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]




International organizations

Originally posted here:

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?

Read the original:

So Seychelles | Holidays On Paradise Islands

Seychelles – Lonely Planet

Dive Courses in the Seychelles

Learn to dive or expand your diving knowledge with Blue Sea Divers. Chose from a range of certification courses from Open Water diving through becoming a Professional Diver. For absolute beginners, do not worry if you have no experience of diving, these courses will help you enjoy this new experience. Book an Intro Dive and discover the magnificent underwater world for the first time!If you are not able to stop diving after the first experience then you can become certified in the Seychelles.If you have little time? No problem! Choose the PADI Scuba Diver. In two days you will have completed half of the course Open Water and you will receive a certification that will allow you to dive with a PADI instructor all over the world. You can complete the other half of the PADI Open Water Diver at any PADI dive school in the world, at any time.Want go of the Full Diving Course ? Choose PADI OPEN WATER DIVER COURSE ; Once trained and certified, you will be able to plan and conduct dives on your own.Are you already a Diver but you wish to build confidence and expand your scuba skills through different Adventure Dives, book the Advanced Open Water Course and try out different specialities while gaining experience under the supervision of your PADI Instructor.Diving in Seychelles with Blue Sea Divers, we are here for your unforgettable experience.

Day 1:Boarding in Mah late morning. Anchorage for the night at Saint Anne Marine Park.Day 2:Visit of the Saint Anne Marine Park islands, a beautiful spot to do snorkelling. After lunch cruise to Cocos Island which is made of large rocks with strange regular stripes carved by the sea. Cocos Island forms a beautiful sight with a great harmony of shapes and colours. Under the sea, the vision is equally attractive with thousands of fishes. Unforgettable snorkelling.Anchorage in front of the picturesque harbour of La Digue. Day 3:Rent a bike at La Digue and visit this quiet and beautiful island. With its tracks winding under tall palm trees, houses with roofs of palm leaves, small coprah factories, fine white sandy beaches and large polished rocks, La Digue might be the most beautiful island in the Seychelles. No cars, only bicycles or carts drawn by oxen. Horse rides are also possible. Anchorage in La Digue harbour.Day 4: Visit of Cousin Island. Since 1968, the island has been a nature reserve and bird sanctuary with rare species and some giant tortoises. Lunch onboard. Afternoon in Praslin. Visit the Valle de Mai, a valley under UNESCO protection. A walk in the Valle is enchanting. The path wanders in the near obscurity created by the enormous palm leaves of Cocos de mer. The trunks are 40 m high and sway gently in the breeze, making a strange rustling sound as they rub against each other. Anchorage in Baie St. Anne.Day 5:Grande Soeur. Barbeque on the beach, one of the most beautiful in Seychelles. A 40 mBarbequeto discover the island, water sports, and relaxation. Anchorage in Curieuse or Anse Petite Cour for the night.Day 6:Curieuse. This island is part of the Marine National Park, more than a hundred tortoises live here. After lunch, Saint Pierre islet, a mass of rounded rocks crowned with a clump of tall palms swaying gently in the wind: typical and superb scenery of Seychelles photographed on countless occasions and printed a million times in tourism magazines! Excellent spot for snorkelling with magnificent underwater scenery. Anchorage for the night in Anse Volbert or Anse Lazio, Praslin. Day 7:Snorkelling, swimming and water sport activities on the beautiful beaches of Praslin. Return to Mah in the afternoon.Day 8: Disembarkation in Mah early morning.

