Country - Seychelles
Seychelles Country Information
Off the coast of East Africa, there is an archipelago of 115 small islands in the Indian Ocean, collectively known as Republic of Seychelles. The archipelago, commonly referred to as simply Seychelles, has loosely strewn constituent islands to the south of which lie the other island countries Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Reunion (of France) and Mauritius.
The capital and the largest city of Seychelles is Victoria which is about 1500 kilometers from East Africa. English and French are the two non-indigenous official languages and Seychellois Creole is the native official language.
Of all the islands in Seychelles, the three main islands are Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. The capital city of Victoria is situated on Mahe island which is the biggest and the most populous island and the major centre of political and commercial activity.
The total population as per the estimates of 2016 was about 94,228 with the density of population at 205 people per square kilometer. The per capita GDP (nominal) was US $ 16,332 according to the estimates of 2018. The United Nations Development Programme has recorded a very high HDI (Human Development Index) at 0.797 in 2017.
The exports of Seychelles include cinnamon, coconut, vanilla, sweet potatoes, bananas, cassava, tuna and broiler chickens. The main imports are equipment, machinery, foods and petroleum products. Seychelles is helplessly dependent on imports of essential items like petroleum due to insufficient natural resources and lack of requisite machinery. In order to reduce heavy dependence on export revenue, tourism is being given priority since Seychelles is abundant in picturesque locations, natural flora and fauna.
Before moving on to different islands in Seychelles, there is a lot more to visit within the capital city. The replica of Big Ben in Westminster of London was again duplicated to install it in the city of Victoria in Seychelles. The Eden Island, an area of 40 acres of residential properties, looks like floating colony in the sea. Beau Vallon is a beach with beauty of its own, situated only 10 kilometers from Victoria. The Arilmugu Navashakti Vinayagar Temple is a colourful holy place (for Hindus) in which the main Deity is Lord Ganesh, the God for education and for removal of all obstacles in human progress and prosperity. The Carnival of Victoria is an annual public colourful event that lasts for three days every April when artistes draped in flashy costumes take to streets dancing to the traditional rhythmic beats in rejoicing mood. St. Paul Cathedral and Catholic Church are peaceful places of worship worth visiting.
The second largest island, Praslin, is the starting point or the base camp site from where tourists find it convenient to move about to explore various visiting places in Seychelles. Praslin is tourist-friendly with its lesser population and large area where travellers are freer to enjoy the beautiful beaches due to less crowdedness. Less population also would mean easier availability of accommodation in resorts and hotels. It is essential to highlight a point that less-crowdedness enhances personal privacy of tourists and viewability of the scenic locations. Valle de Mai is a nature park that is rich in endemic world famous Coco de Mer palm trees and has IBA (Important Bird Area) where you can get to see white necked bright blue pigeons, kestrels, swiftlets, bulbuls and sunbirds, highly endangered black parrots, all native to Seychelles. In addition to the avian life, there are plenty of amphibians, reptiles and nocturnal mammals living in IBA. Tree frogs, caecilians (amphibians hiding themselves in aqueous substrates), geckos (green lizards), skinks (yellow bellied stout and short lizards), snakes and fruit bats have been found to live in the habitat of IBA.
Anse Lazio beach is hailed as one of the best beaches in Praslin, on account of its speckless clean beaches and the blue sea water that seems to challenge the purity of distilled water. When you are half-immersed in the seashore water, you find nothing else between you and the water, reiterating the cleanliness of the sea water.
Curieuse Island is a place where one can find the tortoises with highest longevity. Wild giant tortoises, aged about 150 years, weighing 300 kilograms were spotted by zoologists. Even today, the place is well populated by giant tortoises that grace the island.
La Digue is comparatively a small island where one can wander about on bicycles, unlike in Mahe and Praslin where visitors need cars to paint the town red. Automobiles are either seldom seen or very rare. Giant shade-giving trees and a few paved roads mark the La Digue island along with unpolluted beaches.
Possessing natural locations within the realm of sovereignty of any country is not as great as maintaining them to improve the tourist-compatibility. Seychelles is really one such nation which has oodles of picturesque locations and tourist destinations which make visitors speechless and awe-struck effortlessly by the sheer natural beauty.