LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE
The pleasure of life is derived from our encounters with the new, and therefore there is no greater happiness than to constantly change your horizons, meeting each day under a different sun.
Seychelles is a country off the east coast of Africa, located on the Seychelles and Amiranta Islands, the islands of Aldabra, Cosmoledo, Farquhar and other nearby small islands in the Indian Ocean with a total area of 455 km2.
The largest island is Mahe. The population is 98.5 thousand people (2020). The capital is Victoria. The official languages are Creole (Seshelva), English, and French. The currency is the Seychelles rupee. The administrative division consists of 25 districts.
Seychelles is a unitary state. The Constitution was adopted in a referendum on June 18, 1993.
The form of government is a presidential republic.
Shoreline of the island Mahe is strongly indented, especially the western coast (Boileau Bay, etc.). The largest islands of the Seychelles group (Mahe, Praslin, Silhouette, La Digue) are composed of crystalline rocks (granites and syenites), while the smaller islands are mostly coral. Height - up to 905 m (on Mahe Island). The climate is subequatorial and marine. Average monthly air temperatures are 26-28 °C. Precipitation falls up to 4000 mm per year (maximum in summer). It is characterized by high relative humidity (80%).
The large islands have preserved evergreen rainforests with a large number of endemic plant species (including the Seychelles palm), and a unique fauna (giant sea turtles, frigate colonies). Protected natural Areas, Aldabra, Valle de Meu (included in the World Heritage List), Cousin; Marine National Park Saint-An.
94% of the population of Seychelles is made up of Seychelles Creoles (Seselva, Seshelva), who speak the Seshelva language. The English, French, Chinese and other peoples also live there.
The length of highways is 508 km, including 490 km of paved roads. Seychelles International Airport (near Victoria). The main seaport is Victoria.
GDP is $ 2304.0 million (2014, at purchasing power parity); per capita, $ 24.5 thousand. Human Development Index 0.756 (2013; 71st place among 187 countries).
The economy is based on tourism, offshore business and fishing. In the GDP structure, the share of the service sector is about 83%, industry-14%, agriculture, forestry and fishing-about 3%.
The main industry is fish processing (Seychelles is one of the largest centers for the production of canned tuna in the Indian Ocean basin). There are small enterprises of the food and taste industry (canned vegetables and fruits, beer, soft drinks, cigarettes, production of cinnamon, food and technical oil from coconut copra), electronics assembly, furniture production, detergents, paints, etc.; shipyards for boat construction, handicrafts (ceramics, products made of tortoiseshells, shells, mother-of-pearl). Electricity production is 347 million kWh (2013, 100% generated at thermal power plants).
Seychelles. Mahe Island Resort complex.
The main branch of the national economy is the tourism business and related hotel and restaurant business. The main types of tourism are beach holidays, cultural and educational activities, sports and entertainment (diving). In 2019, the country was visited by about 384 thousand foreign tourists, mainly from Europe. Several thousand international business companies are registered in the country.
The banking system includes a Central Bank and several commercial banks. Victoria is an international trade zone.
Due to the proximity of the Seychelles to the equator, the air temperature fluctuates slightly throughout the year, and it is quite comfortable to relax on the island at any time. However, the high tourist season in La Digue is considered to be the period from April to October, when the probability of precipitation is lower than in winter. During these months, the thermometer reaches +25...+29 °C, a refreshing breeze is blowing, and the waves are light. The water in the ocean is warm, +24...+26 °C. The nights on the island are warm. Even during the wet season, it rains no longer than an hour.
Foreign trade turnover (USD million, 2019) 2261.7, including exports 824, imports 1437.7.
Exports from Seychelles in 2019 were represented by the following main product groups::
* 37% (307 million USD): 27 - mineral Fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes
* 28% (231 million USD): 16 - preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates
* 20% (167 million USD): 89 - ships, boats and floating structures
* 7,41% (61 million USD): 03 - Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates
* 2,25% (18.5 million USD): 24 - Tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes
* 1,77% (14.6 million USD): 23 - Residues and waste from the food industries; prepared animal feed
* 0,619% (5.1 million USD): 15 - Fats and oils of animal or vegetable origin and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; waxes of animal or vegetable origin
* 0,447% (3.68 million USD): 99 - Commodities not specified by kind
* 0,264% (2.18 million USD): 87 - vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories
* 0.244% (USD 2.01 million): 88 - Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof
Mahe Island in the Seychelles occupies 1/3 of the total area of the archipelago, it is the largest of the 115 islands of the republic. Unlike other Seychelles islands, Mahe is more civilized and therefore the most visited. There is a well-developed transport connection, all roads are paved, many hotels, restaurants, bars, attractions. Mahe is home to the international airport and the capital of the republic, Victoria.
