The Seychellois government closely monitors the quantity and status of the trees, and, although commerce is regulated to prevent overharvesting, poaching is a concern. The capital, Victoria, is situated on the island of Mahé.  The granitic islands of Seychelles may support distinct species of Seychelles giant tortoises; the status of the different populations is currently unclear. Considerable efforts have been made to preserve the islands’ marked biodiversity. Sailing, diving, fishing and relaxing are the main activities for visitors to the 115 islands of this Indian Ocean archipelago. Since independence in 1976, per capita output has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. 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. , 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%. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, Settlement patterns and demographic trends, Constitutional framework and local government, https://www.britannica.com/place/Seychelles, Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Seychelles, Seychelles - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Seychelles - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Since the late 2010s, the government has taken steps to encourage foreign investment. Other faiths accounted for 1.1% of the population, while a further 5.9% were non-religious or did not specify a religion.. From 1976 until 2015, nominal GDP grew nearly sevenfold, and purchasing power parity increased nearly sixteenfold. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). Bird Island is the breeding ground for millions of terns, turtle doves, shearwaters, frigate birds, and other seabirds that flock there each year. The islands lie off the coast of East Africa in the warm Indian Ocean north of both Madagascar and Mauritius, and just about parallel with parts of Kenya.  On 26th October 2020, Wavel Ramkalawan a 59 year old Anglican priest was elected the fifth President of the Republic of Seychelles. Other birds include Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and Fairy terns (Gygis alba). Embed location map of Seychelles into your website. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Seychelles is divided into twenty-six administrative regions comprising all of the inner islands. Seychelles is among the world's leading countries to protect lands for threatened species, allocating 42% of its territory for conservation. Satellite view is showing the Seychelles, an archipelago with official 155 islands, scattered over 1.3 million square kilometers of the western Indian Ocean east of …  Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.. There are 67 raised coral islands in the Aldabra Group, west of the Farquhar Group: Aldabra Atoll (comprising 46 islands—Grande Terre, Picard, Polymnie, Malabar, Île Michel, Île Esprit, Île aux Moustiques, Ilot Parc, Ilot Émile, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Magnan, Île Lanier, Champignon des Os, Euphrate, Grand Mentor, Grand Ilot, Gros Ilot Gionnet, Gros Ilot Sésame, Héron Rock, Hide Island, Île aux Aigrettes, Île aux Cèdres, Îles Chalands, Île Fangame, Île Héron, Île Michel, Île Squacco, Île Sylvestre, Île Verte, Ilot Déder, Ilot du Sud, Ilot du Milieu, Ilot du Nord, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Macoa, Ilot Marquoix, Ilots Niçois, 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 islands—Menai, Île du Nord (West North), Île Nord-Est (East North), Île du Trou, Goélettes, Grand Polyte, Petit Polyte, Grand Île (Wizard), Pagode, Île du Sud-Ouest (South), Île aux Moustiques, Île Baleine, Île aux Chauve-Souris, Île aux Macaques, Île aux Rats, Île du Nord-Ouest, Île Observation, Île Sud-Est and Ilot la Croix). The literacy rate for school-age children rose to more than 90% by the late 1980s. He stepped down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel, who was reelected in 2006 and again in 2011. Until the mid-19th century, little formal education was available in Seychelles. An island nation, Seychelles is located in the Somali Sea segment of the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600 km (994 mi) east of Kenya. South Island, African Banks has been eroded by the sea.  India also signed a pact to develop Assumption Island, one of the 115 islands that make up the country.  A reported 6% of the population of Seychelles are ethnic Indians, but only 2.4% are Hindus.  In 1977, a coup d'état by France Albert René ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham. Jean Baptiste Quéau de Quincy, the French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Bird Island is home to the heaviest land tortoise living in the wild, Esmeralda, who tips the scales at … A group of 44 islands (42 granitic and 2 coralline) occupy the shallow waters of the Seychelles Bank and are collectively referred to as the inner islands. Other nearby island countries and territories include the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, and the French overseas regions of Mayotte and Réunion to the south; as well as Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago (administered by the United Kingdom as the British Indian Ocean Territory) to the east. The world’s only granite islands in mid-ocean, the world’s oldest ocean islands, the world’s largest … The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, Louis XV's Minister of Finance.. Seychelles is the ideal place to recalibrate mind, body, and soul. The highest point in Seychelles, Morne Seychellois (2,969 feet [905 metres]), situated on Mahé, is located within this mountainous island group. 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. All the private schools are on Mahé, and the International School has a branch on Praslin. Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean.  Clodo later stood trial in South Africa (where he was acquitted) as well as in his home country Germany for air piracy. Recently published hardback books provide unique overviews of both contemporary art in Seychelles as well as exploring aspects of the history and development of visual art. Its capital and largest city, Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa. 