Rcif, Round (Praslin), Anonyme, Mamelles, Moyenne, Eden, le Soleil, Romainville, le aux Vaches Marines, L’Islette, Beacon (le Sche), Cache, Cocos, Round (Mah), L’Ilot Frgate, Booby, Chauve-Souris (Mah), Chauve-Souris (Praslin), le La Fouche, Hodoul, L’Ilot, Rat, Souris, St. Pierre (Praslin), Zav, Harrison Rocks (Grand Rocher).

There are two coral sand cays north of the granitics: Denis and Bird.

There are two coral islands south of the Granitics: Cotivy and Platte.

There are 29 coral islands in the Amirantes group, west of the granitics: Desroches, Poivre Atoll (comprising three islandsPoivre, Florentin and South Island), Alphonse, D’Arros, St. Joseph Atoll (comprising 14 islandsSt. Joseph le aux Fouquets, Resource, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Bancs Ferrari, Chiens, Plicans, Vars, le Paul, Banc de Sable, Banc aux Cocos and le aux Poules), Marie Louise, Desnufs, African Banks (comprising two islandsAfrican Banks and South Island), Rmire, St. Franois, Boudeuse, toile, Bijoutier.

There are 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group, south-southwest of the Amirantes: Farquhar Atoll (comprising 10 islandsBancs de Sable, Dposs, le aux Golettes, Lapins, le du Milieu, North Manaha, South Manaha, Middle Manaha, North Island and South Island), Providence Atoll (comprising two islandsProvidence and Bancs Providence) and St Pierre.

There are 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group, west of the Farquhar Group: Aldabra Atoll (comprising 46 islandsGrande Terre, Picard, Polymnie, Malabar, le Michel, le Esprit, le aux Moustiques, Ilot Parc, Ilot mile, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Magnan, le Lanier, Champignon des Os, Euphrate, Grand Mentor, Grand Ilot, Gros Ilot Gionnet, Gros Ilot Ssame, Hron Rock, Hide Island, le aux Aigrettes, le aux Cdres, les Chalands, le Fangame, le Hron, le Michel, le Squacco, le Sylvestre, le Verte, Ilot Dder, Ilot du Sud, Ilot du Milieu, Ilot du Nord, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Macoa, Ilot Marquoix, Ilots Niois, Ilot Salade, Middle Row Island, Noddy Rock, North Row Island, Petit Mentor, Petit Mentor Endans, Petits Ilots, Pink Rock and Table Ronde), Assumption Island, Astove and Cosmoledo Atoll (comprising 19 islandsMenai, le du Nord (West North), le Nord-Est (East North), le du Trou, Golettes, Grand Polyte, Petit Polyte, Grand le (Wizard), Pagode, le du Sud-Ouest (South), le aux Moustiques, le Baleine, le aux Chauve-Souris, le aux Macaques, le aux Rats, le du Nord-Ouest, le Observation, le Sud-Est and Ilot la Croix).

The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small,[23] classified by Kppen-Geiger system as tropical rain forest (Af). The temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures on Mah vary from 24 to 30C (75 to 86F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900mm (114in) annually at Victoria to 3,600mm (142in) on the mountain slopes. Precipitation is somewhat less on the other islands.[24]

During the coolest months, July and August, the average low is about 24C (75F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31C (88F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.[24]

Environmental legislation is very strict, and every tourism project must undergo an environmental review and a lengthy process of consultations with the public and conservationists. Seychelles is a world leader in sustainable tourism.[according to whom?] The end result of this sustainable development is an intact and stable natural environment, which attracts financially strong visitors (150,000 in 2007) rather than short-term mass tourism. Since 1993 a law guarantees the citizens the right to a clean environment and at the same time obliges them to protect this environment. The country holds a record for the highest percentage of land under natural conservationnearly 50% of the total land area.[citation needed]

Like many fragile island ecosystems, Seychelles saw the loss of biodiversity when humans first settled in the area, including the disappearance of most of the giant tortoises from the granitic islands, the felling of coastal and mid-level forests, and the extinction of species such as the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles parakeet, and the saltwater crocodile. However, extinctions were far fewer than on islands such as Mauritius or Hawaii, partly due to a shorter period of human occupation (since 1770). Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles black parrot, the national bird of the country, is now protected.

The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species, with a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Particularly well-known is the coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the “love nut” because the shape of its “double” coconut resembles buttocks, the coco-de-mer produces the world’s heaviest seed. The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few locations on Mahe. This strange and ancient plant in a genus of its own (Medusagyne) seems to reproduce only in cultivation and not in the wild. Other unique plant species include Wright’s gardenia (Rothmannia annae) found only on Aride Island Special Reserve.

The freshwater crab genus Seychellum is endemic to the granitic Seychelles, and a further 26 species of crabs and five species of hermit crabs live on the islands.[27]

The Aldabra giant tortoise now populates many of the islands of Seychelles; the Aldabra population is the largest remaining. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds. The granitic islands of Seychelles may support distinct species of Seychelles giant tortoises; the status of the different populations is currently unclear.

There are several unique species of orchid on the islands.

Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the world, notably on the outer islands of Aldabra and Cosmoledo. In granitic Seychelles the largest colonies are on Aride Island including the world’s largest numbers of two species. Sooty terns also breed on the islands. Other birds include Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and Fairy terns (Gygis alba).[28]

The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded.

Since the use of spearguns and dynamite for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers. Coral bleaching in 1998 has damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery (e.g., Silhouette Island).

Despite huge disparities across nations, Seychelles claims to have achieved nearly all of its Millennium Development Goals.[citation needed] 17 MDGS and 169 targets have been achieved.[citation needed] Environmental protection is becoming a cultural value.[citation needed]

Their government’s Seychelles Climate Guide describes the nation’s climate as rainy, with a dry season with an ocean economy in the ocean regions. The Southeast Trades is on the decline but still fairly strong.[29] Reportedly, weather patterns there are becoming less predictable.[30]

When the British gained control of the islands during the Napoleonic Wars, they allowed the French upper class to retain their land. Both the French and British settlers used enslaved Africans, and although the British prohibited slavery in 1835, African workers continued to come. Thus the Gran blan (“big whites”) of French origin dominated economic and political life. The British administration employed Indians on indentured servitude to the same degree as in Mauritius resulting in a small Indian population. The Indians, like a similar minority of Chinese, were confined to a merchant class.[31]

Through harmonious socioeconomic policies and developments[citation needed] over the years, today Seychelles is described as a fusion of peoples and cultures. Numerous Seychellois are considered multiracial: blending from African, Asian and European descent to create a modern creole culture. Evidence of this harmonious blend is also revealed in Seychellois food, incorporating various aspects of French, Chinese, Indian and African cuisine.

As the islands of the Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois are composed of people who have immigrated. The largest ethnic groups were those of African, French, Indian and Chinese descent. The median age of the Seychellois was 32 years.[32]

French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French, yet nowadays is often laced with English words and phrases. Including second-language speakers, Seychellois is the most-spoken official language in the Seychelles, followed by French, and lastly English.[33] 87% of the population speaks Seychellois, 51% speaks French, and 38% speaks English.[33]

According to the 2010 census, most Seychellois are Christians: 76.2% were Roman Catholic, pastorally served by the exempt Diocese of Port Victoria or Seychelles (immediately dependent on the Holy See); 10.6% were Protestant, (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecostal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6%).

Hinduism is practiced by 2.4%, and Islam by 1.6%. Other non-Christian faiths accounted for 1.1% of the population while a further 5.9% were non-religious or did not specify a religion.[32]

During the plantation era, cinnamon, vanilla and copra were the chief exports. In 1965, during a three-month visit to the islands, futurist Donald Prell prepared for the then-crown colony Governor General an economic report containing a scenario for the future of the economy. Quoting from his report, in the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector.[34][35] The Indian Ocean Tracking Station on Mah was closed in August 1996 after the Seychelles government attempted to raise the rent to more than $10,000,000 per year.

Since independence in 1976, per capita output has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labour force, compared to agriculture which today employs about 3% of the labour force. Despite the growth of tourism, farming and fishing continue to employ some people, as do industries that process coconuts and vanilla.

As of 2013[update], the main export products are processed fish (60%) and non-fillet frozen fish (22%).[36]

The prime agricultural products currently produced in Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. These products provide much of the economic support of the locals. Frozen and canned fish, copra, cinnamon and vanilla are the main export commodities.

Since the worldwide economic crises of 2008, the Seychelles government has prioritised a curbing of the budget deficit, including the containment of social welfare costs and further privatisation of public enterprises. The government has a pervasive presence in economic activity, with public enterprises active in petroleum product distribution, banking, imports of basic products, telecommunications and a wide range of other businesses. According to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, which measures the degree of limited government, market openness, regulatory efficiency, rule of law, and other factors, economic freedom has been increasing each year since 2010.[37]

The national currency of Seychelles is the Seychellois rupee. Initially tied to a basket of international currencies, it was depegged and allowed to be devalued and float freely in 2008 on the presumed hopes of attracting further foreign investment in the Seychelles economy.

In 1971, with the opening of Seychelles International Airport, tourism became a significant industry, essentially dividing the economy into plantations and tourism. The tourism sector paid better, and the plantation economy could only expand so far. The plantation sector of the economy declined in prominence, and tourism became the primary industry of Seychelles.

In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. These incentives have given rise to an enormous amount of investment in real estate projects and new resort properties, such as project TIME, distributed by the World Bank, along with its predecessor project MAGIC.[citation needed] Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 19911992 due largely to the Gulf War.[38]

Since then the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, small-scale manufacturing and most recently the offshore financial sector, through the establishment of the Financial Services Authority and the enactment of several pieces of legislation (such as the International Corporate Service Providers Act, the International Business Companies Act, the Securities Act, the Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, amongst others).

During March 2015, Seychelles allocated Assumption island to be developed by India.[39]

Although multinational oil companies have explored the waters around the islands, no oil or gas has been found. In 2005, a deal was signed with US firm Petroquest, giving it exploration rights to about 30,000km2 around Constant, Topaz, Farquhar and Cotivy islands until 2014. Seychelles imports oil from the Persian Gulf in the form of refined petroleum derivatives at the rate of about 5,700 barrels per day (910m3/d).

In recent years oil has been imported from Kuwait and also from Bahrain. Seychelles imports three times more oil than is needed for internal uses because it re-exports the surplus oil in the form of bunker for ships and aircraft calling at Mah. There are no refining capacities on the islands. Oil and gas imports, distribution and re-export are the responsibility of Seychelles Petroleum (Sepec), while oil exploration is the responsibility of the Seychelles National Oil Company (SNOC).

