Seychelles Info | So Seychelles

Seychelles Info

The Geography Of The Seychelles

Most people have heard of the tiny island nation of Seychelles but would be hard pressed to locate it on a map. Officially, the archipelago is situated between 4 degrees S and 10 degrees S and 46 degrees E and 54 degrees E in the Indian Ocean. Victoria, the capital of the main island of Mahe, lies approximately 1600 kilometer or 994 miles east of Mombasa, Kenya. Victoria is about 920 kilometers or about 570 miles northeast of Madagascar.

Isolation

While somewhat geographically isolated from the rest of the world, the Seychelles does receive quite a few tourists and visitors from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. It is a favorite place for honeymooners and young couples to visit. The extremely long travel times limit American tourism to only the most adventurous of souls. From London’s Heathrow Airport to Victoria, it is a 9-10 hour flight. That is approximately the same flying time as a trip from London to Las Vegas.

The Economy of the Seychelles

In recent years, the economy of the Seychelles has expanded to include a variety of industries, with tourism becoming a particular focus. However, in the early days of its development, the collection of islands known as the Seychelles thrived on exports. Most of the money in the islands came from selling the goods that were harvested on plantations. These included copra, vanilla and cinnamon. While these still bring in some money for the Seychelles, they are no longer the driving force in the economy.

Seychelles Wildlife, Flora + Fauna

The Seychelles are a series of islands to the northeast of Madagascar. These beautiful tropical islands are home to abundant natural resources, including diverse examples of plants and animals, some of which are found exclusively on these islands.

Early Observations and Human Encroachment

These large, humid islands went unnoticed by humanity until the late 1700s, at which point the first explorers to its shores made a catalog of all the different types of flora and fauna found there. These observations form the basis of much of our understanding about the types of wildlife that existed on these islands before people began to settle there.

As is unfortunately the case in far too many situations, some of the unique wildlife found in the Seychelles disappeared because of human encroachment. The primary causes were one of two factors: hunting and deforestation. Some species were specifically killed for food and sport to the point of dying out, while others lost their habitat when residents began to clear-cut trees in order to build homes for themselves.

The History Of The Seychelles

The ambiance of the Seychelles strikes many first-time visitors as more Caribbean Sea than Indian Ocean. That’s because when colonists first began settling there, the islands were unpopulated. Early French colonials were able to imprint their plantation culture without opposition. A hundred and fifty years of British rule did little to dispel the French influence. The Seychelles remained one of the Empire’s most remote backwaters.

With independence in the 1970s came interest in diversifying the island nation’s plantation economy. The completion of the Seychelles International Airport in 1971 opened the Seychelles to a new source of revenue, tourism. Thanks to tourism, the Seychelles today is one of the most prosperous African states with that continent’s highest Human Development Index.

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