This tour starts with a transfer to Baie Ste Anne jetty for the 2km crossing at 9amto the Special Nature Reserve of Cousin island. Your cruiser moors offshore and you are taken to the island on a reserve boat to prevent accidental introduction of pests to the island. It is highly recommended that youcome prepared to wrap your belongings in waterproof bags.A warden leads you on a tour of the island, with its abundance of species and habitats, from the coast with its protective mangroves, to the wetlands which attract dragonflies, moorhens, caecilans & Seychelles terrapins; on to the rejuvenated forest on the hill plateau which provides ideal nesting sites for large populations of shearwaters and bridled terns amongst its endemic trees – mapou, Indian mulberry and bwa sousouri. Endemic birds found on Cousin Island are the Magpie Robin, Sunbird , Fody, Blue Pigeon and the Warbler. The tour continues with a 30-minute boat ride to Curieuse Island, where a splendid BBQ lunch is served on the Catamaran. Curieuse island has a large population of giant tortoises, some can be seen next to the natural pond on the coast, whilst the majority range across the island freely and can sometimes be tracked by their vociferate calls of intimate congress. The tour ends with an hour’s snorkelling off the tiny island of St. Pierre. For the uninitiated, the crew is on hand with lightweight snorkelling vests to ensure that no-one misses the chance to view the abundant marine life.General Pick-up Times from Hotels:Grand Anse: 08h00-08h20 // Baie Ste Anne: 08h00-08h30

Praslin, the second largest island in Seychelles, lies approximately 1 hour by boat from Mahe. Visitors will be able to visitthe Vallee-de-Mai, the only place on earth where the giant Coco-de-Mer nut grows in its natural state – a walk along thetended paths of this primeval forest, listening to the trill of the rare Black Parrot, transports one to the beginning of time;giving credence to the legends of this World Heritage Site being the original Garden of Eden. The tour includes a visit to thefamous Anse Lazio beach, before the 30-minute crossing to La Digue. Visitors to La Digue island will marvel at the timelessatmosphere, with the comforts of the 21st century blending smoothly with the tranquility of yesteryear, where life is livedmainly at the pace of the oxen. Transfer from the jetty is by pick-up truck to L’Union Estate for a tour of the copra sheds, thegiant land tortoises and the recently refurbished colonial plantation house, location of the film Goodbye Emmanuelle. Thetour of La Digue resumes by ‘camion’, an open-sided truck with canopy, stopping at Anse Source dArgent, one of the mostspectacular beaches in the world, allowing you ample time to photograph the impressive granite rock formations. This 11-hour tour, which sometimes starts on La Digue, is an attractive opportunity to visit the highlights of both islands in one-day.Full Day Praslin & La Digue Tour: Includes two-way transfer between Mahe/Praslin by Boat.

This is a fairly shady walk through the forest of the Morne Seychellois National Park. After dropping down into a valley there is a relatively steady climb of some 140 m (450 ft) up onto a huge expanse of granite rock.Copolia is 500 m above sea level and spectacular views of the east coast of Mahe and other granitic islands.Plants and animals unique to the Seychelles, including the insectivorous Pitcher Plants can be found in the higher sections of this trail. Return is by the same trail, as there is, as yet, no alternative route.The trail is graded as MEDIUM. Approximately 4 hours is required for the total walk (ie up and down). Allow extra time for picnicking and exploring at the top. Because most of the trail is through forest, this walk can be tackled at any time of the day, although the summit is very exposed to sun, wind and mist.

The diving centre is ideally located in the very heart of the action on the famous and beautiful sand stretched beach of Beau Vallon on Mah Island, Seychelles. A comfortable 10 minute ride from the stunning Bay Ternay Marine Reserve, and close access to the most beautiful dive sites around the island, our location, will leave you breathless.Book two dives in Beau Vallon to see the underwater world.


Seychelles – Lonely Planet

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 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.

*Phone and fax numbers are international. Please dial your country’s exit code when placing a call.

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Seychelles national football team – Wikipedia

The Seychelles national football team is controlled by the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF). SFF is a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The home turf of the team is the 10,000 capacity stadium, Stade Linit situated at Roche Caiman in the outskirts of Victoria, the capital of Seychelles.

Seychelles have never qualified for the finals of the African Nations Cup or the World Cup but they made their debut in qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations in 1986, losing to Mauritius.

Under Yugoslav coach Vojo Gardasevic, the Seychelles team made their debut in the World Cup qualifiers in 2001. Philip Zialor got the equaliser for Seychelles in a 11 draw against Namibia at Stade Linit. In the preliminary round return leg match, Seychelles lost 03.

