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Seychelles is a stunning archipelago of 115 coralline islands that lies just
south of the Equator, covering a total land mass of 455 square kilometers. They
are the world’s only granite islands in mid-ocean, the world’s largest raised
coral atoll and a whole host of attractions make up what is surely the world’s
ultimate tropical paradise. They are internationally renowned for their
exceptional beauty and their carefully preserved flora and fauna. The
Seychelles archipelago lies north-east of the island of Madagascar in the Indian
Ocean. Seychelles boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Aldabra, the
world's largest raised coral atoll and home to 150,000 giant tortoises and a
plethora of distinct flora and fauna; and, Vallée-de-Mai on Praslin Island, the
only place on earth to find the fabled Coco-de-Mer (world's heaviest seed), and
the rare Black Parrot.
Each island of the Seychelles has a distinct character and attraction of its own.
This lush island group lures nature lovers, sports fisherman, birders,
celebrities, scuba divers, honeymooners and families alike. They come to
savour the ultimate escape and the seclusion and pampering found at luxury
beach resorts. The activity options on the islands are impressive: snorkelling
the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, scuba diving, especially on the reefs
around North and Silhouette Islands, nature walks, mountain biking,
windsurfing, sea kayaking, fly-fishing, sailing and more.
Seychelles has a population of nearly 80000 people living mostly on three main
islands: Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Mahé is the largest island: 32 kilometres
by 8 kilometres and is the most populated one with 90% of the Seychelles
population. It is home to the capital, Victoria, the main port and the International
Airport. This spectacular island is dominated by huge mountains (Morne
Seychellois reaches a height of 905 metres) and is covered by lush tropical
vegetation. Seventy five beaches with beautiful soft sand are scattered around
Praslin, the second largest island is home to Vallée de Mai, an imposing 45-
acre valley that was baptised as the Garden of Eden by General Gordon of
Khartoum-fame. It is also the only place on earth where one can find the
intriguing Coco-de-Mer palms, which may live for more than 200 years. Huge
shaped rocks alternate with beaches all around the island. This island lies
approximately two and a half hours by schooner, one hour by fast ferry or 15
minutes by air from Mahé.
La Digue, the third largest in terms of population, is ideal for a tranquil and
relaxed get-away, with its heavenly fine white sand beaches simply out of this
world. Transport here is mainly by ox-cart or bicycle.The island is accessible in
thirty minutes by boat from Praslin.
Other islands are coralline and spread towards the south and south east. About
40 islands are however granitic and found within a radius of 50 kilometres from
Mahé. Among the islands which are easily accessible are St.Anne, Ile Aux
Cerfs, Bird, Moyenne, Round, Cousin, Silhouette, Denis, Aride, Aldabra,
The climate is generally humid with an average temperature of 29°C. Unlike its
Indian Ocean neighbours, Seychelles lies beyond the cyclone belt. The tropical
climate is influenced by trade winds: from May to September, south-east trade
winds bring lower humidity and pleasant temperatures between 24° and 32°C;
from October to April, temperatures may be slightly higher with humidity and
rainfall also higher.
Over the millions of years that Seychelles lay isolated and undiscovered, a
unique flora and fauna has evolved. Birds and plants found nowhere else on
earth have survived to the modern age and continue to thrive thanks to
enlightened attitudes which have resulted in more than 40% of the land mass
being set aside as nature reserves, National Parks and protected areas.
Seventy-five plants are found in the granite islands and nowhere else on earth
with a further forty-two endemic plants confined to the Aldabra Group. The
unique land birds also include many found only in Seychelles including the last
flightless bird of the Indian Ocean, the Aldabra Rail and the enigmatic
Seychelles Scops Owl, found only on Mahé. Reptiles include by far the world’s
largest population of Giant Tortoises. Pristine reefs host a huge range of fish
(over 1,000 species recorded), corals and other marine life forms. Seychelles is
the ultimate wildlife paradise.
Though the islands may have been known to Arab traders, they lay
undiscovered until chartered by the Portuguese in the early 16th century. The
first recorded landing was by the British East India Company in 1608, but it was
the French who first lay claim to the islands in 1756 and settles in 1770. At the
conclusion of the Napoleonic wars, Mauritius was ceded to Britain together with
its dependencies including Seychelles. In 1903, Seychelles became a separate
crown colony, achieving independence in 1976 and has a democratic
News & Upcoming Highlights in Seychelles
The Indian Ocean Islands are a year round highlight and a great way to end your visit to
Africa. Seychelles experiences their rains from mid March to May.
Events for February
Events for March
Events for April
Events for June
Events for July
Events for August
Events for September
Events for October
Bateleur Africa Tours & Travel Ltd.
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Skype addresses: bateleurafricatours
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