Seychelles is an island nation that inspires one to dream, and here, achingly beautiful views are found wherever you go. The unique flora and fauna of the island is of great curiosity for visitors who come see such rare plants as “The Coco de Mer palm”, or such intriguing animals as the Giant Tortoise.
The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa, known for its beaches, coral reefs, diving, nature reserves and rare wildlife such as giant Aldabra tortoises. Mahé island, with an international airport, is a key transport hub, home to capital Victoria, the mountain rainforests of Morne Seychellois National Park and white-sand beaches
The first record of the Seychelles was in 1502, when Portugal's Vasco da Gama purportedly explored the islands, although Arab traders may have actually visited them much earlier. Later on, during the 16th century, the islands were frequented and some were even named by the Portuguese. In 1742, the French Governor of Mauritius, Mahe de Labourdonais, sent an expedition to the islands. A second expedition in 1756 reasserted formal possession by France and gave the islands their present name in honor of the French finance minister under King Louis XV, Moreau of Seychelles. The new French colony barely survived its first decade and did not begin to flourish until 1794, when Queau de Quincy became commandant. In 1768 French planters and their slaves began to settle in the Seychelles. In 1771, a year after settling in, Pierre Poivre started the first plantation industry in Seychelles with a view to compete with the Dutch in the European spice trade. During that period Seychelles was also being used as a transit point for slaves from Africa, India, Madagascar and other countries.
A few were retained here to work for their masters. The geographical location of Seychelles also made it ideal for both the French and the British during their respective reign of the islands to send all those who they wanted to get rid off for various reasons (Isolation, punishment). To name just a few the Dauphin of France, Louis XVII, son of Louis XVI, King Prempeh of Ghana, the archbishop Makarios of Cyprus (later upon his return to his country became the President of Cyprus). In 1794 Britain annexed the Seychelles, which were then administered from Mauritius. However, for the 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. A year later this cession was sanctioned and the Seychelles became under the dependence of Mauritius. In 1835 Seychelles saw the abolishment of slavery and 1853 the establishment of the Roman catholic church, two important events in the history of Seychelles. From the date of its founding by the French until 1903, the Seychelles Colony was regarded as a dependency of Mauritius, which also passed from the French to British rule in 1814. In 1888, a separate administrator and executive and administrative councils were established for the Seychelles archipelago.
Nine years later, the administrator acquired full powers of a British colonial governor, and on 31 August 1903, Seychelles became a separate British Crown colony. In 1948 the first elections to a legislative council took place. In 1964 the first political parties are formed: France Albert Rene's socialist Seychelles People's United Party and James Mancham's pro-business Seychelles Democratic Party. In March 1970, colonial and political representatives of Seychelles met in London for a constitutional convention. Elections in November 1970 brought a resulting constitution into effect. Further elections were held in April 1974, in which both major political parties campaigned for independence. Following this election, negotiations with the British resulted in an agreement by which Seychelles became a sovereign republic on June 29, 1976. These negotiations also restored the islands of Aldabra, Farquhar, and Des Roches, which had been transferred from Seychelles in November 1965 to form part of the new British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) to Seychelles upon independence.
Just a year after independence in 1976, the Seychelles appeared to be heading down the path of instability which has blocked the development of many African states. In 1977, supporters of Prime Minister, France Rene, overthrew the President, James Mancham (ostensibly without Rene's knowledge) and Rene was installed as the new President. Rene embarked on a program aimed at giving poorer people a greater share of the country's wealth. His coup, though bloodless, resulted in about 10,000 islanders fleeing the country. In 1978 Rene enacts a new constitution, turning the Seychelles into a one-party state. Four years later, in 1981, with the help of Tanzanian troops, Rene thwarted an attempt by South African mercenaries to restore Mancham. An army mutiny in 1982, followed by several attempted coups, suffered a similar fate. However, in 1991, possibly in response to pressure from foreign creditors and aid donors, Rene restored multiparty democracy and went on to win the presidential elections in 1993 and 1998. His party, the Seychelles People's Progressive Front, won parliamentary elections by a landslide in 1998. He also endorsed a shift towards a free-market economy. Rene's opponents say that despite the return to multiparty democracy, the repressive atmosphere of a one-party state continues to prevail. President France-Albert RENE, who had served since 1977, was re-elected in 2001, but stepped down in 2004. Vice President James MICHEL took over the presidency and in July 2006 was elected to a new five-year term.