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal.[40][41] Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children.[40] Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children.[41] Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.[40]

Until the mid-19th century, little formal education was available in Seychelles. The Catholic and Anglican churches opened mission schools in 1851. The Catholic mission later operated boys’ and girls’ secondary schools with religious brothers and nuns from abroad even after the government became responsible for them in 1944.

A teacher training college opened in 1959, when the supply of locally trained teachers began to grow, and in short time many new schools were established. Since 1981 a system of free education has been in effect requiring attendance by all children in grades one to nine, beginning at age five. Ninety percent of all children attend nursery school at age four.

The literacy rate for school-age children rose to more than 90% by the late 1980s. Many older Seychellois had not been taught to read or write in their childhood; adult education classes helped raise adult literacy from 60% to a claimed 100% in 2014.

There are a total of 68 schools in Seychelles. The public school system consists of 23 crches, 25 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. They are located on Mah, Praslin, La Digue and Silhouette. Additionally, there are three private schools: cole Franaise, International School and the Independent School. All the private schools are on Mah, and the International School has a branch on Praslin. There are seven post-secondary (non-tertiary) schools: the Seychelles Polytechnic, School of Advanced Level Studies, Seychelles Tourism Academy, University of Seychelles Education, Seychelles Institute of Technology, Maritime Training Center, Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Center and the National Institute for Health and Social Studies.

The administration launched plans to open a university in an attempt to slow down the brain drain that has occurred. University of Seychelles, initiated in conjunction with the University of London, opened on 17 September 2009 in three locations and offers qualifications from the University of London.

Staple foods include fish, seafood and shellfish dishes, often accompanied with rice.[42][43] Fish dishes are cooked in several ways, such as steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked.[42] Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country’s cuisine.[43][44]

Additional food staples include coconut, breadfruit, mangoes and kordonnyen fish.[45] Dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers.[45]

The music of Seychelles is diverse, a reflection of the fusion of cultures through its history. The folk music of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentationsuch as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau), European contredanse, polka and mazurka, French folk and pop, sega from Mauritius and Runion, taarab, soukous and other pan-African genres, and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music.

A form of percussion music called contombley is popular, as is Moutya, a fusion of native folk rhythms with Kenyan benga. Kontredans (based on European contredanse) is popular, especially in District and School competitions during the annual Festival Kreol (International Creole Festival). Moutya playing and dancing can often be seen at beach bazaars. Their main languages are Seychellois Creole of the French language, French and English.

The main daily newspaper is the Seychelles Nation, dedicated to local government views and current affairs and topics. Other political parties operate other papers such as Regar. Foreign newspapers and magazines are readily available in most bookshops and newsagents. The papers are mostly written in Seychellois Creole, French and English.

The main television and radio network is operated by the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation which offers locally produced news and discussion programmes in the Seychellois Creole language. Broadcasts run between 3pm and 11:30pm on weekdays and longer hours during the weekends. There are also imported English and French language television programmes imported on Seychellois terrestrial television and international satellite television has grown rapidly in recent years.

The most popular sport in Seychelles is basketball, which has particularly developed in this decade.[48] The country’s national team qualified for the 2015 African Games, its greatest accomplishment to date. There, the team competed against some of the continent’s largest countries such as Egypt.

The Military of Seychelles is the Seychelles People’s Defence Force which consists of a number of distinct branches: including an Infantry Unit, Coast Guard, Air Force and a Presidential Protection Unit. India has and continues to play a key role developing the military of Seychelles. After handing over 2 SDB Mk5 patrol vessels namely INS Tarasa and INS Tarmugli to Seychelles Coast Guard, built by GRSE which were subsequently renamed SCG Constant and SCG Topaz, India also gifted a Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.[49] India also signed a pact to develop Assumption Island, one of the 115 islands that make up the country. Spread over 11km2 (4sqmi), it is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar. The island is being leased for the development of infrastructure, a euphemism for developing strategic assets by India.[50]

In 2014, Seychelles had the highest incarceration rate in the world of 799 prisoners per 100,000 population, exceeding the United States rate by 15%.[51] However, the country’s actual population is less than 100,000; as of September 2014, Seychelles had 735 actual prisoners, 6% of whom were female, incarcerated in three prisons.[52]

Seychelles is a key participant in the fight against Indian Ocean piracy mainly by Somalis.[53] Former president James Michel said that piracy costs between $712 million a year to the international community: “The pirates cost 4% of the Seychelles GDP, including direct and indirect costs for the loss of boats, fishing, and tourism, and the indirect investment for the maritime security”, factors affecting local fishing one of the country’s main national resources which had a 46% loss in 200809.[53] International contributions of patrol boats, planes or drones have been provided to help Seychelles combat sea piracy.[53]

Government

Religion

General

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Read the original here:

Seychelles – Wikipedia

Seychelles – Wikipedia

Coordinates: 435S 5540E / 4.583S 55.667E / -4.583; 55.667

Seychelles ((listen) say-SHELZ; French: [sel]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: Rpublique des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelago and country in the Indian Ocean. The 115-island country, whose capital is Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932mi) east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte (region of France), Madagascar, Runion (region of France) and Mauritius to the south. With a population of roughly 94,228, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country; however, it does have a larger population than the British overseas territory Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.[5]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. After proclamation of independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, Seychelles has developed from a largely agricultural society to a market-based diversified economy, with agriculture being supplanted by rapidly rising service and public sectors as well as tourism. Since 1976, nominal GDP output has increased nearly sevenfold and the purchasing power parity nearly sixteenfold. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade these sectors. Today, Seychelles boasts the highest nominal per capita GDP in Africa, excluding the French regions. It is one of only a handful of countries in Africa with a high Human Development Index. Despite the country’s newfound economic prosperity, poverty remains widespread due to a high level of income inequality, one of the highest in the world, and unequal wealth distribution.[6]

The Seychelles were uninhabited throughout most of recorded history. Some scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. This assumption is based on the discovery of tombs, visible until 1910.[7] The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral). The earliest recorded landing was in January 1609, by the crew of the “Ascension” under Captain Alexander Sharpeigh during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid on Mah by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Schelles, Louis XV’s Minister of Finance.[8]

The British controlled the islands between 1794 and 1810. Jean Baptiste Quau de Quincy, French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.

Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970.

Independence was granted in 1976 as a republic within the Commonwealth.[9] In the 1970s Seychelles was “the place to be seen, a playground for film stars and the international jet set”.[10] In 1977, a coup d’tat by France Albert Ren ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham.[11] Ren discouraged over-dependence on tourism and declared that he wanted “to keep the Seychelles for the Seychellois”.[10]

The 1979 constitution declared a socialist one-party state, which lasted until 1991.

In the 1980s there were a series of coup attempts against President Ren, some of which were supported by South Africa. In 1981, Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries masquerading as holidaying rugby players in the 1981 Seychelles coup d’tat attempt.[10] There was a gun battle at the airport, and most of the mercenaries later escaped in a hijacked Air India plane.[10] The leader of this hijacking was German mercenary D. Clodo, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS.[12] Clodo later stood trial in South Africa (where he was acquitted) as well as in his home country Germany for air-piracy.[13]

In 1986, an attempted coup led by the Seychelles Minister of Defence, Ogilvy Berlouis, caused President Ren to request assistance from India. In Operation Flowers are Blooming, the Indian naval vessel INS Vindhyagiri arrived in Port Victoria to help avert the coup.[14]

The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the requisite 60% of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.

In January 2013, Seychelles declared a state of emergency; the tropical cyclone Felleng caused torrential rain, and flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses.[15][16]

The Seychelles president, who is head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The cabinet is presided over and appointed by the president, subject to the approval of a majority of the legislature.

The unicameral Seychellois parliament, the National Assembly or Assemble Nationale, consists of 34 members, 25 of whom are elected directly by popular vote, while the remaining nine seats are appointed proportionally according to the percentage of votes received by each party. All members serve five-year terms.

The Supreme Court of Seychelles, created in 1903, is the highest trial court in Seychelles and the first court of appeal from all the lower courts and tribunals. The highest court of law in Seychelles is the Seychelles Court of Appeal, which is the court of final appeal in the country.[17]

Seychelles’s previous president France Albert Ren came to power after his supporters overthrew the first president James Mancham on 5 June 1977 in a coup d’tat and installed him as president. Ren was at that time the prime minister.[18][19][20] Ren ruled as a strongman under a socialist one-party system until in 1993, when he was forced to introduce a multi-party system. He stepped down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, who was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2011.[18][19][20] On 28 September 2016, the Office of the President announced that Michel would step down effective 16 October, and that Vice President Danny Faure would complete the rest of Michel’s term.[21]

The primary political parties are the ruling socialist People’s Party (PP), known until 2009 as the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF), and the socially liberal Seychelles National Party (SNP).[22]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the francophone Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), La Francophonie, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth.

Seychelles is divided into twenty-six administrative regions comprising all of the inner islands. Eight of the districts make up the capital of Seychelles and are referred to as Greater Victoria. Another 14 districts are considered the rural part of the main island of Mah with two districts on Praslin and one on La Digue which also includes respective satellite islands. The rest of the Outer Islands (les Eloignes) are the last district, recently created by the tourism ministry.

An island nation, Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600km (994mi) east of Kenya. The archipelago consists of 115 islands. The majority of the islands are uninhabited, with many dedicated as nature reserves.

A group of 42 islands, referred to as the inland islands, has a total area of 244km2, comprising 54% of the total land area of the Seychelles and 98% of the entire population.

The islands are divided into groups as follows.

There are 45 granite-based islands known as the Granitic Seychelles. These are in descending order of size: Mah, Praslin, Silhouette Island, La Digue, Curieuse, Flicit, Frgate, Ste-Anne, North, Cerf, Marianne, Grand Sur, Thrse, Aride, Conception, Petite Sur, Cousin, Cousine, Long, Rcif, Round (Praslin), Anonyme, Mamelles, Moyenne, Eden, le Soleil, Romainville, le aux Vaches Marines, L’Islette, Beacon (le Sche), Cache, Cocos, Round (Mah), L’Ilot Frgate, Booby, Chauve-Souris (Mah), Chauve-Souris (Praslin), le La Fouche, Hodoul, L’Ilot, Rat, Souris, St. Pierre (Praslin), Zav, Harrison Rocks (Grand Rocher).

There are two coral sand cays north of the granitics: Denis and Bird.

There are two coral islands south of the Granitics: Cotivy and Platte.

