The Republic of Seychelles is an island nation in eastern Africa. Meanwhile, from the islands to the African coast, about 1, 600 kilometers. Seychelles is the smallest country in Africa - the total area of the islands is only 455 square kilometers. In total, this tiny state includes 115 islands, of which only 33 are inhabited. The largest island is Mahe. Its territory is 142 square kilometers, it is almost a third of the entire country.
12 interesting facts about the Seychelles
- Europeans discovered these islands at the very beginning of the 16th century, in 1502 an expedition of the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama visited here. For many years after that, only pirates visited the islands. It is not surprising that today on the islands there are many legends about the untold treasures buried here, which attracts the attention of treasure hunters.
- And the first permanent settlements in the Seychelles appeared only in the middle of the 18th century, on the islands of Mahe and Praslin the French set up plantations for growing expensive spices at that time - cloves, vanilla and cinnamon. At that time, the islands began to be called Seychelles, in honor of Jean-Moreau de Sechelle, the French finance minister. On the islands, slave labor was widely used, who were imported from Madagascar and from eastern Africa.
- The islands have belonged to Great Britain since 1794. The official right of the British to own the Seychelles was secured in 1814 by the Paris Treaty. And the Seychelles gained independence on June 29, 1976. This date is now celebrated annually as Independence Day.
- There are no minerals in the Seychelles. The basis of the country's economy is agriculture and tourism. More than half of all cultivated land is occupied by coconut plantations. Cinnamon and vanilla are also grown for export. Fishing is also developed.
- Tourism brings about 70 percent of all foreign exchange earnings to the Seychelles, with one in three local residents working in the service sector. The favorable climate allows you to rest here all year round. An international airport has been operating here since 1972. Interestingly, locals prefer to relax outside the Seychelles.
- The isolation of the islands from the outside world has led to the fact that many plants are endemic, that is, not found anywhere else. For example, only on two islands of the Seychelles archipelago (Praslin and Curieuse), you can find the Seychelles palm. The height of the tree reaches 30 meters, and the weight of the fruit is up to 20 kilograms. Moreover, the fruit ripens for a long time - from 7 to 10 years.
- The population of the islands is not large - about 90, 000 people. But, there are three official languages: English, French and Seychelles. The ethnic composition is very diverse, the descendants of Europeans, African peoples, as well as Arabs, Indians, and Chinese live on the islands. There are a lot of mestizos from mixed marriages.
- The capital of the Seychelles is Victoria, home to a third of all islanders. It was founded back in 1841 and got its name in honor of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. The British founded a port here, which operates to this day. The deep-sea bay allows
accept large ships.
- Unlike many other island states, the Seychelles rarely experience destructive typhoons and hurricanes. Suffice it to say that the last time such a disaster happened more than 150 years ago - in 1862. It is because of its rarity that this event has been preserved in local history.
- There are no rail links to the islands. However, due to the small area, there is no need for it here. For the same reason, there are not many cars here. Only a driver who is at least 25 years old who has an international driving license has the right to rent a car. A huge number of tourists are offered bike rental. This type of transport is so popular that there may not be enough bicycles for everyone.
- The Seychelles Giant Turtle is found on the island of Aldabra. Its total number is estimated at 150, 000 individuals. I call the turtle a national treasure of the Seychelles. Any economic activity is prohibited on Aldabra; in the sixties, a project to build an air base on the island was rejected. Some of the turtles live up to 150 years, and the age of some centenarians can be up to two centuries.
- The local currency is the Seychelles rupee, which is subdivided into 100 cents. Seychelles' legislation is liberal - any foreign currency, like the Seychelles rupees themselves, can be imported and exported without restrictions. But the export of shells, corals and turtle shell products is strictly prohibited. Almost all shops and hotels accept US dollars for payment. But, you can exchange currency only at official points.