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 climate is tropical oceanic, with little temperature variation during the year. The islands of Cousine (left) and Cousin, Seychelles, as viewed from nearby Praslin Island. Humidity is persistently high but is ameliorated somewhat in locations windward of the prevailing southeast trade winds. 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. Help us to make the web a more beautiful place. It is the first African country with an HDI score exceeding 0.800, and is one of the only countries in the continent with a very high Human Development Index, after Mauritius. The country is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the Commonwealth of Nations. Foreign newspapers and magazines are readily available in most bookshops and newsagents.  Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 1991–1992 due largely to the Gulf War. Sooty terns also breed on the islands. It is located northeast of the country and is the site of Seychelles capital city, Victoria. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Particularly well known is the coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. 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. Both the French and British settlers used enslaved Africans, and although the British prohibited slavery in 1835, African workers continued to come. Beach on the island of La Digue, Seychelles. Map of the Seychelles The Seychelles archipelago has much to offer, with a total of 115 different islands . Moutya playing and dancing can often be seen at beach bazaars. 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, Wright’s gardenia, and the most famous, the coco de mer. Independence was granted in 1976 and it became a republic at the same time. 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. 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). , When the British gained control of the islands during the Napoleonic Wars, they allowed the French upper class to retain their land. 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 folk music of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentation—such as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau), European contredanse, polka and mazurka, French folk and pop, sega from Mauritius and Réunion, taarab, soukous and other pan-African genres, and Polynesian, Indian and Arcadian music. 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 Indian Ocean Tracking Station on Mahé used by the Air Force Satellite Control Network was closed in August 1996 after the Seychelles government attempted to raise the rent to more than $10,000,000 per year.  More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded. Joseph, Île aux Fouquets, Resource, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Bancs Ferrari, Chiens, Pélicans, Vars, Île Paul, Banc de Sable, Banc aux Cocos and Île aux Poules), Marie Louise, Desnœufs, African Banks (comprising two islands—African Banks and South Island), Rémire, St. François, Boudeuse, Étoile, Bijoutier. Which country claims "Waltzing Matilda" as their unofficial anthem?  The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 10/10, ranking it first globally out of 172 countries.. 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. Distance Calculator. Numerous Seychellois are considered multiracial: blending from African, Asian and European descent to create a modern creole culture. With a population of roughly 98,462, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country.. , In 1986, an attempted coup led by the Seychelles Minister of Defence, Ogilvy Berlouis, caused President René to request assistance from India. They have a total area of 244 km2, accounting for 54% of the total land area of the Seychelles and 98% of the entire population. Contemporary Seychelles’ artists trained in universities the world over since the independence of the country in 1976, particularly, have been free to express themselves in a variety of styles. He also served as the Leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2011 and 2016 to 2020. Despite its relative prosperity, poverty remains widespread as the country has one of the highest levels of economic inequality in the world and markedly unequal wealth distribution, with the upper and ruling class commanding a vast proportion of the country's wealth.. The prime agricultural products currently produced in Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. Mahé Island is a tropical island in the Seychelles archipelago that provides inspiration for artists. At St Joseph Atoll, Banc de Sable and Pelican Island have also eroded, while Grand Carcassaye and Petit Carcassaye have merged to form one island.  The leader of this hijacking was German mercenary D. Clodo, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS. At 59.85 square mi, Mahe is the biggest island in Seychelles. "Safeguarding Tourism and Tuna: Seychelles’ Fight against the Somali Piracy Problem." Get a free map for … 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. Despite the growth of tourism, farming and fishing continue to employ some people, as do industries that process coconuts and vanilla. 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 country consists of 115 islands.  Dishes are often garnished with fresh flowers..  Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children. Consequently, there was a sustained spate of hotel construction throughout almost the entire 1970s which included the opening of Coral Strand Smart Choice, Vista Do Mar and Bougainville Hotel in 1972. There, the team competed against some of the continent's largest countries such as Egypt.  The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place on 15 March 1503, recorded by Thomé Lopes aboard Rui Mendes de Brito, part of the 4th Portuguese India Armada commanded by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama. 9 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons", "President of Seychelles signs treaty banning nuclear weapons, meets with leaders at UN", "Highest to Lowest – Prison Population Rates Across the World", "Data for prison population in Seychelles", "A Pirate's Prison Tucked Inside Seychelles Paradise", ADST interview with U.S. The Seychelles are one of the … A National Art Gallery was inaugurated in 1994 on the occasion of the official opening of the National Cultural Centre which housed the National Library and the National Archives with other offices of the Ministry of Culture. 