There are 29 coral islands in the Amirantes group, west of the granitics: Desroches, Poivre Atoll (comprising three islandsPoivre, Florentin and South Island), Alphonse, D’Arros, St. Joseph Atoll (comprising 14 islandsSt. Joseph le aux Fouquets, Resource, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Bancs Ferrari, Chiens, Plicans, Vars, le Paul, Banc de Sable, Banc aux Cocos and le aux Poules), Marie Louise, Desnufs, African Banks (comprising two islandsAfrican Banks and South Island), Rmire, St. Franois, Boudeuse, toile, Bijoutier.

There are 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group, south-southwest of the Amirantes: Farquhar Atoll (comprising 10 islandsBancs de Sable, Dposs, le aux Golettes, Lapins, le du Milieu, North Manaha, South Manaha, Middle Manaha, North Island and South Island), Providence Atoll (comprising two islandsProvidence and Bancs Providence) and St Pierre.

There are 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group, west of the Farquhar Group: Aldabra Atoll (comprising 46 islandsGrande Terre, Picard, Polymnie, Malabar, le Michel, le Esprit, le aux Moustiques, Ilot Parc, Ilot mile, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Magnan, le Lanier, Champignon des Os, Euphrate, Grand Mentor, Grand Ilot, Gros Ilot Gionnet, Gros Ilot Ssame, Hron Rock, Hide Island, le aux Aigrettes, le aux Cdres, les Chalands, le Fangame, le Hron, le Michel, le Squacco, le Sylvestre, le Verte, Ilot Dder, Ilot du Sud, Ilot du Milieu, Ilot du Nord, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Macoa, Ilot Marquoix, Ilots Niois, Ilot Salade, Middle Row Island, Noddy Rock, North Row Island, Petit Mentor, Petit Mentor Endans, Petits Ilots, Pink Rock and Table Ronde), Assumption Island, Astove and Cosmoledo Atoll (comprising 19 islandsMenai, le du Nord (West North), le Nord-Est (East North), le du Trou, Golettes, Grand Polyte, Petit Polyte, Grand le (Wizard), Pagode, le du Sud-Ouest (South), le aux Moustiques, le Baleine, le aux Chauve-Souris, le aux Macaques, le aux Rats, le du Nord-Ouest, le Observation, le Sud-Est and Ilot la Croix).

The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small,[23] classified by Kppen-Geiger system as tropical rain forest (Af). The temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures on Mah vary from 24 to 30C (75 to 86F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900mm (114in) annually at Victoria to 3,600mm (142in) on the mountain slopes. Precipitation is somewhat less on the other islands.[24]

During the coolest months, July and August, the average low is about 24C (75F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31C (88F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.[24]

Environmental legislation is very strict, and every tourism project must undergo an environmental review and a lengthy process of consultations with the public and conservationists. Seychelles is a world leader in sustainable tourism.[according to whom?] The end result of this sustainable development is an intact and stable natural environment, which attracts financially strong visitors (150,000 in 2007) rather than short-term mass tourism. Since 1993 a law guarantees the citizens the right to a clean environment and at the same time obliges them to protect this environment. The country holds a record for the highest percentage of land under natural conservationnearly 50% of the total land area.[citation needed]

Like many fragile island ecosystems, Seychelles saw the loss of biodiversity when humans first settled in the area, including the disappearance of most of the giant tortoises from the granitic islands, the felling of coastal and mid-level forests, and the extinction of species such as the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles parakeet, and the saltwater crocodile. However, extinctions were far fewer than on islands such as Mauritius or Hawaii, partly due to a shorter period of human occupation (since 1770). Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles black parrot, the national bird of the country, is now protected.

The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species, with a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Particularly well-known is the coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the “love nut” because the shape of its “double” coconut resembles buttocks, the coco-de-mer produces the world’s heaviest seed. The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few locations on Mahe. This strange and ancient plant in a genus of its own (Medusagyne) seems to reproduce only in cultivation and not in the wild. Other unique plant species include Wright’s gardenia (Rothmannia annae) found only on Aride Island Special Reserve.

The freshwater crab genus Seychellum is endemic to the granitic Seychelles, and a further 26 species of crabs and five species of hermit crabs live on the islands.[27]

The Aldabra giant tortoise now populates many of the islands of Seychelles; the Aldabra population is the largest remaining. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds. The granitic islands of Seychelles may support distinct species of Seychelles giant tortoises; the status of the different populations is currently unclear.

There are several unique species of orchid on the islands.

Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the world, notably on the outer islands of Aldabra and Cosmoledo. In granitic Seychelles the largest colonies are on Aride Island including the world’s largest numbers of two species. Sooty terns also breed on the islands. Other birds include Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and Fairy terns (Gygis alba).[28]

The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded.

Since the use of spearguns and dynamite for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers. Coral bleaching in 1998 has damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery (e.g., Silhouette Island).

Despite huge disparities across nations, Seychelles claims to have achieved nearly all of its Millennium Development Goals.[citation needed] 17 MDGS and 169 targets have been achieved.[citation needed] Environmental protection is becoming a cultural value.[citation needed]

Their government’s Seychelles Climate Guide describes the nation’s climate as rainy, with a dry season with an ocean economy in the ocean regions. The Southeast Trades is on the decline but still fairly strong.[29] Reportedly, weather patterns there are becoming less predictable.[30]

When the British gained control of the islands during the Napoleonic Wars, they allowed the French upper class to retain their land. Both the French and British settlers used enslaved Africans, and although the British prohibited slavery in 1835, African workers continued to come. Thus the Gran blan (“big whites”) of French origin dominated economic and political life. The British administration employed Indians on indentured servitude to the same degree as in Mauritius resulting in a small Indian population. The Indians, like a similar minority of Chinese, were confined to a merchant class.[31]

Through harmonious socioeconomic policies and developments[citation needed] over the years, today Seychelles is described as a fusion of peoples and cultures. Numerous Seychellois are considered multiracial: blending from African, Asian and European descent to create a modern creole culture. Evidence of this harmonious blend is also revealed in Seychellois food, incorporating various aspects of French, Chinese, Indian and African cuisine.

As the islands of the Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois are composed of people who have immigrated. The largest ethnic groups were those of African, French, Indian and Chinese descent. The median age of the Seychellois was 32 years.[32]

French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French, yet nowadays is often laced with English words and phrases. Including second-language speakers, Seychellois is the most-spoken official language in the Seychelles, followed by French, and lastly English.[33] 87% of the population speaks Seychellois, 51% speaks French, and 38% speaks English.[33]

According to the 2010 census, most Seychellois are Christians: 76.2% were Roman Catholic, pastorally served by the exempt Diocese of Port Victoria or Seychelles (immediately dependent on the Holy See); 10.6% were Protestant, (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecostal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6%).

Hinduism is practiced by 2.4%, and Islam by 1.6%. Other non-Christian faiths accounted for 1.1% of the population while a further 5.9% were non-religious or did not specify a religion.[32]

During the plantation era, cinnamon, vanilla and copra were the chief exports. In 1965, during a three-month visit to the islands, futurist Donald Prell prepared for the then-crown colony Governor General an economic report containing a scenario for the future of the economy. Quoting from his report, in the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector.[34][35] The Indian Ocean Tracking Station on Mah was closed in August 1996 after the Seychelles government attempted to raise the rent to more than $10,000,000 per year.

Since independence in 1976, per capita output has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labour force, compared to agriculture which today employs about 3% of the labour force. Despite the growth of tourism, farming and fishing continue to employ some people, as do industries that process coconuts and vanilla.

As of 2013[update], the main export products are processed fish (60%) and non-fillet frozen fish (22%).[36]

The prime agricultural products currently produced in Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. These products provide much of the economic support of the locals. Frozen and canned fish, copra, cinnamon and vanilla are the main export commodities.

Since the worldwide economic crises of 2008, the Seychelles government has prioritised a curbing of the budget deficit, including the containment of social welfare costs and further privatisation of public enterprises. The government has a pervasive presence in economic activity, with public enterprises active in petroleum product distribution, banking, imports of basic products, telecommunications and a wide range of other businesses. According to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, which measures the degree of limited government, market openness, regulatory efficiency, rule of law, and other factors, economic freedom has been increasing each year since 2010.[37]

The national currency of Seychelles is the Seychellois rupee. Initially tied to a basket of international currencies, it was depegged and allowed to be devalued and float freely in 2008 on the presumed hopes of attracting further foreign investment in the Seychelles economy.

In 1971, with the opening of Seychelles International Airport, tourism became a significant industry, essentially dividing the economy into plantations and tourism. The tourism sector paid better, and the plantation economy could only expand so far. The plantation sector of the economy declined in prominence, and tourism became the primary industry of Seychelles.

In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. These incentives have given rise to an enormous amount of investment in real estate projects and new resort properties, such as project TIME, distributed by the World Bank, along with its predecessor project MAGIC.[citation needed] Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 19911992 due largely to the Gulf War.[38]

Since then the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, small-scale manufacturing and most recently the offshore financial sector, through the establishment of the Financial Services Authority and the enactment of several pieces of legislation (such as the International Corporate Service Providers Act, the International Business Companies Act, the Securities Act, the Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, amongst others).

During March 2015, Seychelles allocated Assumption island to be developed by India.[39]

Although multinational oil companies have explored the waters around the islands, no oil or gas has been found. In 2005, a deal was signed with US firm Petroquest, giving it exploration rights to about 30,000km2 around Constant, Topaz, Farquhar and Cotivy islands until 2014. Seychelles imports oil from the Persian Gulf in the form of refined petroleum derivatives at the rate of about 5,700 barrels per day (910m3/d).

In recent years oil has been imported from Kuwait and also from Bahrain. Seychelles imports three times more oil than is needed for internal uses because it re-exports the surplus oil in the form of bunker for ships and aircraft calling at Mah. There are no refining capacities on the islands. Oil and gas imports, distribution and re-export are the responsibility of Seychelles Petroleum (Sepec), while oil exploration is the responsibility of the Seychelles National Oil Company (SNOC).

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal.[40][41] Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children.[40] Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children.[41] Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.[40]

Until the mid-19th century, little formal education was available in Seychelles. The Catholic and Anglican churches opened mission schools in 1851. The Catholic mission later operated boys’ and girls’ secondary schools with religious brothers and nuns from abroad even after the government became responsible for them in 1944.

A teacher training college opened in 1959, when the supply of locally trained teachers began to grow, and in short time many new schools were established. Since 1981 a system of free education has been in effect requiring attendance by all children in grades one to nine, beginning at age five. Ninety percent of all children attend nursery school at age four.

The literacy rate for school-age children rose to more than 90% by the late 1980s. Many older Seychellois had not been taught to read or write in their childhood; adult education classes helped raise adult literacy from 60% to a claimed 100% in 2014.

