Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, also have an easy time travelling, as they do not have to apply for a visa in advance; travellers are given a visitor’s permit upon arrival. The island nation is one of 13 countries ranked first as a welcoming country.
- The Seychelles was once a pirate hideout, in particular Anse Forbans (Pirate’s Cove) on Mahé and Côte d’Oron Praslin. It is believed that famous pirate Olivier Levasseur hid a treasure worth more than $160,000 that remains unfound.
- Bird Island is home to the heaviest land tortoise living in the wild, Esmeralda, who tips the scales at 670 pounds.
- Moyenne Island in Saint Anne Marine National Park is believed to be haunted by a spirit that stands guard over buried treasure.
- The native Coco de mer, also known as the sea coconut or double coconut, produces the heaviest (about 15kg) and largest seed in the world.
- Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, is the smallest in the world and can be easily explored on foot in less than a day.
- James Bond author Ian Fleming visited the Seychelles in 1958 looking for adventure and inspiration for his then-latest collection of stories, For Your Eyes Only.
- Some of the rarest species of birds can be found in Seychelles, including the bare-legged Scops Owl or Syer. This specific owl is so rare it was once thought to have become extinct, but was rediscovered in 1959. You can find it at the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé Island.
- Breadfruit is very popular on the Seychelles and can be eaten in a variety of ways from fried to boiled. Legend has it that anyone who eats it while on the islands will return someday.
- A lot of celebrities choose to vacation in the iconic country and enjoy stunning private islands. Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, spent their honeymoon at the North Island of Seychelles, a spot previously chosen by David and Victoria Beckham.
- This beautiful country island was home to none until the latter part of the 18th century, when its first settlers arrived.
- 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.
- Round Island used to be a leper colony. A stone prison still remains up to this day.
- 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.
- Made up of 115 islands, the Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
- The islands of Seychelles are classified into 42 inner granitic islands and 73 outer coralline islands.
- It has a total area of 176 square miles (455 square kilometres).
- The Seychelles is part of the African continent.
- It had a population of 92,000 in 2015.
- The official languages are English, French and Creole.
- The capital of the Seychelles is Victoria; it has a population of 26,000 (2015) and lies 932 miles (1500 kilometres) east of the mainland of Southeast Africa.
- Victoria exports vanilla, coconuts, coconut oil, fish and guano (a fertiliser made from seabird and bat faeces).
- The average life expectancy is 68 years for men and 78 years for women.
- You can buy your souvenirs using Seychellois Rupees.
- The Seychelles’ largest foreign exchange earners are the tourism and fishing industries.
- Much of the Seychelles has been given over to nature reserves.
- The second largest atoll in the world, the Aldabra atoll, is home to the world’s largest population of Giant tortoises…
- … and it’s also home to the world’s largest land crab, the coconut crab.
- The Cousin Island is home to eleven endemic land-birds including the Seychelles Magpie-robin (Endangered), Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Fody and the Seychelles Blue-pige
- It’s a diver’s paradise; fish life is prolific thanks to the strict conservation rules and the isolated position of the archipelago’s and the waters are full of beautiful rocks that are often covered in soft corals and sponges – stunning.
- If you go diving or snorkelling look out for angel fish, butterfly fish, squirrel fish and soldier fish – magical!
- If it’s sharks you want to see, head to the outer islands where you could spot a Grey Reef, Silver Tip, Nurse or the occasional Hammerhead.
- If you’re in the Seychelles in August or between October and January, keep your eyes peeled and you might just see a Whale Shark – a gigantic shark which visits the outer islands to feed on plankton during these months.
- Seychelles is the only member of the UN whose name in English has no letters in common with Britain.
- Seychelles competed at every Olympics since 1980, except Seoul 1988, but has won no medals.
- Population: roughly 92,000 people live on the Seychelles (2015)
- Capital: Victoria with 26,000 inhabitants
- Name: République de Seychelles (Republic of Seychelles)
- Motto: ‘The end crowns the work’
- Government: Parliamentary Republic, Democracy
- Language: English, French, Seychellois Creole
- Religion: mainly Roman Catholics
- Currency: 1 Seychellois Rupee=100cents
- History: The islands were first spotted by Vasco da Gama on his explorations in the 15th century. Later the French and British settled on the island. The Seychelles became independent from Britain only in 1976.
- National Day: 18 June
- National Symbols: Payanke (Tropical Bird Orchid) – national flower, Coco-de-Mer Palm – national tree, national animal – Giant Tortoise, national bird – Black Parrot
- National Colours: red and blue
- International dialing code +248.
Seychelles GDP – $1.438 billion, GDP (PPP) Per Capita: $26300, Population 92900
World Bank on 2015 elevated the status quo of Seychelles to top earning country this is due to its position as the highest nominal per capita GDP in Africa and also ranks as one of the countries in Africa with highest human development index. The country low population, offshore financial industry fishing industry and tourism sector has made the country to the richest country in Africa. You won’t believe it that the country has just 1% unemployment rate hence taking its place among the richest states in Africa.
Seychelles Passport is the most powerful passport in Africa, Seychelles Passport Holders can travel to 96 countries without visa
Tourist Attractions in Seychelles
For many, the Seychelles are a typical tropical island paradise. There are splendid sandy beaches, people lead a more relaxed lifestyle and the weather is always summery warm. There are many attractions tourists can explore when visiting the beautiful Indian Ocean islands.
- City sightseeing in Victoria: the islands capital city is the main shopping and entertainment hub of the archipelago. The marina and the city centre can easily explored on foot in a couple of hours.
- Admire the giant tortoises and colourful bird life on Bird Island, the northernmost island of the archipelago, visit on a boat trip from Praslin
Explore the local cultures: Visit the Hindu temple and the Victoria Museum on Mahe or see and taste the variety of local food at the daily Victoria market
- Enjoy the sandy white beaches and go swimming and diving in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
- Rent a bicycle and explore the small La Digue island
Eden Island: entertainment meets leisure at the new luxury island off the Victoria coastline where there are little boutiques, restaurants and a shopping mall.
French, English and Seychelles Creole (Seselwa) are the main languages in the Seychelles. English is considered by many as the main business language, there are also newspapers, TV and radio news available in French. However, most people speak Seychelles Creole at home, and it is widely spoken in schools and shops as well. This language is French based and similar to the creole spoken on the islands of Mauritius and La Réunion. Asian languages such as Tamil, Urdu, Hindi or Mandarin are spoken by the Indian and Chinese population.