Mahe has a mountain called Morne Seychellois that is over 900 meters high that is located in Morne Seychellois Park. The northern and eastern parts of Mahe are where much of the business takes place, and is where the international airport is located. To the south and west, there is Baie Ternay National park, and Ste. Anne Marine Park, which lies off shore on Conception Island. Therese Island, Sillhouette Island, and Anonyme Island are the largest islands around Mahe. Mahe attracts vacationers from every part of the world every year, year after year. Mahe’s capital is the city of Victoria, which is also the seat of the Seychelles Island government. Mahe is one of the most bustling islands in the Seychelles. It also has the highest mountains, up to 902 m tall.
The lovely region of the Seychelles Islands and the capital also well known as Victoria or Port Victoria and are situated on the island of Mahé. It is a very popular international destination. A few centuries it was a settlement site under French colonial rule, the British consequently took over in the year 1811. The capital city was named for Queen Victoria of England. The main attraction of the metropolis is a clock tower modeled similar to the Little Ben clock tower outside Victoria station in London. This region is very popular amongst everyone young and old. Port of Victoria is very famous for all young and old who want to come here and have a good time with their friends and family.
Praslin Island, part of the Seychelles Islands archipelago, is a world famous tourist destination with lovely hotels and beaches that are considered the most beautiful in the world. In fact, Anse Lazio, on Praslin, is considered by some to be the most beautiful beach in the world. Praslin also has tropical forests with rare birds like the Seychelles Bulbul and the black parrot. A nature preserve called Valee-de-Mai has coco-de-mer trees and vanilla orchards. Valee de Mai has been compared with the biblical Garden of Eden. The Valee de Mai National Park has been a UNESCO National Heritage for a quarter of a century now.
Bird Island is one of the northernmost islands in the Seychelles Islands archipelago, and it is located on the edge of the island chain on the edge of a continental shelf. From the main island of Mahe, it is about 60 miles to Bird Island. It takes about a half-hour by plane from Mahe to Bird Island. From the air, you can see the bright and beautiful coral cay of approximately 170 acres. The water varies in shades of blue and turquoise in the Indian Ocean, which bathes the reef and continental shelf. On land, the white sands contrast with the rich green of all the tropical plants. To the east and south of Bird Island is a sheltering coral reef which is the home to numerous bright tropical fish. As for the beaches, the swimming is excellent due to the protection of the coral reef. People come to Bird Island because they know it is not only one of the most beautiful places on earth, but that it is a place to take family on an unforgettable vacation.
The citizens who live in the Seychelles Islands are called the Seychellois. There are a number of ethnic races represented in the Seychelles, most of which come from Africa. There are also significant numbers of Arabs, Indians, French, and Chinese. You will also see Polynesian, Indian, and Arcadian influences. The Seychellois are a beautiful combination of British, Chinese, French, Indian, and African blood. The Seychellois live simple lives in an earthly paradise where the tourism trade is closely regulated to preserve the abundant natural charms of the islands. Languages spoken in the Seychelles include Creole, French, and English. Upon meeting someone in the Seychelles, it is customary to shake hands. The Seychellois are friendly and often invite newcomers to their houses. When visiting someone's home in the Seychelles, it is the custom to bring a small gift. Because the Seychelles consist of over 100 islands and only has a population of around 83,000, it has the distinction of being the least crowded country in the world. Population growth in the Seychelles is low, but the average age is quite young. Half the population is under 25. Nearly 70% of the inhabitants of the Seychelles live on Mahe, which is the largest island. Life expectancy in the Seychelles is about 72 years. Though the Seychellois population is made up of many different ethnic groups, the people get along in harmony and are proud of their republic. The life on the Seychelles is casual, peaceful, and spiritual.