There are a total of 68 schools in Seychelles. The public school system consists of 23 crches, 25 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. They are located on Mah, Praslin, La Digue and Silhouette. Additionally, there are three private schools: cole Franaise, International School and the Independent School. All the private schools are on Mah, and the International School has a branch on Praslin. There are seven post-secondary (non-tertiary) schools: the Seychelles Polytechnic, School of Advanced Level Studies, Seychelles Tourism Academy, University of Seychelles Education, Seychelles Institute of Technology, Maritime Training Center, Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Center and the National Institute for Health and Social Studies.

The administration launched plans to open a university in an attempt to slow down the brain drain that has occurred. University of Seychelles, initiated in conjunction with the University of London, opened on 17 September 2009 in three locations and offers qualifications from the University of London.

Staple foods include fish, seafood and shellfish dishes, often accompanied with rice.[42][43] Fish dishes are cooked in several ways, such as steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked.[42] Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country’s cuisine.[43][44]

Additional food staples include coconut, breadfruit, mangoes and kordonnyen fish.[45] Dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers.[45]

The music of Seychelles is diverse, a reflection of the fusion of cultures through its history. The folk music of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentationsuch as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau), European contredanse, polka and mazurka, French folk and pop, sega from Mauritius and Runion, taarab, soukous and other pan-African genres, and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music.

A form of percussion music called contombley is popular, as is Moutya, a fusion of native folk rhythms with Kenyan benga. Kontredans (based on European contredanse) is popular, especially in District and School competitions during the annual Festival Kreol (International Creole Festival). Moutya playing and dancing can often be seen at beach bazaars. Their main languages are Seychellois Creole of the French language, French and English.

The main daily newspaper is the Seychelles Nation, dedicated to local government views and current affairs and topics. Other political parties operate other papers such as Regar. Foreign newspapers and magazines are readily available in most bookshops and newsagents. The papers are mostly written in Seychellois Creole, French and English.

The main television and radio network is operated by the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation which offers locally produced news and discussion programmes in the Seychellois Creole language. Broadcasts run between 3pm and 11:30pm on weekdays and longer hours during the weekends. There are also imported English and French language television programmes imported on Seychellois terrestrial television and international satellite television has grown rapidly in recent years.

The most popular sport in Seychelles is basketball, which has particularly developed in this decade.[48] The country’s national team qualified for the 2015 African Games, its greatest accomplishment to date. There, the team competed against some of the continent’s largest countries such as Egypt.

The Military of Seychelles is the Seychelles People’s Defence Force which consists of a number of distinct branches: including an Infantry Unit, Coast Guard, Air Force and a Presidential Protection Unit. India has and continues to play a key role developing the military of Seychelles. After handing over 2 SDB Mk5 patrol vessels namely INS Tarasa and INS Tarmugli to Seychelles Coast Guard, built by GRSE which were subsequently renamed SCG Constant and SCG Topaz, India also gifted a Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.[49] India also signed a pact to develop Assumption Island, one of the 115 islands that make up the country. Spread over 11km2 (4sqmi), it is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar. The island is being leased for the development of infrastructure, a euphemism for developing strategic assets by India.[50]

In 2014, Seychelles had the highest incarceration rate in the world of 799 prisoners per 100,000 population, exceeding the United States rate by 15%.[51] However, the country’s actual population is less than 100,000; as of September 2014, Seychelles had 735 actual prisoners, 6% of whom were female, incarcerated in three prisons.[52]

Seychelles is a key participant in the fight against Indian Ocean piracy mainly by Somalis.[53] Former president James Michel said that piracy costs between $712 million a year to the international community: “The pirates cost 4% of the Seychelles GDP, including direct and indirect costs for the loss of boats, fishing, and tourism, and the indirect investment for the maritime security”, factors affecting local fishing one of the country’s main national resources which had a 46% loss in 200809.[53] International contributions of patrol boats, planes or drones have been provided to help Seychelles combat sea piracy.[53]

Government

Religion

General

International organizations

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Seychelles Hotel & Resort | Seychelles Island | Four Seasons

Set in the heart of a lost Eden, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles offers guests an unrivalled luxury hotel experience in a natural jungle setting.

Set in the heart of a lost Eden, Four Seasons Resort Seychelles offers guests an unrivalled luxury hotel experience in a natural jungle setting. Tree-top villas, deserted beaches and world-class service all converge to challenge your notion of paradise.

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Seychelles Map / Geography of Seychelles / Map of Seychelles …

The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar.

Pre-European colonization the islands were known by Arab navigators on trading voyages, but were never inhabited.

Eventually Seychelles was settled by France in the 18th century, but it wasn’t long before the British fought for control. A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter.

Although the new governor to the islands was British, he governed according to French rules, and allowed previous French customs to remain intact. Slavery was completely abolished in 1835, and the island nation subsequently began to decline as exportation decreased.

The anti-slavery stance was taken very seriously by the British government, and conditions started improving when it was realized that coconuts could be grown with less labour.

In the late 19th century, Seychelles became a place to exile troublesome political prisoners, most notably from Zanzibar, Egypt, Cyprus and Palestine.

Independence for the islands came in 1976, after the Seychelles People’s United Party was formed and led by France-Albert Rene, campaigning for socialism and freedom from Britain.

Socialism was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. President France-Albert Rene, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004.

Vice President James Michel took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term.

Upon independence in 1976, economic growth has steadily increased, led by the tourism sector and tuna fishing. In the past few years, the government has also created incentives for foreign investments. Per capita, Seychelles is the most indebted country in the world and currently had a population of 90,024.

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Seychelles Spa – Palmetto, Fl : Spa

Welcome To Seychelles Day Spa in Palmetto

We invite you to step into a tranquil oasis dedicated to your personal well-being. We offer specialty spa treatments for your face, body, hands, feet and hair, catering to both male and female guests.

Seychelles is a day spa like no other in Palmetto FL. Take your time and explore this great website to help you learn about us and discover the all the spa experiences we offer ( Hair Design, Facial Specialties, Massage Therapies, Nail Treatments, Special Occasions).We have selected a team of experts to help you customize ideal programs for you so you can look and feel your best.

Visit us for an hour or a day as we invite you to unwind in an island influenced environment Seychelles is a place that will leave you feeling truly relaxed, revitalized and refreshed.

To reserve a consultation or should you have additional questions feel free to contact us Spa@SeychellesSpa.com

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Tuesdays & Thursdays:9am – 7pm Wednesdays:9am – 4pm Fridays:9am – 5pm Saturdays: 9am – 4pmClosed Monday and SundayAfter hours by appointment

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Seychelles – Wikipedia

Coordinates: 435S 5540E / 4.583S 55.667E / -4.583; 55.667

Seychelles ((listen) say-SHELZ; French: [sel]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: Rpublique des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelago and country in the Indian Ocean. The 115-island country, whose capital is Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932mi) east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte (region of France), Madagascar, Runion (region of France) and Mauritius to the south. With a population of roughly 94,228, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country; however, it does have a larger population than the British overseas territory Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.[5]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. After proclamation of independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, Seychelles has developed from a largely agricultural society to a market-based diversified economy, with agriculture being supplanted by rapidly rising service and public sectors as well as tourism. Since 1976, nominal GDP output has increased nearly sevenfold and the purchasing power parity nearly sixteenfold. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade these sectors. Today, Seychelles boasts the highest nominal per capita GDP in Africa, excluding the French regions. It is one of only a handful of countries in Africa with a high Human Development Index. Despite the country’s newfound economic prosperity, poverty remains widespread due to a high level of income inequality, one of the highest in the world, and unequal wealth distribution.[6]

The Seychelles were uninhabited throughout most of recorded history. Some scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. This assumption is based on the discovery of tombs, visible until 1910.[7] The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral). The earliest recorded landing was in January 1609, by the crew of the “Ascension” under Captain Alexander Sharpeigh during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid on Mah by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Schelles, Louis XV’s Minister of Finance.[8]

The British controlled the islands between 1794 and 1810. Jean Baptiste Quau de Quincy, French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.

Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970.

Independence was granted in 1976 as a republic within the Commonwealth.[9] In the 1970s Seychelles was “the place to be seen, a playground for film stars and the international jet set”.[10] In 1977, a coup d’tat by France Albert Ren ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham.[11] Ren discouraged over-dependence on tourism and declared that he wanted “to keep the Seychelles for the Seychellois”.[10]

The 1979 constitution declared a socialist one-party state, which lasted until 1991.

In the 1980s there were a series of coup attempts against President Ren, some of which were supported by South Africa. In 1981, Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries masquerading as holidaying rugby players in the 1981 Seychelles coup d’tat attempt.[10] There was a gun battle at the airport, and most of the mercenaries later escaped in a hijacked Air India plane.[10] The leader of this hijacking was German mercenary D. Clodo, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS.[12] Clodo later stood trial in South Africa (where he was acquitted) as well as in his home country Germany for air-piracy.[13]

In 1986, an attempted coup led by the Seychelles Minister of Defence, Ogilvy Berlouis, caused President Ren to request assistance from India. In Operation Flowers are Blooming, the Indian naval vessel INS Vindhyagiri arrived in Port Victoria to help avert the coup.[14]

The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the requisite 60% of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.

In January 2013, Seychelles declared a state of emergency; the tropical cyclone Felleng caused torrential rain, and flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses.[15][16]

The Seychelles president, who is head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The cabinet is presided over and appointed by the president, subject to the approval of a majority of the legislature.

The unicameral Seychellois parliament, the National Assembly or Assemble Nationale, consists of 34 members, 25 of whom are elected directly by popular vote, while the remaining nine seats are appointed proportionally according to the percentage of votes received by each party. All members serve five-year terms.

The Supreme Court of Seychelles, created in 1903, is the highest trial court in Seychelles and the first court of appeal from all the lower courts and tribunals. The highest court of law in Seychelles is the Seychelles Court of Appeal, which is the court of final appeal in the country.[17]

Seychelles’s previous president France Albert Ren came to power after his supporters overthrew the first president James Mancham on 5 June 1977 in a coup d’tat and installed him as president. Ren was at that time the prime minister.[18][19][20] Ren ruled as a strongman under a socialist one-party system until in 1993, when he was forced to introduce a multi-party system. He stepped down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, who was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2011.[18][19][20] On 28 September 2016, the Office of the President announced that Michel would step down effective 16 October, and that Vice President Danny Faure would complete the rest of Michel’s term.[21]

The primary political parties are the ruling socialist People’s Party (PP), known until 2009 as the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF), and the socially liberal Seychelles National Party (SNP).[22]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the francophone Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), La Francophonie, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth.

Seychelles is divided into twenty-six administrative regions comprising all of the inner islands. Eight of the districts make up the capital of Seychelles and are referred to as Greater Victoria. Another 14 districts are considered the rural part of the main island of Mah with two districts on Praslin and one on La Digue which also includes respective satellite islands. The rest of the Outer Islands (les Eloignes) are the last district, recently created by the tourism ministry.

