Seychelles (Republic of Seychelles) is an island state. The number of islands and islets in the Republic is more than one hundred, of which only thirty-three are inhabited.
Mahe Island, with an area of one hundred and forty-two square kilometers, is the largest island. The area of the Republic of Seychelles is four hundred and fifty-five square kilometers. On the island of Mahe is the capital of the Republic - the city of Victoria. The international airport is also located here.
The population of the state according to data for 2010 is approximately eighty-eight thousand people. According to the form of government, Seychelles is a republic. The president is elected for a term of five years, he heads the state and government.
After the expiration of the five-year term, re-election to the post of President of the country is permitted. The Parliament is composed of thirty-four deputies, nine of whom represent the winning parties, and twenty-five are elected by the population.
The following parties are active in the Seychelles: Progressive Front, National Party and Democratic Party. The first party currently has twenty-three parliamentary seats, the second eleven seats, and the third party is not represented in the country's parliament.
According to estimates for July 2010, the population of the Seychelles exceeded eighty-eight thousand people, the annual growth was equal to 0.97%. The population is mainly represented by Franco-African mulattoes. However, the ethnic composition is rather variegated. The islands are inhabited by Arabs, Chinese, Indians, whites, blacks.
The population predominantly speaks Creole (it is spoken by almost ninety-two percent of the population), other languages used are English (it is spoken by almost five percent of the population). According to the 2002 census, ninety-two percent of the population over fifteen years of age is literate.
Victoria is the capital of the Republic of Seychelles. The city is located on the island of Mahe. According to data for 2002, the population of Victoria was almost twenty-five thousand people. Victoria was founded in 1841, the city was created as a port. It got its name in honor of the Queen of England. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the city was named Port Victoria. The city has a modern name since 1960. Victoria has a natural history and history museum, a university, a polytechnic, and an international airport.
The capital of the Seychelles is the smallest capital in the world. It is not true. For the first time, the magazine "Vokrug sveta" spoke about this incorrect fact. Victoria is not the smallest, both in terms of territory and population. According to data for 2002, the population of Victoria was almost twenty-five thousand people.
Victoria is a boring city. Not at all. Even the layout of the city itself can be interesting, because the territory of Victoria resembles a large park. Lush tropical trees are its peculiar decoration. The central intersection of the Seychelles capital will surprise passers-by with a kind of clock tower, which is considered the main city decoration. What's so special about her? The tower is a miniature copy of Big Ben in London. The main streets of Victoria depart from the busy intersection, one of them (Long Pier) leads to the old port. On the Long Pier, not far from the Seychelles Tower, you can see a two-story house, the first floor of which is occupied by a museum and the second by a library. The museum contains photographs, prints, drawings, old plans that tell about the history of Victoria. A large carved cube, which was installed on the territory of present-day Victoria by Captain Morphius in 1756 and which is currently considered one of the main monuments of the state, is also in this museum. In the library you can read books about the archipelago, as well as look at some of the local archives. The residence of the President of the country, administrative building and government offices are located in the center of Victoria. Another important building for the Seychelles capital is the House of the People, which is the center of the cultural and political life of Victoria. Nearby you can look at the Liberation monument. The old part of Victoria is interesting, its central street (Market Street) is located between the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the building of the English Cathedral of St. Paul. In the shopping districts, you can visit the rows of Chinese and Indian stalls, as well as the city market. The large territories that are located behind the shopping districts belong to the Catholic episcopate, there are statues of Christ, bas-reliefs on church themes, flower beds are laid out. Many people come here on Christian holidays and on Sundays. The residential areas of the Seychelles capital are located north and west of the cathedral quarter.
The nature of the Seychelles is amazingly beautiful. The islands are surrounded by tropical greenery. Warm ocean waters touch their shores. The beaches are striking with white sands and slender palm trees leaning over them.