First of all, we recommend visiting Victoria – one of the smallest capitals in the world. The city is surrounded by greenery, which in itself is very beautiful. It is pleasant to walk along the green streets, while admiring the sights of the capital.
On the main street there is a clock tower – a copy of Little Ben, which reminds of the past, when the archipelago was dominated by Great Britain.
Worthy of attention is the "possession stone", installed by the French more than two and a half centuries ago as a sign of their dominance in the Seychelles. Now the "possession stone" is kept in the museum as a symbol of belonging to the former French colony. You can easily find this museum if you continue from the clock tower along Long Pier Street.
To buy souvenirs and unique items, taste local fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, and simply experience the local atmosphere, be sure to go to the Sir Selwyn Clark Market. It's very colorful here.
Victoria's valleys are filled with gardens and parks that are the most protected places with rare plants you can find anywhere in the world.
* Mont Fleuri Botanical Garden will introduce you to the unique flora and fauna, the main attraction-giant turtles aged 100-200 years.
* Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden: in addition to the unique plants that spread a stunning aroma dozens of meters from the garden, the place attracts a great view from the top of the hill on which it is located. A restored old manor house, a luxurious bamboo grove, handmade scented candles, a museum with ancient artifacts-all this also attracts visitors like a magnet.
• In the National Botanic Garden, you can meet flying foxes, giant turtles, admire blooming orchids and other rare representatives of the rich local flora.
* Baie Ternay Marine National Park is a unique opportunity to experience the diverse and colorful underwater world of the ocean.
The sights of Mahe Island are not limited to those that we have presented to you. Often, tourists discover many other unusual places that become a must-see program on their next visit to the island.
Beaches of the island
Mahe Island has 68 beaches that are safe for recreation, with soft white sand and a smooth entrance to the Indian Ocean, without sharp rocks and corals. All beaches are public, so everyone can relax here completely freely and for free.
The pearl of all Seychelles beaches is Beau Vallon. It is distinguished by its security and well-developed infrastructure. Restaurants, bars, diving clubs, shops, shopping areas – Beau Vallon has everything for a relaxing and active holiday.
Entertainment on the island
On Mahe, these are water sports-diving, snorkeling, surfing. Be sure to explore the underwater world! The ocean hides hundreds of species of coral, 900 species of fish, turtles and rays, underwater tunnels and caves.
Sailing and kayaking are equally popular among tourists and locals alike in Mahe. These sports will allow you to explore the island from all sides, looking into the most secret corners.
Seychelles is a great place for fishing enthusiasts. Without much effort, everyone can catch big fish here-barracuda, tuna, marlin. At the same time, you can fish at any time of the year: the conditions will always be favorable.
Mahe Island has several hiking trails of varying difficulty for experienced hikers and lovers of leisurely walks. The plateau at the end of Morne Blanc offers an amazing view of the entire island. And if you completely follow the Copolia trail, you can admire the capital of the Seychelles from a bird's eye view.
Restaurants and bars
Local cuisine is a mix of Creole, Indian, Asian and European culinary traditions.
Numerous restaurants on Mahe Island offer delicacies and drinks made with the freshest ingredients. Seafood and fish are very popular, so they are used to prepare main dishes.
Spices are another of the Seychelles ' prides. Especially skillfully they are used by chefs of Indian cuisine.
The second largest island in the Seychelles is Praslin. It is located 45 kilometers from Mahe Island. The island is 10 km long and 3.7 km wide. There is not a single city on this island. Along the banks there are several settlements with about a thousand inhabitants. Nevertheless, everything is provided for tourists here. Magnificent views, clear water in the Ocean, golden beaches and a sea of establishments: shops, souvenir shops, casinos, restaurants, guesthouses and hotels.
A few words about the history of this paradisiacal island. Before the island was officially recognized as a French possession in the XVIII century, it was actively hunted by pirates who settled in this place in the XVI century. Here they had a kind of shelter, where they could rest after the endless sea battles. By the way, there is still a rumor among local residents that countless pirate treasures are buried on Praslin, but no one has found them yet. Some time passed and the island was discovered by the French in 1742, which they called "The Island of Palms". In 1756, planters were already landing on the island for its active colonization and cultivation. They brought with them not only the culture of France, but also a massive black granite stone, on which the coat of arms of France was carved and which was laid on one of the beaches. The stone established the rights of France to own the island. And the beach where it was installed is still called Anse Possession Beach. And in 1758, the “Island of Palms " received its official name-Praslin, in honor of the Minister of Maritime Affairs Duke de Praslin.