An island nation, Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600km (994mi) east of Kenya. The archipelago consists of 115 islands. The majority of the islands are uninhabited, with many dedicated as nature reserves.

A group of 42 islands, referred to as the inland islands, has a total area of 244km2, comprising 54% of the total land area of the Seychelles and 98% of the entire population.

The islands are divided into groups as follows.

There are 45 granite-based islands known as the Granitic Seychelles. These are in descending order of size: Mah, Praslin, Silhouette Island, La Digue, Curieuse, Flicit, Frgate, Ste-Anne, North, Cerf, Marianne, Grand Sur, Thrse, Aride, Conception, Petite Sur, Cousin, Cousine, Long, Rcif, Round (Praslin), Anonyme, Mamelles, Moyenne, Eden, le Soleil, Romainville, le aux Vaches Marines, L’Islette, Beacon (le Sche), Cache, Cocos, Round (Mah), L’Ilot Frgate, Booby, Chauve-Souris (Mah), Chauve-Souris (Praslin), le La Fouche, Hodoul, L’Ilot, Rat, Souris, St. Pierre (Praslin), Zav, Harrison Rocks (Grand Rocher).

There are two coral sand cays north of the granitics: Denis and Bird.

There are two coral islands south of the Granitics: Cotivy and Platte.

There are 29 coral islands in the Amirantes group, west of the granitics: Desroches, Poivre Atoll (comprising three islandsPoivre, Florentin and South Island), Alphonse, D’Arros, St. Joseph Atoll (comprising 14 islandsSt. Joseph le aux Fouquets, Resource, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Bancs Ferrari, Chiens, Plicans, Vars, le Paul, Banc de Sable, Banc aux Cocos and le aux Poules), Marie Louise, Desnufs, African Banks (comprising two islandsAfrican Banks and South Island), Rmire, St. Franois, Boudeuse, toile, Bijoutier.

There are 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group, south-southwest of the Amirantes: Farquhar Atoll (comprising 10 islandsBancs de Sable, Dposs, le aux Golettes, Lapins, le du Milieu, North Manaha, South Manaha, Middle Manaha, North Island and South Island), Providence Atoll (comprising two islandsProvidence and Bancs Providence) and St Pierre.

There are 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group, west of the Farquhar Group: Aldabra Atoll (comprising 46 islandsGrande Terre, Picard, Polymnie, Malabar, le Michel, le Esprit, le aux Moustiques, Ilot Parc, Ilot mile, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Magnan, le Lanier, Champignon des Os, Euphrate, Grand Mentor, Grand Ilot, Gros Ilot Gionnet, Gros Ilot Ssame, Hron Rock, Hide Island, le aux Aigrettes, le aux Cdres, les Chalands, le Fangame, le Hron, le Michel, le Squacco, le Sylvestre, le Verte, Ilot Dder, Ilot du Sud, Ilot du Milieu, Ilot du Nord, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Macoa, Ilot Marquoix, Ilots Niois, Ilot Salade, Middle Row Island, Noddy Rock, North Row Island, Petit Mentor, Petit Mentor Endans, Petits Ilots, Pink Rock and Table Ronde), Assumption Island, Astove and Cosmoledo Atoll (comprising 19 islandsMenai, le du Nord (West North), le Nord-Est (East North), le du Trou, Golettes, Grand Polyte, Petit Polyte, Grand le (Wizard), Pagode, le du Sud-Ouest (South), le aux Moustiques, le Baleine, le aux Chauve-Souris, le aux Macaques, le aux Rats, le du Nord-Ouest, le Observation, le Sud-Est and Ilot la Croix).

The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small,[23] classified by Kppen-Geiger system as tropical rain forest (Af). The temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures on Mah vary from 24 to 30C (75 to 86F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900mm (114in) annually at Victoria to 3,600mm (142in) on the mountain slopes. Precipitation is somewhat less on the other islands.[24]

During the coolest months, July and August, the average low is about 24C (75F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31C (88F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.[24]

Environmental legislation is very strict, and every tourism project must undergo an environmental review and a lengthy process of consultations with the public and conservationists. Seychelles is a world leader in sustainable tourism.[according to whom?] The end result of this sustainable development is an intact and stable natural environment, which attracts financially strong visitors (150,000 in 2007) rather than short-term mass tourism. Since 1993 a law guarantees the citizens the right to a clean environment and at the same time obliges them to protect this environment. The country holds a record for the highest percentage of land under natural conservationnearly 50% of the total land area.[citation needed]

Like many fragile island ecosystems, Seychelles saw the loss of biodiversity when humans first settled in the area, including the disappearance of most of the giant tortoises from the granitic islands, the felling of coastal and mid-level forests, and the extinction of species such as the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles parakeet, and the saltwater crocodile. However, extinctions were far fewer than on islands such as Mauritius or Hawaii, partly due to a shorter period of human occupation (since 1770). Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles black parrot, the national bird of the country, is now protected.

The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species, with a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Particularly well-known is the coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the “love nut” because the shape of its “double” coconut resembles buttocks, the coco-de-mer produces the world’s heaviest seed. The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few locations on Mahe. This strange and ancient plant in a genus of its own (Medusagyne) seems to reproduce only in cultivation and not in the wild. Other unique plant species include Wright’s gardenia (Rothmannia annae) found only on Aride Island Special Reserve.

The freshwater crab genus Seychellum is endemic to the granitic Seychelles, and a further 26 species of crabs and five species of hermit crabs live on the islands.[27]

The Aldabra giant tortoise now populates many of the islands of Seychelles; the Aldabra population is the largest remaining. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds. The granitic islands of Seychelles may support distinct species of Seychelles giant tortoises; the status of the different populations is currently unclear.

There are several unique species of orchid on the islands.

Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the world, notably on the outer islands of Aldabra and Cosmoledo. In granitic Seychelles the largest colonies are on Aride Island including the world’s largest numbers of two species. Sooty terns also breed on the islands. Other birds include Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and Fairy terns (Gygis alba).[28]

The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded.

Since the use of spearguns and dynamite for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers. Coral bleaching in 1998 has damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery (e.g., Silhouette Island).

Despite huge disparities across nations, Seychelles claims to have achieved nearly all of its Millennium Development Goals.[citation needed] 17 MDGS and 169 targets have been achieved.[citation needed] Environmental protection is becoming a cultural value.[citation needed]

Their government’s Seychelles Climate Guide describes the nation’s climate as rainy, with a dry season with an ocean economy in the ocean regions. The Southeast Trades is on the decline but still fairly strong.[29] Reportedly, weather patterns there are becoming less predictable.[30]

When the British gained control of the islands during the Napoleonic Wars, they allowed the French upper class to retain their land. Both the French and British settlers used enslaved Africans, and although the British prohibited slavery in 1835, African workers continued to come. Thus the Gran blan (“big whites”) of French origin dominated economic and political life. The British administration employed Indians on indentured servitude to the same degree as in Mauritius resulting in a small Indian population. The Indians, like a similar minority of Chinese, were confined to a merchant class.[31]

Through harmonious socioeconomic policies and developments[citation needed] over the years, today Seychelles is described as a fusion of peoples and cultures. Numerous Seychellois are considered multiracial: blending from African, Asian and European descent to create a modern creole culture. Evidence of this harmonious blend is also revealed in Seychellois food, incorporating various aspects of French, Chinese, Indian and African cuisine.

As the islands of the Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois are composed of people who have immigrated. The largest ethnic groups were those of African, French, Indian and Chinese descent. The median age of the Seychellois was 32 years.[32]

French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French, yet nowadays is often laced with English words and phrases. Including second-language speakers, Seychellois is the most-spoken official language in the Seychelles, followed by French, and lastly English.[33] 87% of the population speaks Seychellois, 51% speaks French, and 38% speaks English.[33]

According to the 2010 census, most Seychellois are Christians: 76.2% were Roman Catholic, pastorally served by the exempt Diocese of Port Victoria or Seychelles (immediately dependent on the Holy See); 10.6% were Protestant, (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecostal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6%).

Hinduism is practiced by 2.4%, and Islam by 1.6%. Other non-Christian faiths accounted for 1.1% of the population while a further 5.9% were non-religious or did not specify a religion.[32]

During the plantation era, cinnamon, vanilla and copra were the chief exports. In 1965, during a three-month visit to the islands, futurist Donald Prell prepared for the then-crown colony Governor General an economic report containing a scenario for the future of the economy. Quoting from his report, in the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector.[34][35] The Indian Ocean Tracking Station on Mah was closed in August 1996 after the Seychelles government attempted to raise the rent to more than $10,000,000 per year.

Since independence in 1976, per capita output has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labour force, compared to agriculture which today employs about 3% of the labour force. Despite the growth of tourism, farming and fishing continue to employ some people, as do industries that process coconuts and vanilla.

As of 2013[update], the main export products are processed fish (60%) and non-fillet frozen fish (22%).[36]

The prime agricultural products currently produced in Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. These products provide much of the economic support of the locals. Frozen and canned fish, copra, cinnamon and vanilla are the main export commodities.

Since the worldwide economic crises of 2008, the Seychelles government has prioritised a curbing of the budget deficit, including the containment of social welfare costs and further privatisation of public enterprises. The government has a pervasive presence in economic activity, with public enterprises active in petroleum product distribution, banking, imports of basic products, telecommunications and a wide range of other businesses. According to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, which measures the degree of limited government, market openness, regulatory efficiency, rule of law, and other factors, economic freedom has been increasing each year since 2010.[37]

The national currency of Seychelles is the Seychellois rupee. Initially tied to a basket of international currencies, it was depegged and allowed to be devalued and float freely in 2008 on the presumed hopes of attracting further foreign investment in the Seychelles economy.

In 1971, with the opening of Seychelles International Airport, tourism became a significant industry, essentially dividing the economy into plantations and tourism. The tourism sector paid better, and the plantation economy could only expand so far. The plantation sector of the economy declined in prominence, and tourism became the primary industry of Seychelles.

In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. These incentives have given rise to an enormous amount of investment in real estate projects and new resort properties, such as project TIME, distributed by the World Bank, along with its predecessor project MAGIC.[citation needed] Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 19911992 due largely to the Gulf War.[38]

Since then the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, small-scale manufacturing and most recently the offshore financial sector, through the establishment of the Financial Services Authority and the enactment of several pieces of legislation (such as the International Corporate Service Providers Act, the International Business Companies Act, the Securities Act, the Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, amongst others).