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. Seychelles is home to two terrestrial ecoregions: Granitic Seychelles forests and Aldabra Island xeric scrub. Other political parties operate other papers such as Regar. The Minister of Culture then said that an exhibition which featured the works of artists, painters and sculptors was a testimony to the development of art in Seychelles as a creative form of expression and gave a view of the state of contemporary art in Seychelles.  In the 1970s Seychelles was "the place to be seen, a playground for film stars and the international jet set". In the 1980s there were a series of coup attempts against President René, some of which were supported by South Africa. The papers are mostly written in Seychellois Creole, French and English. There are a total of 68 schools in Seychelles. The music of Seychelles is diverse, a reflection of the fusion of cultures through its history. As the islands of the Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois descend from people who immigrated, of which the largest ethnic groups were those of African, French, Indian and Chinese origin. An archipelagic island country in the Somali Sea region of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is located in the Southern and Eastern Hemispheres of the Earth. In addition to these 155 islands as per the Constitution of Seychelles there are 7 reclaimed islands: Ile Perseverance, Ile Aurore, Romainville, Eden Island, Eve, Ile du Port and Ile Soleil. March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31 °C (88 °F). The Seychelles has a diverse and upcoming group of artists who draw inspiration from the Islands around them. The most popular sport in Seychelles is basketball, which has particularly developed last decade. An island nation, Seychelles is located in the Somali Sea segment of the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600 km (994 mi) east of Kenya. Anse Macquereau on Fregate Island, the Seychelles Credit: Sakis Papadopoulos These granitic and coral islands, around 1,100 miles from the Tanzanian coast, are wilder and less glossily … Learn about efforts to protect the Seychelles' wildlife. (2012). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Another 14 districts are considered the rural part of the main island of Mahé with two districts on Praslin and one on La Digue which also includes respective satellite islands. There are 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group, south-southwest of the Amirantes: Farquhar Atoll (comprising 10 islands—Bancs de Sable, Déposés, Île aux Goëlettes, Lapins, Île du Milieu, North Manaha, South Manaha, Middle Manaha, North Island and South Island), Providence Atoll (comprising two islands—Providence and Bancs Providence) and St Pierre. The British frigate Orpheus commanded by Captain Henry Newcome arrived at Mahé on 16 May 1794, during the War of the First Coalition. checkin: at 12.00 pm; checkout: at 10.00 am. These islands are largely waterless, and very few have a resident population. Overview of conservation efforts in the Seychelles. The Catholic and Anglican churches opened mission schools in 1851. The population of Mahé was 77,000, as of the 2010 census. Corrections? In 1981, Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries masquerading as holidaying rugby players in the 1981 Seychelles coup d'état attempt. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds. Indian mynahs, barn owls, and tenrecs (small shrewlike or hedgehoglike mammals introduced from Madagascar) are also found. It has been a member of Commonwealth. AVANI Seychelles, PO Box 626, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles, ☎ +24 8 4 673 000, . Geography.The Seychelles' 115 granite and coral islands extend from between 4 and 10 degrees south of the equator and lie between 480 km and 1,600km from the east coast of Africa in the western Indian … There are 42 granitic islands known as the Granitic Seychelles. In March 2015, Seychelles allocated Assumption Island to be developed by India.. , Islam is followed by another 1.6% of the population. The islands of the Mahé group are rocky and typically have a narrow coastal strip and a central range of hills. Seychelles was uninhabited prior to being encountered by Europeans in the 16th century. The lively Sega dance with its elegant hip-swaying and shuffling of the feet is still popular as is the traditional Moutya, a mysterious, dance dating back to the days of slavery when it was often used as an outlet for strong emotions and as a way of expressing discontent. Temperatures on Mahé vary from 24 to 30 °C (75 to 86 °F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900 mm (114 in) annually at Victoria to 3,600 mm (142 in) on the mountain slopes. Additionally, there are three private schools: École Française, International School and the independent school.  17 MDGS and 169 targets have been achieved. The overall aspect of those islands, with their lush tropical vegetation, is that of high hanging gardens overlooking silver-white beaches and clear lagoons. This assumption is based on the discovery of tombs, visible until 1910.  René discouraged overdependence on tourism and declared that he wanted "to keep the Seychelles for the Seychellois".. Precipitation levels vary greatly from island to island; on Mahé, annual precipitation ranges from 90 inches (2,300 mm) at sea level to 140 inches (3,560 mm) on the mountain slopes. Hoare, Mike The Seychelles Affair (Transworld, London, 1986; Werema, Gilbert. , Seychelles is a key participant in the fight against Indian Ocean piracy primarily committed by Somali pirates. Mahé boasts 65 silver …  International contributions of patrol boats, planes or drones have been provided to help Seychelles combat sea piracy. 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. Suspended in the Indian Ocean, miles east of Kenya and north of Madagascar, is a 115-island archipelago so beautiful, early British explorers thought they had stumbled upon the Garden of … Other unique plant species include Wright's gardenia (Rothmannia annae) found only on Aride Island Special Reserve. 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