The Seychelles are geologically coral. The geological classification divides the islands into coral and granite. The Coral Islands rise only four to eight meters above sea level and are flat atolls. Droughts are not uncommon on the atolls, the cause of which lies in the limestones of which atolls are composed. Moisture brought by monsoons is practically not retained by limestones. The average annual temperature on these islands ranges from twenty-six to twenty-eight degrees. Such climatic conditions and soil composition make it impossible to talk about the rich flora of the atolls. Only the coconut palm grows here. The granite group has thirty-nine islands, including the island of Mahe. The total area of all the islands is three hundred and fifty square kilometers. An interesting fact is that all the islands of the granite group are not so far from each other. None of them is more than seventy kilometers away from Mahe. The coasts of these islands concentrate a significant part of all settlements of the state. The Granite Islands have a clear leadership in the economic life of the Republic. In the hinterland of these islands, forests still grow, which can be proud of rare species of tree ferns, pandanus and palms.
Endemics are common in the Seychelles. We are talking about representatives of the animal and plant world, which are found only on the territory of these islands and nowhere else in the world. The reason for the high percentage of endemics is long-term isolation. As a result, some plants, reptiles and birds can only be found on the islands of this archipelago. The coco de mer palm is a prime example. The fruit of this palm tree weighs twenty kilograms, and according to this indicator, the palm tree ranks first in the world. The population of the Seychelles believes that the fruit of the coco de mer palm tree has become forbidden for Adam and Eve. Tourists can visit the wonderful park "Valle de Mae". A grove of Seychelles palms grows here. The islands of the archipelago are home to the huge Aldabrian turtles. Some of them weigh up to two hundred and fifty kilograms. And some Aldabrian turtles live to be one hundred and fifty years old. The wildlife of the Seychelles is truly unique. The nightingale bulbul and the black cockatoo, rare bird species, inhabit Palm Island. And Birds Island serves as a nesting place for many migratory birds, which is why it got its name.
Air communication has been established between the Seychelles. Regular flights are operated by Air Seychelles. You can get from one large island in the archipelago to another by plane. Air service operates between the following islands. These are Coetivi, Denis, Assompion, Alphonse, Farquhar, Praslin, Marie-Louise, Desroches, D'Arros, Astov, Fregat and Plath. The outer islands, as well as the tourist areas of the Silhouette and La Digue islands, can be reached using the services of another airline, Seychelles Helicopter. Air travel to the outer islands is possible by prior arrangement, the cost of the flight is approximately four thousand rupees per hour of flight.
Public transport is well developed in the Republic of Seychelles. For such a small territory, the bus network is quite well developed - on the main routes, buses run every quarter of an hour from half past six in the morning to seven in the evening. The interval of movement of buses on other, less important, routes is from half an hour to an hour. Depending on the distance of the trip, the ticket price varies from three to five Seychelles rupees. Schooners and ferries serve as "intercity buses" (linking the Seychelles islands). The cost of a one-way ticket is approximately seventy Seychelles rupees and can be bought directly on board the ship in which the trip is planned.
It is not possible to maintain a taxi in the Seychelles. Taxis are available only on the largest island, Mahe Island. A counter installed in each car allows you to track the number of kilometers traveled. The fare will differ depending on the distance of the trip. Fifteen rupees is the payment for the first kilometer driven. Each subsequent kilometer of the journey will cost the passenger five Seychelles rupees. In addition, you will have to pay also for luggage in the amount of five rupees per piece. Rates do not change during the day. The car can be rented subject to a driving license - national or international. There is an age limit - the driver must be at least twenty-two years old. Here, left-hand traffic is accepted, in the city you can reach speeds of up to forty-five kilometers per hour, outside it - up to sixty-five kilometers per hour. At the entrances to the airport, it is possible to drive at a speed of eighty kilometers per hour on the highway. As a rule, the condition of the roads is poor, while petrol is expensive. There are six gas stations on Mahe Island. The cost of one liter of gasoline is approximately six Seychelles rupees. The local population practically does not follow the traffic rules. In such conditions, the most comfortable way to travel is a bicycle. Many islands in the archipelago have rental offices for this convenient means of transport. The nuance is due to the fact that there are many who want to use it, but there are not enough bicycles for everyone.