Some 90% of Seychellois are Catholic. Other religions include Protestant Christians, Muslims, and Hindu. Most people are quite friendly and are glad to have any reason to have a party. Music is an important part of the Seychellois culture. The music is influenced by Polynesian, Arcadian, and Indian music. The two main types of folk music in the Seychelles are the Montea and the Contombley, based on music, and drums respectively. Singing and dancing are important facets of life here. After all, if you lived in this earthly paradise, wouldn't you feel like singing and dancing? Sports are big in the Seychelles, too. Football, boxing, and volleyball are popular sports. Seychelles cuisine is a Creole that is made up of the very best of the foods of India, Britain, China, France, Africa, and America. The staple foods are rice and fish, but creative combinations of spices along with the use of coconut milk and breadfruit make a huge variety of different tastes. Locally, cari bernique, daube (sweet sauce), rougaille, and carii coco (a meat curry with cream of coconut), salade de palmiste et bredes are prominent dishes. Spinach, along with many other fruits and vegetables grow in this warm climate, including guava, aubergine, lychee, melon, and calabashes. One of the most famous drinks is Seybrew German lager. It is actually made on a nearby island and not in Germany. Many types of tea are available. Most restaurants in the Seychelles are "sit down" restaurants, where waiter service is the norm. Usually, tips run about 5% to 10% of the bill. Though there is no culture indigenous to the Seychelles, many influences from African origins have remained for centuries now.
The government created a National School of Music and a National Cultural Troupe to encourage growth and tradition. You can partake of the wonderful Seychellois culture simply by visiting, dining, dancing, and having a great time. You will find in the Seychelles numerous shops selling souvenirs and gifts such as local hand crafts, ornaments, and jewelry, many of which are prepared with snail shells. As nightlife goes, the Seychelles are rather quiet, though there are some local music venues and dance performances. Also, some of the larger hotels hold dinner dances and barbecues. In most hotels, men are asked to wear long trousers rather than shorts, but that is about as "formal" as life gets in the Seychelles. French and African influences are very noticeable in the Seychelles. There are three kinds of music that are associated with the local culture: the sega, which has strong African influence, moutia, a style that originated in slaves, and contredanse, a style of music and dance with French and British origins. Of the contemporary artists, Adams Michael is thought of as the "Gaugin of the Seychelles." There are also many other artists who live in the Seychelles, including Leon Radegonde, Gerard Devoud, Marc Duc, and George Camille.
The seasons in the Seychelles are defined by the trade winds. These bring warmer, wetter airstreams from the northwest from October to April. From May to September the southeast trades usher in cooler, drier weather but the winds whip up the waves and you’ll want to find protected beaches. The turnaround periods (March to April and October to November) are normally calm and windless. The rain generally comes in sudden, heavy bursts. Mahé and Silhouette, the most mountainous islands, get the highest rainfall. January is the wettest month by far, and July and August the driest. Temperatures range between 24°C and 32°C throughout the year. Although the Seychelles lies outside the cyclone zone, cyclone activity elsewhere in the Indian Ocean can still bring unseasonably grey, windy weather between December and March. Hotel prices shoot up and accommodation can be hard to find during the peak seasons from December to January and July to August. Easter can also get busy.
The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR) which is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in 5, 10, 25 cents, and 1 and 5 Rupee denominations. Notes come in 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 Rupee denominations. Exchange rates are featured on the Central Bank of Seychelles website, in the Nation newspaper and are also available at all banks. Banking hours are generally Monday-Friday 0800hrs-1400hrs, and Saturday 0800hrs-1100hrs. All banks process traveller’s cheques and foreign exchange transactions. Passports are required for visitors’ transactions and nominal commissions may be charged. ATM facilities exist at major banks on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and at the airport on Mahé and Praslin. Please note that these provide cash in local currency. Visitors to the islands are now entitled to make payments for services/products in Seychelles rupees. The discretion to pay in another currency other than the Seychelles rupee shall lay solely with the visitor. Exchange rates will be determined by the market and may differ from bank to bank or at various bureaux de change. Exchanging foreign currency into Seychelles Rupees must only be done at banks, with authorised money dealers such as a bureau de change, or with other licenced operators.