In their second attempt to qualify, for the 2006 World Cup, Seychelles lost 04 at home to Zambia but played a 11 draw in the away match. Robert Suzette was the scorer of Seychelles goal in Lusaka. Seychelles biggest competitive win came against Zimbabwe in the African Nations Cup 2004 qualifiers. Goals by strikers Alpha Bald and Philip Zialor gave Seychelles a 21 win at Stade Linit against Zimbabwe captained by professional striker Peter Ndlovu. German coach Michael Nees was at the helm of the team at that time. Under Frenchman Dominique Bathenay, Seychelles also beat Eritrea 10 at Stade Linit by a goal by veteran Roddy Victor in the same qualifiers.

In 2011, Seychelles hosted the 2011 Indian Ocean Island Games and beat Mauritius in the finals, on penalties.

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

Alternative Title: Republic of Seychelles


National anthem of Seychelles

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.

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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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Daily Boat Transfer: Complimentary return boat transfers from Enchanted Island Resort to the Wharf Hotel jetty. Departure time 9:30am and return time 4pm. If guests require a return boat transfer outside of the scheduled times, a charge of 108 per way per couple will be applied. Last boat at 10pm from Wharf.

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5 facts about Seychelles you probably did not know – Independent Online

Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa is paradise. It’s home to numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, as well as rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises. Here are some facts you probably did not know about the country. 1: Bird Island houses the heaviest land tortoise named Esmeralda, weighing 303 kilograms.

2. The capital of Seychelles, Victoria, is the is the smallest in the world. Tourists can explore it within a day.

3: The native Coco de mer produces the heaviest (about 15kg) and largest seed in the world. The locals love it so much that there is literally one everywhere you look.

4: Breadfruit is very popular in Seychelles. It can be made into savoury or sweet dishes. Rumour has it that whoever eats it will return to Seychelles one day.

5: The Seychelles has some of the rarest endemic birds, including the bare-legged Scops-owl and greater painted-snipe.

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Durban mercenary involved in Seychelles coup dies before book about his life is published – News24

2017-08-07 07:21

Tania Broughton, News24 Correspondent

Durban – The day a book about his life was sent to the printers, legendary Durban photographer Peter Duffy died.

Once a mercenary – who spent time in jail for his role in the failed 1981 Seychelles coup – his death while sitting on a bench outside a Durban shopping centre last week, could be considered somewhat of an anti-climax.

Before Duffy’s death of a presumed heart attack, he had become a recluse – estranged from many, including his friend of more than 30 years, author and journalist Graham Linscott.

Linscott wrote the book Ricochets, the Life of mercenary soldier Peter Duffy after a series of interviews which took place in Linscott’s home where Duffy was recuperating after a hip operation.

Duffy claimed he couldn’t handle the stairs at his own home. True to Duffy’s secretive style, no-one knew exactly where the house was, let alone had been there.

After signing a contract and co-operating with Linscott, he walked out of his house one day and said he wanted nothing more to do with the project.

“We didn’t speak for three years. People said I should apologise to him. But there was nothing to apologise for. I didn’t know what I had done wrong, if anything,” Linscott said.

“But he was aware that the book was going to published and somehow got an advanced copy of it. I am told he showed it to several people who all told him he should be delighted with it. But now I will never know.”


Linscott describes the book as a “romp” and not a serious book.

Because while it deals with some serious topics, it is told very much in Duffy’s humorous and mischievous style.

“Linscott is the only man who understands my sense of humour,” he used to say.

In the foreword, Linscott describes Duffy, who was born in Scotland into relative wealth, as an eccentric adventurer.

His was a coffee planter in Tanganyika, took up karate in Japan, acted as a film stunt man, and served as mercenary in the Congo, invading the Seychelles Islands and hijacking a plane to escape.

When he wanted a “quieter life” he took up news photography, working mainly for the Daily News and Sunday Tribune in Durban.

He loved eating out and cooking. In his later years he would be known to pitch up friend’s houses armed with ingredients. Sometimes he would stay for weeks.

‘Inner circle’

Up to his death, an “inner circle”, including some of Durban’s top restaurateurs remained loyal to him.

In a tribute posted on Facebook, former colleague Yogin Devan wrote: “I first met Peter Duffy when I joined the Sunday Tribune in 1980. Not too long thereafter he became involved in the hijacking saga.

