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General Information

Seychelles is an archipelago nation of 92 islands located in the neighborhood of the equator on the Indian Ocean. The capital city of this island republic with only about 80,000 inhabitants is Victoria. Official languages are: Seychellois Creole, English and French. The majority of the inhabitants are Seychellois who account for 85% of the population. Other ethnic groups, which are mostly Indian (5%), Malagasy (3%), Chinese (2%), Englishmen (1%) and others (4%), are definitely smaller.

This country is very popular among foreign tourists mainly due to its magnificent landscapes, rich and well-preserved fauna and flora, pleasant climate and the great atmosphere of holidays which lasts all the year. It is also interesting that the strict nature preservation rules helped to preserve the cultural character of the island despite the inflow of tourists. An erection of hotels, which are located on the strand or are higher than coconut palms, is forbidden.

Seychelles are mainly volcanic islands consisting of granite with a very interesting highland and mountainous landscapes and with characteristic flat coast and coralline islands which are often small, have a lowland area and are in the shape of an atoll. Among coralline islands are e.g. Amirants, Farquhar and the biggest atoll on the Indian Ocean Aldabra (145 km2 together with lagoon). Coralline atolls are mainly not inhabited. On the biggest island Mahé, there is the highest point of the country - Morne Seychellois (at 905 meters above the sea leve). Shores of the high islands and coralline islands are overgrown by coconut palms' groves. Within high islands, there is a humid equatorial forest with valuable kinds of trees like mahogany and ebony. A very interesting natural phenomenon is so called sea coconut which grows only on Praslin and Curieuse islands. The oldest specimens of this palm are 800 years old and are more than 40 meters high. A very rich animal world is represented by birds and insects. Land and sea turtles are also very interesting ( in the Aldabra National Park there are more than 100,000 of huge turtles which are 1.50 meter long, 1 meter high and weigh 500 kilos) and so are also the biggest bats in the world which eat mainly fruit.

According to historians, the history of Seychelles dates back to the 10th century when Arab merchants visited the islands. The islands were discovered by Europeans six centuries later by Portuguese people, but it didn’t result in any settlement. In the middle of the 17th century France annexed the area of archipelago, but the first settlers appeared there about 25 years later and they were mainly slaves brought from Africa. At the beginning of the 19th century Seychelles obtained the status of a British colony and from this moment the number of inhabitants started to increase. In 1903, Seychelles obtained the status of a separate colony and from the 70s of the 20th century the independence movement escalated which helped the country to obtain its internal autonomy in 1975. One year later, the islands became finally an independent republic, the member of the British Commonwealth of Nations and the member of the UN.