Seychelles,officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is a 115-island country spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar.
Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar to the west, Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agaléga and Réunion to the south, and Comoros and Mayotte to the southwest. Seychelles, with an estimated population of 86,525, has the smallest population of any African state. It has the highest Human Development Index in Africa and the highest income inequality in the world, as measured by the Gini index. Seychelles is a member of the African Union.
Scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. Remains of Maldivian mariner presence from the 12th century were found in Silhouette Island. 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).
An island nation, Seychelles is located to the northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600 km (994 mi) east of Kenya. The number of islands in the archipelago is often given as 115 but the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155. The islands as per the Constitution are divided into groups as follows.
There are 42 granitic islands, in descending order of size: Mahé, Praslin, Silhouette Island, La Digue, Curieuse, Felicite, Frégate, Ste-Anne, North, Cerf, Marianne, Grand Sœur, Thérèse, Aride, Conception, Petite Sœur, Cousin, Cousine, Long, Récif, Round (Praslin), Anonyme, Mamelles, Moyenne, Île aux Vaches Marines, L\'Islette, Beacon (Île Sèche), Cachée, Cocos, Round (Mahé), L\'Ilot Frégate, Booby, Chauve Souris (Mahé), Chauve Souris (Praslin), Île La Fouche, Hodoul, L\'Ilot, Rat, Souris, St. Pierre (Praslin), Zavé, Harrison Rocks (Grand Rocher).
During the plantation era, cinnamon, vanilla, and copra were the chief exports. In the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector. 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. In 1964–65 the Seychelles connection to the outside world consisted of excellent telegraphic service,weekly seaplane service from Mombasa, Kenya, and a monthly visit of the 10,304 ton British India Line\'s passenger ship M.S. Kampala. Mahé, Seychelles was a stopover port on the ship\'s round trip voyage from Mombasa, to Bombay.
Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children. Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children. Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral. Older women can usually count on financial support from family members living at home or contributions from the earnings of grown children.
Popular destinations in Seychelles
Mahe Island Tourism
Praslin Island Tourism
La Digue Island Tourism