Coat of Arms
President James Alix Michel
»French, English, Seychellois Creole,
»Seychellois, Seychelloise, Seselwa (Creole)
»Total 459 km2 (198th)
» Per capita -$24,522
» Per capita -$15,673
»Seychellois rupee (SCR)
» SCT (UTC+4)
Seychelles officially the Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
The 115-island country, whose capital is Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Southeast Africa.
Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west and Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius to the south.
Seychelles, with a population of 90,024, has the smallest population of any African state. Seychelles is a member of the African Union.
Close your eyes. And just imagine. You’re lazing on a talcum-powder beach lapped by topaz waters and backed by lush hills and big glacis boulders. Brochure material? No, just routine in the Seychelles. With such a dreamlike setting, the Seychelles is unsurprisingly a choice place for newlyweds.
But for those looking for more than a suntan or romance, this archipelago offers a number of high-energy distractions. There are jungle and coastal walks, boat excursions, and diving and snorkelling to keep you buzzing. Ecotourism is big – there are marine parks and natural reserves filled with endemic species that are easy to approach.
The Seychelles is more affordable than you think. On top of ultra-luxurious options, the country has plenty of self-catering facilities and family-run guesthouses that offer local colour. So if you are suffering from visions of tropical paradise, here is your medicine.
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.
The Indian Ocean Tracking Station on Mahé 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.
The prime agricultural products currently produced in the 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.
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.
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).
- Visit the beaches. Many of the beaches are seemingly untouched by human influence and are refreshingly uncrowded. They offer clear blue skies and a tranquility you will rarely find. A hike along the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major will take about 1.5-2 hours and your reward will be a small deserted beach that’s fit for a king.
- The scenery along the hike is breath-taking. Not all beaches are suitable for swimming depending on the time of year, due to the seasonal winds.
- Do not ignore warning signs indicating that a beach is hazardous for swimming, no matter how appealing the waters may look.
- Vallee de Mai is a national park and World Heritage Site, home to amazing flora and fauna, including the world’s largest seed:
- Aldabra Atoll: The world’s largest coral atoll that stretches about 22 miles east to west and encloses a huge tidal lagoon. Aldabra is the original home of the giant land tortoise, and tiger sharks and manta rays can also often be seen here.
- Cousin Island is an internationally-owned island and belongs to Birdlife International.
- Victoria the capital on Mahe Island has several good museums including the Natural History Museum, where you can hold the famed coco-de-mer, and the National Museum of History with good photo displays and a video presentation.