The Seychelles Archipelago
About the Seychelles Islands
Seychelles officially the Republic of Seychelles is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres east of Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar.
Seychelles, with an estimated population of 89,188, has the smallest population of any African state. It also has the highest Human Development Index in Africa.
History of Seychelles
Scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers, and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. Remains of Maldivian mariner presence from the 12th century were found in Silhouette Island.The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral). A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, Louis XV’s Minister of Finance.
The British contested control over the islands between 1794 and 1810. Jean Baptiste Quéau de Quincy, French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.
Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris. Seychelles became a crown colony separate from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970. Independence was granted in 1976 as a republic within the Commonwealth. In 1977, a coup d'état ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham, who was replaced by France Albert René. The 1979 constitution declared a socialist one-party state, which lasted until 1991. The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the requisite 60 percent of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.
France Albert René & James Mancham
An island nation, Seychelles is located to the northeast of Madagascar The number of islands in the archipelago is often given as 115 but the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155. The islands as per the Constitution are divided into various groups as follows.
There are 42 granitic islands.
There are two coral sand cays north of the granitics: Denis and Bird.
There are two coral islands south of the granitics: Coëtivy and Platte.
There are 29 coral islands.
There are 13 coral islands.
There are 67 raised coral islands.
Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most current expenditures and looking after the interests of the children.Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children. Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral. Older women can usually count on financial support from family members living at home or contributions from the earnings of grown children.
The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small.The temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures on Mahé vary from 24 to 30 °C (75 to 86 °F), and rainfall ranges from 2,900 mm (114 in) annually at Victoria to 3,600 mm (142 in) on the mountain slopes. Precipitation is somewhat less on the other islands. During the coolest months, July and August, the average low is about 24 °C (75 °F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31 °C (88 °F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.
In the Seychelles you will come across some of the world's most delicious cuisines. The grilled fish or octopus basted with a sauce of crushed ginger, chilies, and garlic are the national favorites. There are dishes that are prepared with coconut milk and inventive chatinis prepared from the local fruits like papaya and golden apple. As can be expected, the seafood dishes will feature predominantly in the local cuisine, emerging alongside the staple, rice.
A few restaurants concentrate on Chinese, Indian, or Italian food and feature famous international and specialist dishes. When thinking of Seychelles travel, one might overlook Seychelles cooking, dreaming only of a place of pristine beaches and world-class scuba diving. But, Seychelles cuisine is really a five star experience.
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