During March 2015, Seychelles allocated Assumption island to be developed by India.[39]

Although multinational oil companies have explored the waters around the islands, no oil or gas has been found. In 2005, a deal was signed with US firm Petroquest, giving it exploration rights to about 30,000km2 around Constant, Topaz, Farquhar and Cotivy islands until 2014. Seychelles imports oil from the Persian Gulf in the form of refined petroleum derivatives at the rate of about 5,700 barrels per day (910m3/d).

In recent years oil has been imported from Kuwait and also from Bahrain. Seychelles imports three times more oil than is needed for internal uses because it re-exports the surplus oil in the form of bunker for ships and aircraft calling at Mah. There are no refining capacities on the islands. Oil and gas imports, distribution and re-export are the responsibility of Seychelles Petroleum (Sepec), while oil exploration is the responsibility of the Seychelles National Oil Company (SNOC).

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal.[40][41] Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children.[40] Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children.[41] Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.[40]

Until the mid-19th century, little formal education was available in Seychelles. The Catholic and Anglican churches opened mission schools in 1851. The Catholic mission later operated boys’ and girls’ secondary schools with religious brothers and nuns from abroad even after the government became responsible for them in 1944.

A teacher training college opened in 1959, when the supply of locally trained teachers began to grow, and in short time many new schools were established. Since 1981 a system of free education has been in effect requiring attendance by all children in grades one to nine, beginning at age five. Ninety percent of all children attend nursery school at age four.

The literacy rate for school-age children rose to more than 90% by the late 1980s. Many older Seychellois had not been taught to read or write in their childhood; adult education classes helped raise adult literacy from 60% to a claimed 100% in 2014.

There are a total of 68 schools in Seychelles. The public school system consists of 23 crches, 25 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. They are located on Mah, Praslin, La Digue and Silhouette. Additionally, there are three private schools: cole Franaise, International School and the Independent School. All the private schools are on Mah, and the International School has a branch on Praslin. There are seven post-secondary (non-tertiary) schools: the Seychelles Polytechnic, School of Advanced Level Studies, Seychelles Tourism Academy, University of Seychelles Education, Seychelles Institute of Technology, Maritime Training Center, Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Center and the National Institute for Health and Social Studies.

The administration launched plans to open a university in an attempt to slow down the brain drain that has occurred. University of Seychelles, initiated in conjunction with the University of London, opened on 17 September 2009 in three locations and offers qualifications from the University of London.

Staple foods include fish, seafood and shellfish dishes, often accompanied with rice.[42][43] Fish dishes are cooked in several ways, such as steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked.[42] Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country’s cuisine.[43][44]

Additional food staples include coconut, breadfruit, mangoes and kordonnyen fish.[45] Dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers.[45]

The music of Seychelles is diverse, a reflection of the fusion of cultures through its history. The folk music of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentationsuch as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau), European contredanse, polka and mazurka, French folk and pop, sega from Mauritius and Runion, taarab, soukous and other pan-African genres, and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music.

A form of percussion music called contombley is popular, as is Moutya, a fusion of native folk rhythms with Kenyan benga. Kontredans (based on European contredanse) is popular, especially in District and School competitions during the annual Festival Kreol (International Creole Festival). Moutya playing and dancing can often be seen at beach bazaars. Their main languages are Seychellois Creole of the French language, French and English.

The main daily newspaper is the Seychelles Nation, dedicated to local government views and current affairs and topics. Other political parties operate other papers such as Regar. Foreign newspapers and magazines are readily available in most bookshops and newsagents. The papers are mostly written in Seychellois Creole, French and English.

The main television and radio network is operated by the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation which offers locally produced news and discussion programmes in the Seychellois Creole language. Broadcasts run between 3pm and 11:30pm on weekdays and longer hours during the weekends. There are also imported English and French language television programmes imported on Seychellois terrestrial television and international satellite television has grown rapidly in recent years.

The most popular sport in Seychelles is basketball, which has particularly developed in this decade.[48] The country’s national team qualified for the 2015 African Games, its greatest accomplishment to date. There, the team competed against some of the continent’s largest countries such as Egypt.

The Military of Seychelles is the Seychelles People’s Defence Force which consists of a number of distinct branches: including an Infantry Unit, Coast Guard, Air Force and a Presidential Protection Unit. India has and continues to play a key role developing the military of Seychelles. After handing over 2 SDB Mk5 patrol vessels namely INS Tarasa and INS Tarmugli to Seychelles Coast Guard, built by GRSE which were subsequently renamed SCG Constant and SCG Topaz, India also gifted a Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.[49] India also signed a pact to develop Assumption Island, one of the 115 islands that make up the country. Spread over 11km2 (4sqmi), it is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar. The island is being leased for the development of infrastructure, a euphemism for developing strategic assets by India.[50]

In 2014, Seychelles had the highest incarceration rate in the world of 799 prisoners per 100,000 population, exceeding the United States rate by 15%.[51] However, the country’s actual population is less than 100,000; as of September 2014, Seychelles had 735 actual prisoners, 6% of whom were female, incarcerated in three prisons.[52]

Seychelles is a key participant in the fight against Indian Ocean piracy mainly by Somalis.[53] Former president James Michel said that piracy costs between $712 million a year to the international community: “The pirates cost 4% of the Seychelles GDP, including direct and indirect costs for the loss of boats, fishing, and tourism, and the indirect investment for the maritime security”, factors affecting local fishing one of the country’s main national resources which had a 46% loss in 200809.[53] International contributions of patrol boats, planes or drones have been provided to help Seychelles combat sea piracy.[53]

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Seychelles – Wikipedia

So Seychelles | Holidays On Paradise Islands

Nature takes priority in the Seychelles; most islands are nature reserves and even on the three most inhabited islands large areas of land are protected. When you see them you’ll understand why.

A lucky few may experience the thrill of living on their own private island. but for everyone else the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue offer the chance to escape the real world and get back to nature. Which one will you choose?

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So Seychelles | Holidays On Paradise Islands

Where is Seychelles? / Where is Seychelles Located in The …

Located in the continent of Africa, Seychelles covers 455 square kilometers of land, making it the 203rd largest nation in terms of land area.

Seychelles became an independent state in 1976, after gaining its sovereignty from The United Kingdom. The population of Seychelles is 90,024 (2012) and the nation has a density of 198 people per square kilometer.

The currency of Seychelles is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR). As well, the people of Seychelles are refered to as Seychellois.

The dialing code for the country is 248 and the top level internet domain for Seychellois sites is .sc.

Seychelles does not share land borders with any countries.

To learn more, visit our detailed Seychelles section.

Victoria is the capital city of Seychelles. It has a population of 22,881, and is located on a latitue of -4.62 and longitude of 55.45.

Victoria is also the political center of Seychelles, which is considered a Republic, and home to its Executive head of state.

This page was last updated on October 2, 2015.

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Where is Seychelles? / Where is Seychelles Located in The …

Victoria, Seychelles – Wikipedia

Victoria is the capital city of Seychelles and is situated on the north-eastern side of Mah island, the archipelago’s main island. The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government. In 2010, the population of Greater Victoria (including the suburbs) was 26,450 out of the country’s total population of 90,945.[2]

The principal exports of Victoria are vanilla, coconuts, coconut oil, fish and guano.[3]

Attractions in the city include a clocktower modelled on that of Vauxhall Clock Tower in London, England,[3][4] the Courthouse, the Victoria Botanical Gardens, the Victoria National Museum of History, the Victoria Natural History Museum and the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market.[3] Victoria Market and the brightly coloured fish and fruit markets are the local hotspot for the Seychellois people. Also nearby is the gallery of local artist Georges Camille.

The city is home to the national stadium, the International School Seychelles and a polytechnic.

Victoria is served by Seychelles International Airport, completed in 1971.[3] The inner harbour lies immediately east of the town, where tuna fishing and canning forms a major local industry.[3] One of the largest bridges in Victoria was destroyed by tsunami waves from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.[4]

The area that would become Victoria was originally settled in 1778 by French colonists after they claimed the island in 1756, but it was not until after the Treaty of Paris of 1814 was signed that the British formally established Victoria and gave it its modern name.[5][6]

Victoria proper is composed of parts of three Districts of Seychelles:

Greater Victoria encompasses these three, and five more of the 25 Districts of Seychelles as follows:

Victoria is twinned with:

Victoria features a tropical rainforest climate (Kppen climate classification Af) with high temperatures throughout the course of the year. The capital does have noticeably wetter and drier periods during the year, with June and July being its driest months and December through February being the city’s wettest months. However, since in no month does the average monthly precipitation falls below 60mm in Victoria, the city does not have a true dry season month. This lack of a true dry season month is a primary reason why the climate falls under the tropical rainforest climate category. The capital averages about 2,000mm of precipitation annually. Although being very rainy, skies are usually clear to partly clear and completely cloudy days remain scarce throughout the year even during the rainiest months.

Coordinates: 43700S 552700E / 4.6167S 55.4500E / -4.6167; 55.4500

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Victoria, Seychelles – Wikipedia

Seychelles travel – Lonely Planet

Splendid Beaches

Mother Nature was very generous with these 115 islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, and has spoiled them rotten. Undeniably, the beaches are the big attraction, and what beaches: exquisite ribbons of pearlescent sand lapped by topaz waters and backed by lush hills and big glacis boulders. And hardly a soul in sight. Choosing your favourite beach is like trying to pick a flavour of ice cream they’re all so good! Hot favourites include world-famous Anse Source d’Argent, secluded Anse Marron, sexy Anse Takamaka and picture-postcard perfect Anse Lazio.

Diving and snorkelling are the most popular activities in the Seychelles, and rightly so. Healthy reefs, canyon-like terrain, shallow shelves, exciting shipwrecks, impressive granite outcrops and splendid coral gardens give divers and snorkellers almost instant access to a variety of environments. The water is warm and clear, and teeming with life from the tiniest juvenile tropical to the largest pelagic creature, including whale sharks. Whether you’re an experienced diver or slapping on fins for the first time, there are sites for all levels. And you’ll be welcomed by qualified, multilingual instructors in state-of-the-art dive centres.

White-sand beaches, secluded coves, coral-coloured sunsets, swish hotels, slick restaurants, hushed spas. With such a dreamlike setting, it’s not surprising that honeymooners and those seeking a glamorous tropical getaway have long had the Seychelles at the top of their wish lists. You too can live the high life at one of the country’s star-spangled hotspots, provided you have the cash. If youre not a millionaire, fear not. This paradise is more affordable than you think. On top of ultraluxurious options, the Seychelles has plenty of self-catering facilities and family-run guesthouses that are easier on the wallet and offer local colour.