Tourism is the backbone of the economy of the Republic of Seychelles. Tourist service provides more than seventy percent of foreign exchange earnings. The tourism industry employs a third of the country's working population. The economy of the Republic is also based on fishing. The main export commodity in the Seychelles is fish. The Seychelles is an ideal place for snorkeling and of course diving, because the underwater world is downright amazing. For those who are engaged in diving, be sure to go on an excursion to the National Marine Park, without getting to know it, the diving program in the Seychelles will not be performed. The most beautiful shells and corals, turtles, stingrays, a wide variety of fish will pleasantly surprise those who plunge into these waters. The peculiarity of the National Marine Park is that fish are absolutely not afraid of people - the territory of the park is separated from the rest of the ocean waters by a special net, and the fish that live here are fed. Thus, the inhabitants of the ocean will be very close to a person who has put on a mask and is equipped with a snorkel. Another marine-themed entertainment is a boat or yacht trip to the nearby islands. The tourist will be amazed at the amazing Seychelles sunsets. More and more people choose fishing as an active holiday. This is not surprising, because the fisherman is guaranteed an excellent catch. For these purposes, in the Seychelles, you can rent a boat. Directly on its course, and then you can fish. If you take a boat with a trained crew, then in addition to fishing, the tourist will also have a lunch of fish caught by him right among the ocean waters. Windsurfing and water skiing are also traditional water activities. In addition, a vacationer can go in for paragliding and hang gliding, as they say, if he wants.
Agriculture is developed in the Seychelles. Very weak. Vanilla, cinnamon and coconuts are grown on the islands for export. The islands also breed poultry.
La Digue Island is one of the largest islands in the archipelago. It ranks fourth in size among all the Seychelles. It is home to about two thousand people. It is three hours away from Mahe Island, and even faster by helicopter - the island can be reached in just twenty minutes. The recognized means of internal transportation is the ox-cart. And the whole rhythm of life of the local population is not rushed. Bicycles are very popular, while cars are not that common. Bicycles can be rented either from La Passe pier directly upon arrival on the island or from Reunion Bay. La Passé is where most of the island's population is concentrated. La Pass houses an art gallery, tourist office, post office, hospital, police station, court, and a bank branch. There is something to admire here. Firstly, diving into the underwater world will bring real pleasure, it is very beautiful. Secondly, for many, many years, the sea and the wind have created wonderful granite sculptures. Third, it is Mount Ni d'Egle. Its name translates as Eagle's Nest. It rises three hundred meters above sea level. This mountain occupies a significant part of the entire island. Although La Digue is the fourth largest island in the archipelago, it is actually very small. It is five kilometers long and three kilometers wide. You can get to any point in La Diga, at most, in an hour. Moreover, any road is bordered by lush vegetation. The island is inhabited by the "Paradise Flycatcher". Representatives of this species are not found anywhere else, except for the island of La Digue. This rare species symbolizes the island, individuals of this species are protected by the state. A reserve has been created for the "Paradise Flycatchers".