“When he returned to the Tribune after serving his jail sentence, I worked with Duffy regularly. Some journalists frowned upon his antics as a mercenary and hijacker and gave him a wide berth.

“I preferred going on out-of-town assignments with Duffy – the boredom of long trips disappeared as he regaled me with stories about all his adventures.

“I also decided that Duffy could be handy when interviews became tricky – he had a black belt in karate.

“Duffy and I went on several exciting and dangerous missions into the then Transkei and Ciskei – and once got caught in the violence following a coup in Bisho.

“Duffy was most knowledgeable about gourmet cooking and alcoholic beverages. He bragged about cooking a good few last suppers when he was in Pretoria Central Prison. He recalled that one condemned prisoner’s last meal request was scrambled eggs. Duffy was also a connoisseur of cocktails.”

‘What a read…’

Devan said in October 2016, he arranged a cordial meeting in Mumbai between Duffy and Captain Umesh Saxena, the pilot of the Air India plane that Duffy and his fellow mercenaries had hijacked.

“They shared their versions of the episode over beers and a meal. I once read through the manuscripts of his life story. What a read

“When I broke the news of Duffy’s death to Capt Saxena this [Saturday] morning, he was shocked and saddened.”

Ricochets will be officially launched on August 17 at Adams in Musgrave Centre, Durban.

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Durban mercenary involved in Seychelles coup dies before book about his life is published – News24

Dark clouds over Air Seychelles: Former tourism minister concerned – eTurboNews

Alain St. Ange was the former minister of tourism for the Republic the Seychelles. Seychelles lives and breathes tourism. St. Ange is now heard of his own Saint Ange Consultancy firm.

Dragged into dark clouds flying over Air Seychelles financial partner Etihad Airways, the national carrier Air Seychelles confirmed the discontinuation of its Victoria- Dusseldorf flight and a reduction of flights on its Paris run. This follows the suspension of its Durban route. The former minister Alain St. Ange worked hard to bring a new destination like Duesseldorf on board. His famous Carnival de Victoria attracted Duesseldorf Carnival officials and brought Seychelles on the tourism map in the largest outbound travel region in Germany.

Tour operators just got used and pitched to expand their reach to the Indian Ocean, when Air Seychelles abruptlypulled Duesseldorf from their network.

Alain says: Any loss of flights to a tourism destination is concerning, and more so when it touches key tourism source markets. Seychelles needs more than ever before to work in total unity to ensure that other airlines do not follow suit.

The remarkable success of our fragile tourism industry in recent years mustnot be taken for granted. Though we as Seychelloisbelieve that wehave the most stunning beaches and array of islands on the planet, every other similar touristic destination shares the same belief. This means that we are fishing from the same pond, and solelyrelying on our countrys beauty to fill up hotel beds year after year is an unrealistic expectation.

Visibility is integraland it alone remains the key to success. Visibility keeps tourism destinations relevant and

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Dark clouds over Air Seychelles: Former tourism minister concerned – eTurboNews

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8 of the best resorts in the Seychelles – CNN

(CNN) The Maldives isn’t the only spot for Indian Ocean indulgence.

The Seychelles — a string of 115 tropical islands 1,000 miles east of Tanzania — boasts some of the world’s best beaches with a renowned collection of luxurious getaways.

It’s long been a sun-drenched playground for the rich and famous, so there’s no shortage of villa resorts with 24-hour butlers, private swimming holes, gourmet cuisine and spa treatments alongside arrestingly beautiful beaches.

From family-friendly resorts to hyperexclusive private islands, here’s a guide to eight of the Seychelles’ greatest escapes:

This private peninsula resort, based on the secluded and picturesque Anse Louis, is as exclusive as it gets on the mainland of Mah.

Only guests of the all-inclusive 30-villa retreat have access to its lush grounds, which includes a beach-level restaurant, swimming pool and bar as well as a stunning open-air Balinese spa.

Most clientele spend most of their stay in spacious thatched beach or hillside villas — each with its own ocean-facing infinity pool, outdoor sunken tub and 24-hour butler/in-room dining service — to make most use of MAIA’s space for ultimate privacy and comfort.

