Seychelles – Another World

This beautiful country island was home to none until the latter part of the 18th century, when its first settlers arrived. Pirates used to seek the islands of Seychelles as a hideout. It is believed that Olivier Le Vasseur, an infamous pirate, had a treasure worth 100,000 euros that remains hidden in the land up to the present. Almost half of the limited landmass in the country is occupied by national parks and reserves. This is in support of the government’s various environment and ecosystems protection and conservation policies. Seychelles is the right place to visit if you want to see unique endemic species. These include the paradise flycatcher, the warbler, the jellyfish tree, and the female Coco de Mer, which is the world’s heaviest nut. The country is home to the heaviest land tortoise that is living in the wild. Named Esmeralda, the animal weighs 304 kilograms and can be found at the Bird Island. In the Ste. Anne Marine National Park, you will find the Moyenne Island, which is believed to be haunted by a spirit that guards a buried treasure. When it served as host country to the Miss World Beauty Pageants in 1997 and 1998, Seychelles had great international media coverage, enough to boost its tourism industry.

Ian Fleming, the author of James Bond novels and short stories, named his character Milton Krest after a tonic and ginger beer that he tasted while vacationing in Seychelles.

History:

Unsurprisingly given its breathtaking natural beauty and mid-ocean location, battle for control of Seychelles has been fiercely contested over the years. Named, in 1756, after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, Louis XV's Minister of Finance, this uninhabited archipelago had served as a transit point for Arab, Portuguese and British traders for many centuries before.

It came under British control from French in 1812, was granted independence as a Commonwealth republic in 1976, and following a coup d'etat in 1977 became a socialist one-party state until, in 1993, multiparty politics prevailed. With no indigenous population but a stream of interested parties, the current Seychellois (people of the Seychelles) are composed of immigrants, mostly of French, African, Indian and Chinese descent. In line with historic influences, French and English are official languages, along with a French-based Creole.


Geography:

Geographical coordinates: 4.6167 S & 55.45 E

The Seychelles consist of an archipelago of about 100 islands in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar. The principal islands are Mahé (55 sq mi; 142 sq km), Praslin (15 sq mi; 38 sq km), and La Digue (4 sq mi; 10 sq km). The Aldabra, Farquhar, and Desroches groups are included in the territory of the republic.


Weather:

Lying 4°-11° south of the Equator, in the western Indian Ocean, Seychelles has a tropical climate: warm and humid with strong maritime influences. The temperature is consistently 24-32°C, there is no distinct dry season and there is some humidity at all times.

Many of the granitic Inner Islands have dramatic terrain; Mahe boasting hills rising to 900m. The rainfall increases with altitude, though it is the trade winds that really dictate the islands' climate and name its seasons.

From May to October the south-east trade winds (Southeast Monsoon) bring a relatively dry period. Reaching its peak in July/August, there is little precipitation and temperatures average 27°C, though seas can be a little choppy.

By November (pre-Northwest Monsoon), the winds start to change, bringing light, warmer winds and the start of the main rainy season. During December to March (Northwest Monsoon), Seychelles gets extremely wet, especially inDecember and January, though the vegetation is lush, the winds generally light and the sun at its warmest. This is also the cyclone season, though only the most remote southern islands are within the cyclone belt.
This period is followed by the calmest, warmest month, April (Pre-Southeast Monsoon), as the winds die down and start to change direction.


Capital:

Victoria, the capital city of Seychelles, is the smallest capital in the whole world.


Population:

91,650 as estimated in 2014 with annual growth rate of 0.87%.


Currency:

Seychelles Rupee – US$ 1 = 14 Seychelles Rupees


Language:

There are three official languages in Seychelles: Creole (a French-based dialect), English and French.


Time zone:

GMT + 4 hours

Visa:

For citizens of most countries tourist visa is offered on arrival subject to producing all relevant documents. It is however desirable that it is checked again before departure.

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