Mahe is the largest of the Seychelles. Its size does not allow giving vent to the feeling of isolation from civilization. Although civilization on the island is represented by several traffic lights, small helicopters and airplanes, as well as yachts and hotels. However, the island fully gives you a feel for the atmosphere of the tropics - it is very exotic. The island is home to the capital of the state (the city of Victoria) and an international airport. Victoria is surrounded by cinnamon plantations and immersed in the greenery of coconut trees. Already during the landing of the plane upon arrival in Victoria, the tourist can enjoy the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Praslin Island is the most picturesque among the Seychelles.The island was originally called the "Palm Island". It is located thirty-six kilometers from Victoria, its area is twenty-six square kilometers. Praslin Island ranks second in size after Mahe Island. The length of the Praslin island reaches eleven kilometers and the width is four kilometers. The population of this island is approximately five thousand people. The boat can deliver from Mahe Island in two and a half hours those wishing to visit Praslin Island. By plane, this path can be covered in a quarter of an hour. Since Praslin, indeed, is recognized as the most beautiful of the Seychelles, it is often called the "Garden of Eden", there is a "sea coconut" grove. Praslin is surrounded by a coral reef. The island has a National Park. Its name is translated as "May Valley". Individuals of the black parrot live here and more than seven thousand unique palm trees grow. The island is home to balbal and blue dove - very rare species of birds. On the island of Praslin, the words "beauty" and "serenity" are completely inseparable from each other. There is an excellent beach on the west coast, but it is practically unsuitable for swimming. The reason is in corals and in the shallow depth of water above them. But nature is beautiful. Most tourists go to the southern coast of Praslin. The main settlement of this island is the village of Grand Ance, which has a district administration building, a post office, two schools, three banks, two churches, a football field and many shops that are "universal" - they sell everything a tourist might need. A great opportunity to get to know the island better is to do some walking exploration. It doesn't take long to cross Praslin in width - the journey will take about an hour. If you want to drive a car, then you need to think about renting it in advance (you can order it either from the hotel or directly from the airport), the number of cars is limited. In addition, buses operate around the island from half past five in the morning to seven in the evening. And of course, you can rent a bike.
Silhouette Island - acutely untouched by civilization. Indeed, there are no cars and highways here, but there is an opportunity for those who like to walk on an exciting route. The scent of sandalwood, the richest nature, huge rocks - is this not a delight for the eyes of a person who loves picturesque nature. Silhouette Island is proud of the beautiful equatorial forest. It is unlikely that any other island in the Indian Ocean can boast of such a beauty miracle of nature.
Frigate Island is a small island. Its area is only two square kilometers. However, this island has something to be proud of. This is a unique flora and fauna, bright suns and crystal ocean water, seven stunning beaches, as well as sixteen superb villas that complement the natural landscape of Frigate.
The Seychelles is characterized by the rule of matriarchy. Women are responsible for managing the household. They also represent the interests of children and deal with running costs. In everyday life, the primary role belongs entirely to women, and the male population "specializes" in earnings.
A large number of tourists come to the Seychelles every year. On the contrary, there are not many of them. However, the government of the Republic is not particularly distressed about this, since the primary task is to preserve the unique nature of the islands. The local population, like the government, closely monitors the ecology of the islands.
The local people of Seychelles are very pleasant to talk to. They do not have a penchant for begging (as, for example, the Africans). The staff of hotel complexes always tries to please their visitors and is distinguished by courtesy. True, the level of service may not be entirely ideal, but this circumstance, most likely, will not affect the overall impression of your stay in the Seychelles.
Festivals are common in the Seychelles. Many are held throughout the year. Creole Language Week (end of October) is the most colorful.
Seychelles cuisine has been influenced by different nationalities. Creole cuisine has evolved over the centuries under the influence of Indian, African and French traditions. The restaurant menu abounds in dishes made from vegetables, fruits, fish with the addition of spices. A large number of Creole dishes are based on meat from a carnivorous bat, pork, and octopus. For adherents of the usual European culinary traditions on the island, the appropriate restaurants provide their services. Fish and rice is the most popular dish in the Seychelles. Other very common foods include boiled cassava, shark chateini, giramon puree, bat stew, breadfruit stew, octopus, tektek soup, Saint-Jacques banana stew, banana roll, candied bilimbi, coconut nougat, and. of course, fish cooked in all kinds. Traditional drinks in the Seychelles are, firstly, a fairly strong drink bakka, fermented coconut milk, kalu beer (local). Bakka is nothing more than fermented sugarcane juice. Fruit grows in abundance in the Seychelles. For example, there are more than fifteen varieties of bananas alone. There are two ways to taste fruit. The first is to go to the market early in the morning. The second is to try them in restaurants at any time of the day.