SEYCHELLES


Quick Facts:

CAPITAL CITY: Victoria
POPULATION: 94,677 (2016)
CLIMATE: Tropical Climate
LANGUAGE: French, English Seselwa
RELIGION: Christianity
CURRENCY: Seychellois rupee

TOURIST ARRIVALS: Tourist Arrivals in Seychelles increased to 29,825 in July from 23,087 in June of 2017. Tourist Arrivals in Seychelles averaged 15,168.05 from 2000 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 36,016 in April of 2017 and a record low of 7483 in June of 2004. https://tradingeconomics. com/seychelles/tourist-arrivals

BRIEF HISTORY
The Seychelles were uninhabited throughout most of recorded history. Some scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. This assumption is based on the discovery of tombs, visible until 1910.

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). The earliest recorded landing was in January 1609, by the crew of the “Ascension” under Captain Alexander Sharpeigh during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid on Mahé by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, Louis XV’s Minister of Finance.

The British controlled the islands between 1794 and 1810. Jean Baptiste Quéau de Quincy, French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.

Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970. Seychelles has been an independent state since 1976. Seychelles Islands are described as “another world”. They are comprised of 115 islands and have a ‘living museum’ of natural history and a sanctuary for some of the rarest species of flora & fauna on earth. With almost 50% of its limited landmass set aside as national parks and reserves, and home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites Seychelles prides itself on its record of having farsighted conservation policies that have resulted in an enviable degree of protection for the environment and the varied ecosystems it supports.

HERITAGE
Aldabra Atoll;
The atoll is comprised of four large coral islands which enclose a shallow lagoon; the group of islands is itself surrounded by a coral reef. Due to difficulties of access and the atoll’s isolation, Aldabra has been protected from human influence and thus retains some 152,000 giant tortoises, the world’s largest population of this reptile.

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve;
In the heart of the small island of Praslin, the reserve has the vestiges of a natural palm forest preserved in almost its original state. The famous coco de mer, from a palm-tree once believed to grow in the depths of the sea, is the largest seed in the plant kingdom.

WILDLIFE
The Wildlife of Seychelles comprises the flora and fauna of the Seychelles islands off the eastern coast of Africa in the western Indian Ocean. The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species, with a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Particularly well known is the coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the ‘love nut’ because of its suggestive shape, the coco de mer is the world’s largest seed. The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few locations today. This strange and ancient plant has resisted all efforts to propagate it. Other unique plant species include the Rothmannia annae found only on Aride Island Special Reserve. he Seychelles are home to 26 species of terrestrial or semiterrestrial crabs, and 5 species of terrestrial hermit crab, including the world’s largest terrestrial invertebrate, the coconut crab (Birgus latro). The granitic Seychelles are home to the country’s only true freshwater crab, Seychellum alluaudi, which is endemic to the archipelago.[3] Unusually for oceanic islands amphibians are native. Six species of frog are found here, five endemic and one introduced, as well as six endemic species of caecilian: Praslin’s caecilian, the Frigate Island caecilian and four species of Grandisonia. There are 20 species of lizard, including geckos, skinks, the Madagascar girdled lizard and the endemic chameleon Archaius tigris, as well as three land snakes (two native and one introduced).

NATIONAL PARKS AND PROTECTED AREAS
1. Morne Seychellois National Park
2. Praslin National Park
3. Baie Ternay Marine National Park
4. Curieuse Marine National Park
5. Ile Coco Marine National Park
6. Port Launay Marine National Park
7. Silhouette Island Marine National Park
8. St Anne Marine National Park

WATER BODIES
1. Pointe Conan River
2. Rochon River
3. Cascade River
4. Du Cap River
5. Bougainville River
6. Caiman River
7. Dupuy River
8. Barbarons River