Charge your camera batteries, people the Seychelles is not dubbed ‘The Galpagos of the Indian Ocean’ for nothing. Watching sea turtles nesting on Bird Island’s sandy beaches or giant Aldabra tortoises roaming freely on Curieuse is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. If you’re hoping to spot sooty terns, tropicbirds, warblers and magpie robins in their natural habitats, the bird sanctuaries of Aride, Cousin, and Bird Islands should figure heavily in your planning. And Praslin’s Valle de Mai is a slice of Eden where you can see the very rare coco de mer palms in their natural state.

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Seychelles travel – Lonely Planet

Seychelles – Wikipedia

Coordinates: 435S 5540E / 4.583S 55.667E / -4.583; 55.667

Seychelles ((listen) say-SHELZ; French: [sl]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: Rpublique des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelago and country in the Indian Ocean. The 115-island country, whose capital is Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932mi) east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte (region of France), Madagascar, Runion (region of France) and Mauritius to the south. With a population of roughly 92,000, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country; however, it does have a larger population than the British overseas territory Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.[4]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. After proclamation of independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, Seychelles has developed from a largely agricultural society to a market-based diversified economy, with agriculture being supplanted by rapidly rising service and public sectors as well as tourism. Since 1976, nominal GDP output has increased nearly sevenfold and the purchasing power parity nearly sixteenfold. In recent years, the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade these sectors. Today, Seychelles boasts the highest nominal per capita GDP in Africa, excluding the French regions. It is one of only a handful of countries in Africa with a high Human Development Index. Despite the country’s newfound economic prosperity, poverty remains widespread due to a high level of income inequality, one of the highest in the world, and low wealth distribution.[5]

The Seychelles were uninhabited throughout most of recorded history. Some scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. This assumption is based on the discovery of tombs, visible until 1910.[6] The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral). The earliest recorded landing was in January 1609, by the crew of the “Ascension” under Captain Alexander Sharpeigh during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid on Mah by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Schelles, Louis XV’s Minister of Finance.[7]

The British controlled the islands between 1794 and 1810. Jean Baptiste Quau de Quincy, French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.

Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970.

Independence was granted in 1976 as a republic within the Commonwealth.[8] In the 1970s Seychelles was “the place to be seen, a playground for film stars and the international jet set”.[9] In 1977, a coup d’tat by France Albert Ren ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham.[10] Ren discouraged over-dependence on tourism and declared that he wanted “to keep the Seychelles for the Seychellois”.[9]

The 1979 constitution declared a socialist one-party state, which lasted until 1991.

In the 1980s there were a series of coup attempts against President Ren, some of which were supported by South Africa. In 1981, Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries masquerading as holidaying rugby players in the 1981 Seychelles coup d’tat attempt.[9] There was a gun battle at the airport, and most of the mercenaries later escaped in a hijacked Air India plane.[9] The leader of this hijacking was German mercenary D. Clodo, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS.[11] Clodo later stood trial in South Africa (where he was acquitted) as well as in his home country Germany for air-piracy.[12]

In 1986, an attempted coup led by the Seychelles Minister of Defence, Ogilvy Berlouis, caused President Ren to request assistance from India. In Operation Flowers are Blooming, the Indian naval vessel INS Vindhyagiri arrived in Port Victoria to help avert the coup.[13]

The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the requisite 60% of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.

In January 2013, Seychelles declared a state of emergency; the tropical cyclone Felleng caused torrential rain, and flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses.[14][15]

The Seychelles president, who is head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The cabinet is presided over and appointed by the president, subject to the approval of a majority of the legislature.

The unicameral Seychellois parliament, the National Assembly or Assemble Nationale, consists of 34 members, 25 of whom are elected directly by popular vote, while the remaining nine seats are appointed proportionally according to the percentage of votes received by each party. All members serve five-year terms.

The Supreme Court of Seychelles, created in 1903, is the highest trial court in Seychelles and the first court of appeal from all the lower courts and tribunals. The highest court of law in Seychelles is the Seychelles Court of Appeal, which is the court of final appeal in the country.[16]

Seychelles’ previous president France Albert Ren came to power after his supporters overthrew the first president James Mancham on 5 June 1977 in a coup d’tat and installed him as president. Ren was at that time the prime minister.[17][18][19]

Ren ruled as a strongman under a socialist one-party system until in 1993, when he was forced to introduce a multi-party system. During the many years of his Presidency, Ren was a well-loved and respected national figure. He managed to turn Seychelles from a poverty-stricken, least developed country to a middle income well-governed state, with universal health coverage and a literacy rate over 90%. He was also credited with having provided robust on-the-job political-training to all the politicians in his camp. He stepped down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, who was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2011.[17][18][19] On 28 September 2016, the Office of the President announced that Michel would step down effective 16 October, and that Vice President Danny Faure would complete the rest of Michel’s term.[20]

The primary political parties are the ruling socialist People’s Party (PP), known until 2009 as the Seychelles People’s Progressive Front (SPPF), and the socially liberal Seychelles National Party (SNP).[21]

Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the francophone Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), La Francophonie, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth.

Seychelles is divided into twenty-six administrative regions comprising all of the inner islands. Eight of the districts make up the capital of Seychelles and are referred to as Greater Victoria. Another 14 districts are considered the rural part of the main island of Mah with two districts on Praslin and one on La Digue which also includes respective satellite islands. The rest of the Outer Islands (les Eloignes) are the last district, recently created by the tourism ministry.

An island nation, Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600km (994mi) east of Kenya. The archipelago consists of 115 islands. The majority of the islands are uninhabited, with many dedicated as nature reserves.

A group of 42 islands, referred to as the inland islands, has a total area of 244km2, comprising 54% of the total land area of the Seychelles and 98% of the entire population.

The islands are divided into groups as follows.

There are 45 granite-based islands known as the Granitic Seychelles. These are in descending order of size: Mah, Praslin, Silhouette Island, La Digue, Curieuse, Flicit, Frgate, Ste-Anne, North, Cerf, Marianne, Grand Sur, Thrse, Aride, Conception, Petite Sur, Cousin, Cousine, Long, Rcif, Round (Praslin), Anonyme, Mamelles, Moyenne, Eden, le Soleil, Romainville, le aux Vaches Marines, L’Islette, Beacon (le Sche), Cache, Cocos, Round (Mah), L’Ilot Frgate, Booby, Chauve-Souris (Mah), Chauve-Souris (Praslin), le La Fouche, Hodoul, L’Ilot, Rat, Souris, St. Pierre (Praslin), Zav, Harrison Rocks (Grand Rocher).

There are two coral sand cays north of the granitics: Denis and Bird.

There are two coral islands south of the Granitics: Cotivy and Platte.

There are 29 coral islands in the Amirantes group, west of the granitics: Desroches, Poivre Atoll (comprising three islandsPoivre, Florentin and South Island), Alphonse, D’Arros, St. Joseph Atoll (comprising 14 islandsSt. Joseph le aux Fouquets, Resource, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Bancs Ferrari, Chiens, Plicans, Vars, le Paul, Banc de Sable, Banc aux Cocos and le aux Poules), Marie Louise, Desnufs, African Banks (comprising two islandsAfrican Banks and South Island), Rmire, St. Franois, Boudeuse, toile, Bijoutier.

There are 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group, south-southwest of the Amirantes: Farquhar Atoll (comprising 10 islandsBancs de Sable, Dposs, le aux Golettes, Lapins, le du Milieu, North Manaha, South Manaha, Middle Manaha, North Island and South Island), Providence Atoll (comprising two islandsProvidence and Bancs Providence) and St Pierre.

There are 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group, west of the Farquhar Group: Aldabra Atoll (comprising 46 islandsGrande Terre, Picard, Polymnie, Malabar, le Michel, le Esprit, le aux Moustiques, Ilot Parc, Ilot mile, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Magnan, le Lanier, Champignon des Os, Euphrate, Grand Mentor, Grand Ilot, Gros Ilot Gionnet, Gros Ilot Ssame, Hron Rock, Hide Island, le aux Aigrettes, le aux Cdres, les Chalands, le Fangame, le Hron, le Michel, le Squacco, le Sylvestre, le Verte, Ilot Dder, Ilot du Sud, Ilot du Milieu, Ilot du Nord, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Macoa, Ilot Marquoix, Ilots Niois, Ilot Salade, Middle Row Island, Noddy Rock, North Row Island, Petit Mentor, Petit Mentor Endans, Petits Ilots, Pink Rock and Table Ronde), Assumption Island, Astove and Cosmoledo Atoll (comprising 19 islandsMenai, le du Nord (West North), le Nord-Est (East North), le du Trou, Golettes, Grand Polyte, Petit Polyte, Grand le (Wizard), Pagode, le du Sud-Ouest (South), le aux Moustiques, le Baleine, le aux Chauve-Souris, le aux Macaques, le aux Rats, le du Nord-Ouest, le Observation, le Sud-Est and Ilot la Croix).

The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small,[22] classified by Kppen-Geiger system as tropical rain forest (Af). The temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures on Mah vary from 24 to 30C (75 to 86F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900mm (114in) annually at Victoria to 3,600mm (142in) on the mountain slopes. Precipitation is somewhat less on the other islands.[23]

During the coolest months, July and August, the average low is about 24C (75F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31C (88F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.[23]

Environmental legislation is very strict, and every tourism project must undergo an environmental review and a lengthy process of consultations with the public and conservationists. Seychelles is a world leader in sustainable tourism.[according to whom?] The end result of this sustainable development is an intact and stable natural environment, which attracts financially strong visitors (150,000 in 2007) rather than short-term mass tourism. Since 1993 a law guarantees the citizens the right to a clean environment and at the same time obliges them to protect this environment. The country holds a record for the highest percentage of land under natural conservationnearly 50% of the total land area.[citation needed]

Like many fragile island ecosystems, Seychelles saw the loss of biodiversity when humans first settled in the area, including the disappearance of most of the giant tortoises from the granitic islands, the felling of coastal and mid-level forests, and the extinction of species such as the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles parakeet, and the saltwater crocodile. However, extinctions were far fewer than on islands such as Mauritius or Hawaii, partly due to a shorter period of human occupation (since 1770). Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles black parrot, the national bird of the country, is now protected.

The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species, with a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Particularly well-known is the coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the “love nut” because the shape of its “double” coconut resembles buttocks, the coco-de-mer produces the world’s heaviest seed. The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few locations on Mahe. This strange and ancient plant in a genus of its own (Medusagyne) seems to reproduce only in cultivation and not in the wild. Other unique plant species include Wright’s gardenia (Rothmannia annae) found only on Aride Island Special Reserve.