North Island features three unspoilt beaches.

For ultra-luxury there’s North Island, the Seychelles’ preeminent private island where one night’s stay can set you back more than $5,000.

The 11-villa butler-serviced island has hosted many an A-lister — including the Clooneys, the Beckhams and most famously the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — plus other wealthy travelers who seek complete privacy in a “barefoot luxury” setting.

North Island features an intimate cliffside spa, three unspoilt beaches and a chef who cooks whatever you wish (In the mood for lobster? Octopus curry for lunch? No problem). Beyond the exclusive beaches and massive beachfront villas, the eco-conscious resort runs a lauded nature conservancy program, which has led Hawksbill and green turtles to nest once again on its pristine shores.

The Six Senses brand makes its splashy African debut with Zil Pasyon (“Passion Island” in Creole) in 2016, becoming the country’s “it” resort of the moment. It’s a private island sanctuary of 30 modern villas, each with a generous personal infinity pool and in-villa wine cellar.

“Butlers” are not a thing here; instead, designated Guest Experience Makers cater to guests’ needs 24 hours a day. There are six restaurants and bars, including The Chef’s Kitchen, an exclusive gourmet treat for up to six guests for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Activities include daily yoga, beachside cinema nights and outdoor spa treatments between two enormous boulders, and should guests have a bit of “private island fever,” the more populous La Digue and Praslin islands are just a short boat ride away.

Four Seasons Seychelles’ westward profile provides the best sunset views.

The Four Season Seychelles is based along the gorgeous Petite Anse beach in Mah, with 67 well-appointed villas scattered among a large, lush hill.

Many of the stilted villas along the jungle-covered slopes resemble treehouses — only a lot more palatial — with personal infinity pools, daybed pavilions, indoor and outdoor showers and ample outdoor space. Serious spa-goers will feel at home here, as quality treatments such as the Hilltop Fusion Massage — blending Malaysian, Indian and European techniques — are carried out in private pavilions among the resort’s highest altitudes.

The resort’s westward profile makes for brilliant sunset views, best enjoyed either on a villa’s ocean-facing deck lounger or on the spa’s breathtakingly placed rooftop, overlooking all of Petite Anse and onto the horizon.

Golf, gastronomy and gorgeous beaches define Constance Lemuria, a sprawled resort on Praslin’s northwest tip.

It boasts the Seychelles’ sole 18-hole championship-ready golf course, where you can channel your Tiger Woods in exotic environs; the famed 13th hole, located on a steep hill, offer splendid views of the jungle and Indian Ocean.

The newly refurbished resort sports over 100 suites and villas along Grande Anse Kerlan. Though this beach and Petite Anse Kerlan hug the resort’s main area, it’s worth the shuttle ride or 15-minute hike to visit Anse Georgette, one of the world’s highest-rated beaches.

Dining options include modern international restaurant Diva, sleek buffet restaurant The Legend (with premium themed dinners), and The Nest’s deck “on the rocks”: a coveted, private dining space for two amongst boulders and stellar beach views.

Family-owned Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie is known as laid-back La Digue’s swishest resort. The Asian-inspired getaway has 63 villas, including the recent introduction of eight Garden Suite Residences fitted in earthy elements such as stone and wood.

Its convenient location next to the La Passe village makes for a brief stroll to Anse Svre Beach or a brisk journey via bicycle — complimentary for each guest — to the world-famous Anse Source d’Argent.

There’s a spa, two restaurants, a terrace-based bar and a spa, but The Pool Bar is the place to be, with its infinity edge leading towards breathtaking views of Praslin’s peaks.

Raffles Praslin is only a stone’s throw away from Anse Lazio, one of the best beaches on Earth.

Raffles Seychelles, based in the north along Anse Takamaka, is located minutes from Anse Lazio, one of the best beaches on Earth.

The resort sports 86 villas, each with a private plunge pool and an outdoor pavilion/dining area, and 24-hour butler service is available for the higher-end one- and two-bedroom villas.