There are two ways to visit Praslin Island: either by ferry or by plane. If you go by ferry, the ship arrives in the Bay of St. Anne, on the south-eastern part of the island. From here, it is very convenient to get to the most unusual and visited place in the Seychelles: the Valley of May (Vallée de Mai), in which those Coco-de-Mer or Sea Palms grow. This place is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is protected by the State.
May Valley is really a wonderful place. According to legend, it was here that there was a Paradise on Earth, and the serpent tempted Eve not with an apple, but with a bizarre fruit-Coco de Mer, which grows only in the Seychelles. The history of the name Sea Nut is very interesting. The fact is that even before the discovery of the Seychelles by the French in the XVIII century, these bizarre fruits washed up on the coast of India and other states that are located at a distance of 1000 miles from the Seychelles. Local residents for a long time could not understand where such a miracle comes from. Maybe it was a gift from the gods or a plant that grows on the very bottom of the Ocean, they assumed. After a few hundred years, everything became clear, and the name Coco-de-mer was firmly fixed in the nut.
In the May Valley, on the territory of 19 hectares, many endemic plants grow. In addition, there is a large plantation of Coco de Mer (a nut shaped like the lower part of a woman's body) - about 6000 palm trees, these palms can reach a height of up to 35 meters and live for 800 years.
In addition to nature, you can also enjoy the animal world: colorful lizards, Black Parrots, and strange birds.
Amazing place-Black Pearl Farm. The farm offers guided tours of the complex technology of "artificial insemination" of shellfish, as well as a jewelry store made from local pearls.
Giant clams Tridacna maxima are bred on the Black Pearl . Clams of this species are distinguished by bright colors-from ultra-blue and green to purple and gold. Unlike pearl mussels, which need a natural habitat, Tridacna maxima live in four outdoor pools on the farm, along with tropical fish, turtles and other coral reef inhabitants, planted here to create an eco-friendly environment for the clams.
The second most popular beach on Praslin Island is the Gold Coast or Cote d'Or. The beach got its name due to the sand, which is cast in gold.
North of the Gold Coast is Possession Beach. By the way, the stone of Possession is long gone, but you can enjoy the silence and listen to the soothing sounds of the waves.
Anse Lazio Beach is an ideal tropical spot, featured in the list of the 10 best beaches in the World.
Here, many famous commercials were shot against the backdrop of natural scenery made of white sand and giant boulders.
Silhouette Island is the third largest granite island in the archipelago, however, compared to Mahe and Praslin Islands. Silhouette is an island - reserve: there is one hotel on it, the guest houses of which are quite in harmony with nature. The island has a population of about 150 people. There are no highways here, just paths. Most of the wild nature has come down to us in its unchanged form since ancient times, thanks to the steep mountain slopes.
The island is 20 km from Mahe Island and is clearly visible from the famous Mahe Bo Vallon beach. You can get to the Silhouette from Mahe either by helicopter or by ferry.
This island is worth a visit for wildlife lovers, as the Silhouette is located directly in the Marine National Park and boasts a huge variety of animals and plants that are on the verge of extinction.
The island has one of the densest and most beautiful rainforests in the Indian Ocean. Here you can see orchids, rare species of deciduous trees, including frankincense, sandalwood, cabbage palms, latanias, albizias, gaiaca, wakoa, terminalia, breadfruit trees, as well as the famous carnivorous plant that feeds on insects.
The main representatives of the island's wildlife are bats, rare bird species and friendly sea turtles, some of which are more than 100 years old. To protect these rare animals, a turtle sanctuary has been set up on the island, which anyone can visit.
The island is home to the second highest mountain in the Seychelles archipelago, Mount Dauban, named after the wealthy Dauban family, who owned the island from the 19th century to the 70s of the twentieth century. The Doban family established coconut palm and fruit tree plantations. There is also a local landmark, the Planter's House, which is the main man-made monument of the island, and on its lower floor there is a Creole restaurant.
The climate on the island is the same as on Mahe - humid and tropical, throughout the year the average monthly air temperature is +25...+30 °C. The seasons are divided into wet (from December to April), during which there are short showers and north-west monsoons, and dry (from May to September), when there is less precipitation and dry south-east winds prevail.
La Digue is a small and perhaps the most beautiful island in the Seychelles. On an area of 10 km2, luxury beaches and landscapes are concentrated that are difficult to find anywhere else. La Digue is constantly visited by film directors and photographers from fashion magazines. On this perfect tropical island, time seems to have stopped. Local residents move around its territory on bicycles and ox sleds and amaze tourists with their friendliness.