There is much to be enjoyed in the evenings and a speciality is the local camtolet music, often accompanied by dancers. Several hotels have evening barbecues and dinner dances. Theatre productions are often staged (in Creole, English and French) and there is one cinema in Victoria and casinos at Beau Vallon Bay Hotel and the Plantation Club. Like the beaches in Bali, the shores of Seychelles do not go quiet with the coming of night. It even becomes noisier as bars and clubs lining the shores start up their sound systems for the best party of the night. The country is a quiet paradise in the evening and stress reliever where you can let loose at night. The country also has casinos and restaurants that can satisfy a tourists hunger for food and sweet vacation. The most popular places recommended to aspiring travelers are Katiolo, Ozone, The Jungle, and Oxygen. These are discotheques located in Mahe and Praslin. The Amusement Centre, Berjaya International Casino, and Casino des Iles are on the other hand, the gaming centers in the country for people who are gifted with enough cash to gamble. There is also the Deepam which is a cinema for people who love quiet and lounging evenings
Ask anyone in Seychelles to name you at least three nightclubs, and one of the clubs they mention will certainly be Katiolo. Located on the island of Mahe, this dance club has built a strong reputation about party-goers. There are parties here 3 nights a week, and the music is quite diverse, so it can be appreciated not only by the younger generation but by anyone in the mood for dance.
In case you are curious to meet people or you simply want to have a drink in other place but your hotel bar, try the Level 3 Bar in Mahe. The drinks offer is quite diverse, but even more so is the crowd. The best time to visit this bar is on a Friday night.
Those why stay in Praslin will have a chance to check out the nightlife in here, which is not very different from the one on Mahe. One of the most popular clubs in the area is Oxygen, a night club with good music and a glamorous atmosphere. Just make sure that you are dress accordingly, which means no flip-flops or other kind of clothes and accessories that you would only wear on the beach.
Another trendy club in Seychelles if Lovenut, most appreciated for its music selection. Like most clubs on the archipelago, Lovenut is only opened during the weekend + one weekday (Wednesday). However, the nights are long in Seychelles, and the clubs stay open till the break of dawn.
If you happen to go out in Mahe for more than one night, you can also give Ozone a try. This is another centrally located nightclubs, but unlike others this one is best known for its live music nights and jam sessions. Music lovers will certainly appreciate this club in Seychelles, not to mention that, despite its official status as a dance club, Ozone organizes lots of social events.
The first official language of Seychelles since 1981, Seychellois Creole, also known as Kreol or Seselwa, is the French-based creole language of the Seychelles. It shares official language status with English and French. Originating from French Colonial times, many slaves tried to mimic the language of their masters, whether to improve communication or just for amusement, but since they could not pronounce in the same way this led to a contortion of the French language which gave birth to the maternal tongue, Creole. If one looks closely, resemblance to the French language can be seen in many Creole words.
Berjaya Praslin Resort is located on the beach in Praslin Island, close to Anse Volbert Beach, Grand Anse Beach, and Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve. Other points of interest near this romantic hotel include Cote D\'Or Beach and Anse Takamaka.Berjaya Praslin Resort features a poolside bar, a bar/lounge, and a snack bar/deli. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool.
Seychelles Situated on the Takamaka beachfront south Mahe, this well-established small hotel consists 6 superior rooms, 2 standard rooms and 2 mini-suites in the tropical gardens just off the beach and behind the famous feet-in-sand Creole restaurant Chez Batista. Lunch and dinner can be reserved at the restaurant once in-house.