All villas come equipped with easels and sketching paper, allowing guests to express their inner Monet or van Gogh with endless inspiration from the beach and ocean views.

Raffles Spa, purported to be the largest spa in the Seychelles, is a true standout which includes 12 treatment pavilions, a sauna and steam pool, a fitness studio and yoga and meditation classes along the beach.

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa isn’t based on a private island, but it might as well be. There are only 200 inhabitants on the island on which it is based, Silhouette, which happens to be the Seychelles’ third largest.

Villa options in this tropical getaway accommodate a wider scope of budgets than most others, ranging from the affordable King Garden Villas to the nearly 12,000 square feet Silhouette Estate, said to have the largest private pool in the Seychelles.

It remains a popular choice for families with a state-of-the-art Kids’ Club and babysitting services, and it also offers plenty for the active traveler, including a PADI diving center and varied guided hike excursions around the island’s lush, virgin rainforests.

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8 of the best resorts in the Seychelles – CNN

Seychelles reports find of possible plane debris, tells Malaysia – Eyewitness News

Seychelles reports find of possible plane debris, tells Malaysia

The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) said scientists researching birds and turtles had found the debris washed up on Farqhar.

Malaysians take part in a candle-light vigil to mark the one-month anniversary of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight. Picture: AFP.

VICTORIA Seychelles reported on Thursday the discovery of two pieces of debris that seemed to be from an aircraft and said it had notified Malaysia, whose Flight MH370 vanished in 2014 with 239 people aboard.

The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) said scientists researching birds and turtles had found the debris washed up on Farqhar, one of the islands that make up the tropical Indian Ocean nation.

The direction of flow of the sea currents make it likely that the (debris) came from the general direction where other parts (of MH370) have been found in Indian Ocean countries, a senior SCAA official who asked not to be named told Reuters.

Michael Payet, a spokesman for the state agency that manages all Seychelles islands, said the largest of the two bits of debris was about 120 cm long and 30 cm (one foot) wide and appeared to be made of aluminium and carbon fibre.

It could be part of an engine cover, he said.

The SCAA was in contact with Malaysian authorities, who have shown an interest, and with whom we expect to work closely, the aviation authority said in a statement.

Few traces of the Boeing 777 airliner have turned up over more than three years of searching since it disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew aboard soon after take-off from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, bound for Beijing.

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Seychelles reports find of possible plane debris, tells Malaysia – Eyewitness News

#CSIMonth: Why the Seychelles’ ban on large hotel developments is a good thing – Bizcommunity.com

Bigger, better, taller and more expensive is becoming less of a trend as top tourism destinations globally are shifting focus to the preservation and conservation of their tourism heritage and natural resources.

In many ways, the Seychelles has long since been at the forefront in protecting its environment against the possible adverse effects that can come as a result of tourism. Despite its small size, the island destination has actively been working to manage its tourism development with due regards to the environment. From reducing, reusing and the recycling of waste materials to actively promoting sustainable living to both residents and visitors, Seychelles Government and Environmental NGOs are doing its share to protect the environment.

Probably one of the most fascinating developments, although not directly linked to conservation, is that, apart from 18 pre-approved hotel developments, the Seychelles government has banned large hotel developments indefinitely in what has been coined the moratorium on large hotel developments.

While the idea behind the moratorium was not to halt the development of all projects completely, it was implemented to encourage the construction of smaller locally owned resorts, reflecting Seychelles Creole architecture and culture. Perhaps a better understanding of this is that the Seychellois have a monopoly on hotels and resorts of up to 15 rooms or villas with this segment strictly reserved for local investors into the hospitality industry. Thus, putting the business back in Seychellois hands.

However, with more than half of the Seychelles land area and also a large section of the ocean surrounding the islands set aside for conservation, the moratorium has also proven to be instrumental in preserving the natural veracity of many of the untouched and natural areas and resources the Seychelles has to offer.

Despite growing tourism numbers, the moratorium also hinders the possibility that the Seychelles will become and overdeveloped mass tourism destination, leaving future visitors with an authentic and true island destination.

Although the hotel project was initially part of the 18 new tourism establishments excluded from the moratorium on the construction of large hotels, the Citizens Initiative took every effort to ensure public concern was raised on the project.