The freshwater crab genus Seychellum is endemic to the granitic Seychelles, and a further 26 species of crabs and five species of hermit crabs live on the islands.[26]

The Aldabra giant tortoise now populates many of the islands of Seychelles; the Aldabra population is the largest remaining. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds. The granitic islands of Seychelles may support distinct species of Seychelles giant tortoises; the status of the different populations is currently unclear.

There are several unique species of orchid on the islands.

Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the world, notably on the outer islands of Aldabra and Cosmoledo. In granitic Seychelles the largest colonies are on Aride Island including the world’s largest numbers of two species. Sooty terns also breed on the islands. Other birds include Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and Fairy terns (Gygis alba).[27]

The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded.

Since the use of spearguns and dynamite for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers. Coral bleaching in 1998 has damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery (e.g., Silhouette Island).

Despite huge disparities across nations, Seychelles claims to have achieved nearly all of its Millennium Development Goals.[citation needed] 17 MDGS and 169 targets have been achieved.[citation needed] Environmental protection is becoming a cultural value.[citation needed]

Their government’s Seychelles Climate Guide describes the nation’s climate as rainy, with a dry season with an ocean economy in the ocean regions. The Southeast Trades is on the decline but still fairly strong.[28] Reportedly, weather patterns there are becoming less predictable.[29]

When the British gained control of the islands during the Napoleonic Wars, they allowed the French upper class to retain their land. Both the French and British settlers used enslaved Africans, and although the British prohibited slavery in 1835, African workers continued to come. Thus the Gran blan (“big whites”) of French origin dominated economic and political life. The British administration employed Indians on indentured servitude to the same degree as in Mauritius resulting in a small Indian population. The Indians, like a similar minority of Chinese, were confined to a merchant class.[30]

Through harmonious socioeconomic policies and developments[citation needed] over the years, today Seychelles is described as a fusion of peoples and cultures. Numerous Seychellois are considered multiracial: blending from African, Asian and European descent to create a modern creole culture. Evidence of this harmonious blend is also revealed in Seychellois food, incorporating various aspects of French, Chinese, Indian and African cuisine.

As the islands of the Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois are composed of people who have immigrated. The largest ethnic groups were those of African, French, Indian and Chinese descent. The median age of the Seychellois was 32 years.[31]

French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French, yet nowadays is often laced with English words and phrases. Including second-language speakers, Seychellois is the most-spoken official language in the Seychelles, followed by French, and lastly English.[32] 87% of the population speaks Seychellois, 51% speaks French, and 38% speaks English.[32]

According to the 2010 census, most Seychellois are Christians: 76.2% were Roman Catholic, pastorally served by the exempt Diocese of Port Victoria or Seychelles (immediately dependent on the Holy See); 10.6% were Protestant, (Anglican 6.1%, Pentecostal Assembly 1.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.2%, other Protestant 1.6%).

Hinduism is practiced by 2.4%, and Islam by 1.6%. Other non-Christian faiths accounted for 1.1% of the population while a further 5.9% were non-religious or did not specify a religion.[31]

During the plantation era, cinnamon, vanilla and copra were the chief exports. In 1965, during a three-month visit to the islands, futurist Donald Prell prepared for the then-crown colony Governor General an economic report containing a scenario for the future of the economy. Quoting from his report, in the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector.[33][34] The Indian Ocean Tracking Station on Mah was closed in August 1996 after the Seychelles government attempted to raise the rent to more than $10,000,000 per year.

Since independence in 1976, per capita output has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labour force, compared to agriculture which today employs about 3% of the labour force. Despite the growth of tourism, farming and fishing continue to employ some people, as do industries that process coconuts and vanilla.

As of 2013[update], the main export products are processed fish (60%) and non-fillet frozen fish (22%).[35]

The prime agricultural products currently produced in Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. These products provide much of the economic support of the locals. Frozen and canned fish, copra, cinnamon and vanilla are the main export commodities.

Since the worldwide economic crises of 2008, the Seychelles government has prioritised a curbing of the budget deficit, including the containment of social welfare costs and further privatisation of public enterprises. The government has a pervasive presence in economic activity, with public enterprises active in petroleum product distribution, banking, imports of basic products, telecommunications and a wide range of other businesses. According to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, which measures the degree of limited government, market openness, regulatory efficiency, rule of law, and other factors, economic freedom has been increasing each year since 2010.[36]

The national currency of Seychelles is the Seychellois rupee. Initially tied to a basket of international currencies, it was depegged and allowed to be devalued and float freely in 2008 on the presumed hopes of attracting further foreign investment in the Seychelles economy.

In 1971, with the opening of Seychelles International Airport, tourism became a significant industry, essentially dividing the economy into plantations and tourism. The tourism sector paid better, and the plantation economy could only expand so far. The plantation sector of the economy declined in prominence, and tourism became the primary industry of Seychelles.

In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment to upgrade hotels and other services. These incentives have given rise to an enormous amount of investment in real estate projects and new resort properties, such as project TIME, distributed by the World Bank, along with its predecessor project MAGIC.[citation needed] Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 19911992 due largely to the Gulf War.[37]

Since then the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, small-scale manufacturing and most recently the offshore financial sector, through the establishment of the Financial Services Authority and the enactment of several pieces of legislation (such as the International Corporate Service Providers Act, the International Business Companies Act, the Securities Act, the Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, amongst others).

During March 2015, Seychelles allocated Assumption island to be developed by India.[38]

Although multinational oil companies have explored the waters around the islands, no oil or gas has been found. In 2005, a deal was signed with US firm Petroquest, giving it exploration rights to about 30,000km2 around Constant, Topaz, Farquhar and Cotivy islands until 2014. Seychelles imports oil from the Persian Gulf in the form of refined petroleum derivatives at the rate of about 5,700 barrels per day (910m3/d).

In recent years oil has been imported from Kuwait and also from Bahrain. Seychelles imports three times more oil than is needed for internal uses because it re-exports the surplus oil in the form of bunker for ships and aircraft calling at Mah. There are no refining capacities on the islands. Oil and gas imports, distribution and re-export are the responsibility of Seychelles Petroleum (Sepec), while oil exploration is the responsibility of the Seychelles National Oil Company (SNOC).

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal.[39][40] Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children.[39]Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children.[40] Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.[39]

Until the mid-19th century, little formal education was available in Seychelles. The Catholic and Anglican churches opened mission schools in 1851. The Catholic mission later operated boys’ and girls’ secondary schools with religious Brothers and nuns from abroad even after the government became responsible for them in 1944.

A teacher training college opened in 1959, when the supply of locally trained teachers began to grow, and in short time many new schools were established. Since 1981 a system of free education has been in effect requiring attendance by all children in grades one to nine, beginning at age five. Ninety percent of all children attend nursery school at age four.

The literacy rate for school-age children rose to more than 90% by the late 1980s. Many older Seychellois had not been taught to read or write in their childhood; adult education classes helped raise adult literacy from 60% to a claimed 100% in 2014.

There are a total of 68 schools in Seychelles. The public school system consists of 23 crches, 25 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. They are located on Mah, Praslin, La Digue and Silhouette. Additionally, there are three private schools: cole Franaise, International School and the Independent School. All the private schools are on Mah, and the International School has a branch on Praslin. There are seven post-secondary (non-tertiary) schools: the Seychelles Polytechnic, School of Advanced Level Studies, Seychelles Tourism Academy, University of Seychelles Education, Seychelles Institute of Technology, Maritime Training Center, Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Center and the National Institute for Health and Social Studies.

The administration launched plans to open a university in an attempt to slow down the brain drain that has occurred. University of Seychelles, initiated in conjunction with the University of London, opened on 17 September 2009 in three locations and offers qualifications from the University of London.

Staple foods include fish, seafood and shellfish dishes, often accompanied with rice.[41][42] Fish dishes are cooked in several ways, such as steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked.[41] Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country’s cuisine.[42][43]

Additional food staples include coconut, breadfruit, mangoes and kordonnyen fish.[44] Dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers.[44]

The music of Seychelles is diverse, a reflection of the fusion of cultures through its history. The folk music of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentationsuch as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau), European contredanse, polka and mazurka, French folk and pop, sega from Mauritius and Runion, taarab, soukous and other pan-African genres, and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music.

A form of percussion music called contombley is popular, as is Moutya, a fusion of native folk rhythms with Kenyan benga. Kontredans (based on European contredanse) is popular, especially in District and School competitions during the annual Festival Kreol (International Creole Festival). Moutya playing and dancing can often be seen at beach bazaars. Their main languages are Seychellois Creole of the French language, French and English.

The main daily newspaper is the Seychelles Nation, dedicated to local government views and current affairs and topics. Other political parties operate other papers such as Regar. Foreign newspapers and magazines are readily available in most bookshops and newsagents. The papers are mostly written in Seychellois Creole, French and English.

The main television and radio network is operated by the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation which offers locally produced news and discussion programmes in the Seychellois Creole language. Broadcasts run between 3pm and 11:30pm on weekdays and longer hours during the weekends. There are also imported English and French language television programmes imported on Seychellois terrestrial television and international satellite television has grown rapidly in recent years.

The most popular sport in Seychelles is basketball, which has particularly developed in this decade.[47] The country’s national team qualified for the 2015 African Games, its greatest accomplishment to date. There, the team competed against some of the continent’s largest countries such as Egypt.

The Military of Seychelles is the Seychelles People’s Defence Force which consists of a number of distinct branches: including an Infantry Unit, Coast Guard, Air Force and a Presidential Protection Unit. India has and continues to play a key role developing the military of Seychelles. After handing over 2 SDB Mk5 patrol vessels namely INS Tarasa and INS Tarmugli to Seychelles Coast Guard, built by GRSE which were subsequently renamed SCG Constant and SCG Topaz, India also gifted a Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.[48] India also signed a pact to develop Assumption Island, one of the 115 islands that make up the country. Spread over 11km2 (4sqmi), it is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar. The island is being leased for the development of infrastructure, a euphemism for developing strategic assets by India.[49]

In 2014, Seychelles had the highest incarceration rate in the world of 799 prisoners per 100,000 population, exceeding the United States rate by 15%.[50] However, the country’s actual population is less than 100,000; as of September 2014, Seychelles had 735 actual prisoners, 6% of whom were female, incarcerated in three prisons.[51]

Seychelles is a key participant in the fight against Indian Ocean piracy mainly by Somalis.[52] Former president James Michel said that piracy costs between $712 million a year to the international community: The pirates cost 4% of the Seychelles GDP, including direct and indirect costs for the loss of boats, fishing, and tourism, and the indirect investment for the maritime security, factors affecting local fishing one of the countrys main national resources which had a 46% loss in 20089.[52] International contributions of patrol boats, planes or drones have been provided to help Seychelles combat sea piracy.[52]

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International organizations

Originally posted here:

Seychelles – Wikipedia


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