Capital : Victoria
Number of inhabitants : 78 700
Most important islands : Mahé, Praslin, La Digue
Seychelles lies in the western part of the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar and 1593 km east of Mombassa, Kenya. Seychelles is an archipelago, which consists of 115 islands, of which 76 are coralline, and the remaining are granitic. Seychelles is situated in a zone free from cyclones. The climate is tropical and generally warm and humid.
Most islands are covered in luxuriant and verdant vegetation. White sandy beaches surrounding the islands are natural features of the Seychelles archipelago. The most common trees are the coconut palm and casuarina. Others include banyans, screw pines and tortoise trees and the giant coco de mer palm, which is unique to the Seychelles and lives for up to 1000 years. Fruit bats, the giant tortoise, flying foxes, geckos and skins are common and there are more than 3000 spieces of insect. There are also many species of rare bird, such as Seychelles kestrel, black parrot, paradise flycatcher, magpie robin...
THE HISTORY :
Althought the French were the first to start settlement on these uninhabited islands, the Arab traders were probably the first to have spotted them. Later on during the 16th century the islands were frequented and some were even named by the Portuguese. In 1742 the french took possession of Seychelles and they ruled for 40 years.
In that time, Seychelles was being used as a transit point for slaves from Africa, India, Madagascar and other countries. From 1794 and for the next thirteen years which followed, the islands changed hands seven times between the French and the British. In 1811 after a series of sea battles Seychelles was occupied by the British. In 1814 the Treaty of Paris rendered both Seychelles and Mauritius formally British. But a year later, Seychelles became under the dependance of Mauritius.
Two important events : abolishement of slavery and establishement of the Roman catholic church in 1853. In 1976 - the birth of the first republic, Seychelles got its independence and stayed with the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Nowdays, it is the third republic ruled by the president France Albert René, elected for five years. It has a National Assembly of 34 members. Seychelles has a multi - party system.
THE PEOPLE :
Seychelles is a multi - racial nation yet completely integrated.
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