An earlier biodiversity assessment of the Grand Police showed that this specific location is considered an international key biodiversity area (KBA). It is flanked by two other key diversity areas on the hills of the Collines du Sud which are currently being merged. It is also a freshwater wetland and home to two species of endemic, critically endangered and nationally protected terrapins Torti Soupap as well as being a potential foraging area for sheath tail bats.

The group launched a comprehensive campaign on social media to gather public opinion to strengthen its cause and also organised a march and launched a petition, whereby over 7,500 signatures were acquired and submitted to the head of state. After meeting with Seychelles President Danny Faure, the acquired evidence and petition was submitted to cabinet ministers who agreed that steps are taken to have the section of land returned to the government and be declared a protected area.

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#CSIMonth: Why the Seychelles’ ban on large hotel developments is a good thing – Bizcommunity.com

‘When corals die off, we die off’ – CNN

Thanks to climate change, the ocean is no longer a friend of Seychelles. But can its reefs offer this embattled nation a lifeline?

The meteorological event, a combination of ocean heat redistribution and wind reversal in the Pacific, occurs approximately every two to seven years and has far-reaching consequences. The last El Nino in 2016 was similarly dreadful, reducing coral coverage on Seychelles’ reefs from 50% to 5%, say local researchers.

El Nino is a phenomenon: a devastating, uncontrollable exception to the norm. With carefully managed conservation, Seychelles can survive its wild fluctuations. But not if global warming continues. As baseline temperatures creep up, the ecosystem loses its ability to recover. Eventually El Nino could prove terminal.

“People that don’t believe in climate change, maybe they need to come to the Seychelles,” says Lisa Laporte Booyse, who runs a guesthouse on the southeast tip of Mahe, the largest island in the chain.

“We can show them photos of things that were very different before … coastal erosion. We can see flooding that we never experienced, the higher temperatures that we’ve never experienced before. The season(al) changes that have had an effect.”

“Before, we literally could tell you the day that our rainy season would start. Now, we have droughts that we never experienced before.”

Bleached coral close to the coast. Coral coverage dropped from 50% to 5% on reefs in 2016.

So much of the affairs on land are dictated by the health of the biosphere in the water.

When it comes to coastal erosion, reefs are key, acting as a wave breaker protecting the shoreline, explains Savi Leblond, project leader at the Cerf Island Conservation Program, 2.5 miles off the coast of Mahe. Without strong reefs, the land is at the mercy of the ocean. At present, they are delicately poised.

“Our reefs here have been under several threats — natural and anthropogenic,” Leblond says.

Sea surface temperature rises cause “stress” to corals, which release an algae zooxanthellae, which makes up “90% of its food source, as well as its color.” The result is bleaching and depleted nourishment. Bleaching is reversible, but if waters remain too warm for too long, coral starves and dies.

A turtle swims among bleached coral in Seychelles.

Either of these eventualities would be a catastrophe for Seychelles’ biosphere — above and below water.

“When corals die off, unfortunately we die off,” surmises Leblond. “Everything relies on coral reefs.”

“It was the fishermen who said it’s not like it was before,” recalls Booyse.

Seychellois look to the sea for sustenance; they’re custodians of over 500,000 square miles of ocean, and 15% of the population are engaged in fishing and fishing-related activities. But it’s already proving harder for fisherman like Augustin Desaubin and others to eek out a living.

As a boy Desaubin remembers “the corals were beautiful; plenty of coral inside the reef, plenty of fish,” he adds. “Now we can see only seaweed.”

“When I was young, octopus was abundant. I (would) dive for about one hour, you’d have five or six octopus and go home.” Now approaching 50, Desaubin says there are days when he returns empty-handed.

“Corals cover less than 0.1% of the world’s surface area but they house over 25% of the world’s biodiversity,” Leblond explains.

“We, the People of Seychelles, grateful to Almighty God that we inhabit one of the most beautiful countries in the world; ever mindful of the uniqueness and fragility of Seychelles… declar(e) our unswaying commitment… (to) help preserve a safe, healthy and functioning environment for ourselves and for posterity.”

Alongside government initiatives, citizens are taking action.

“We grow corals in a nursery and use these nursery-grown corals to rehabilitate the reef,” explains marine scientist Jude Bijoux. Due to climate change, only corals most resilient to warm temperatures are selected, he adds.

The time-consuming process involves transferring coral fragments from one of five artificial reefs to rope lines, then to substrate or natural rock on the sea floor. It’s a six to 12-month effort requiring epoxy resin and regular rope cleaning with a toothbrush.

“It’s a bit weird,” says Leblond, but their methods give coral “the best chance they have.”

Rope-grown corals are tended to as part of reef rehabilitation.

Inspired by initiatives on Cerf, Booyse started the Anse Forbans Community Conservation Program, a group of neighbors setting up a coral nursery of their own.

“(It) won’t be an immediate fix,” Booyse says. “We’re looking at a five-year lifespan to get the corals healthy, growing again and plant them back.”

Even among one of the greenest societies in the world, ownership and responsibility lie at the heart of Booyse’s motives. “My own generation, and generations before, have made a big impact on the environment,” she says. “I have to try and lead and make a difference.”

“When you’re fighting the cause you’ve just got to go and keep going.”

Seychellois know that in the fight against climate change, no half-measures will do. Their livelihoods and homes depend on it.


‘When corals die off, we die off’ – CNN

Seychelles named top island destination in Africa & Middle East – eTurboNews

Seychelles has been named the top island destination in Africa and the Middle East in the Travel + Leisures 2017 Worlds Best Awards. Its the second year in a row that Seychelles is rated in the top spot in this category by Travel + Leisure.

Results of the 22nd travel + leisures worlds best awards were revealed on Tuesday 11th July. This is based on an annual survey, which allows readers of the New York-based travel magazine to rate their travel experiences around the globe. Readers get to share their opinions on top hotels, islands, cities, airlines, cruise lines, spas, among others.

The best islands by region are rated on a number of characteristics including their natural attractions, beaches, activities & sights, restaurants, food, people & friendliness and value. Their romantic appeal also feature as an optional criteria. For each characteristic, respondents are asked to give a rating based on a five-point scale of excellence.

Boasting lush tropical vegetation, powder-white beaches and clear turquoise waters, Seychelles a 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean came out on top of the readers list when it comes to the Africa & Middle East region. Mauritius has been voted the second-best island destination and Madagascar is third.

Announcing Seychelles number 1 position, Travel + Leisure quoted one readers description of the islands as saying: It is like you are in the Garden of Eden.

Commenting on the award, the Seychelles Tourism Boards Regional Director for Africa & the Americas, David Germain said: Achieving the distinction of Top Island in Africa and the Middle East for the second year in a row is a tremendous honor for the Seychelles, recognizing that the region has much to offer in terms of world-class island experiences.

Mr. Germain noted that that the Seychelles Tourism Board continues to build a solid trade relations platform with the USA and Canadian outbound tour operators, travel agents and other trade partners in North America. He said that winning the award for a second consecutive year, is evidence that the STBs marketing strategy in North America is working.

The Award helps to garner recognition, and provides a significant amount of visibility for our islands in North America and the region. The STB will continue to share and present the culture and tourism attributes of Seychelles to both the trade and consumers in the various North American cities, with the aim of increasing tourists arrival to Seychelles from this part of the world, said Mr. Germain.

Visitor arrivals from the Americas to the Seychelles has increased by 69 percent from January to June.

Mr. Germain will be receiving the award for Seychelles, at a ceremony which will bring all winners together in New York City on July 26. The award ceremony will be hosted by the Editor in Chief of Travel + Leisure, Nathan Lump.

Commenting on the choices of the readers this year, Mr. Lump said: Whats clear to me this year is how much they are drawn to experiences that arent just enjoyable but provide something richer cultural immersion, mental and physical well-being, a true sense of adventure.

Its not easy to satisfy this group, but the destinations, hotels and companies that are doing it know that todays traveler cares about a lot more than creature comforts, he added.

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Seychelles named top island destination in Africa & Middle East – eTurboNews