Seychelles is one of the world’s most beautiful countries. This lovely African country is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and is well-known for its stunning beaches. Aside from its natural landscape and pristine shorelines, there are many interesting facts about Seychelles that you should be aware of.
Common Facts About Seychelles
The “Republic of Seychelles,” as it is officially known, is an island nation with a population of approximately 95,000 people.
Seychelles is known for its beautiful people, stunning beaches, and large tortoises. The country is also famous as a honeymoon destination. There are numerous facts about Seychelles that will help you better understand this stunning island nation in Africa.
Several countries in Africa are prone to armed conflicts and civil/social unrest. Always double check the latest situations from both your government and the local government advisories.
Historical Facts About Seychelles
No Indigenous People
A rather unknown and surprising fact about Seychelles is that the island nation has no indigenous people. Seychelles was largely uninhabited until it was discovered by the Europeans between the 16th and 18th centuries.
But did you know pirates occupied Seychelles before its first settlers arrived in the latter part of the 18th century? Pirates made it their playground as they stopped to unwind on this island on their voyage journey. With all that geographical beauty, it’s not hard to see why.
The first set of people to inhabit the island were 7 African slaves, 5 Malagasy slaves, 15 white colonists, and 1 black woman.
Treasures On The Island
When you think of pirates, what else do you think of? Yes, treasure!
This is one of the exciting facts about Seychelles. The island is said to have buried treasures waiting to be discovered. There are stories that Olivier Levasseur, a French pirate better known as La Buse, hid some treasures on Mahe island in Seychelles.
This would have remained a mere story to entertain the younger generation. But cryptography, pirate markings made with granite by La Buse, and some already uncovered treasures suggest this is more than just a story. A certain Man on the island has even made finding La Buse treasure his life’s work.
There are many other stories of treasures buried on the islands, but little evidence to support them. La Buse’s hidden treasures seem to be the only authentic story.
Colonization Of Seychelles
Two different European countries colonized Seychelles. French in 1756, and the British in 1810.
The country was named after Viscount Jean Moreau De Seychelles, the French finance minister during the reign of Louis VX (Louis the 15). After persistent back and forth, the French finally ceded the country to the British.
In 1814, Seychelles became a crown colony of Britain. The British presided over Seychelles until it gained independence.
Seychelles broke off from British rule in 1976, which makes it one of the African countries that achieved independence relatively late.
Since it was a British colony, it became a member of the commonwealth nations automatically. The national day in Seychelles is June 29th.
Miss World Beauty Pageant
Did you know the 47th and 48th edition of the Miss World Beauty Pageant was held in Seychelles?
Won by Diana Hayden (Indian) and Linor Abargil (Israel), respectively, the media leveraged this award ceremony to shine the spotlight on this beautiful African country.
Useful Facts About Seychelles For Tourists
Giant Tortoise In Bird Island
One of the interesting facts about Seychelles is that you can find the world’s largest land tortoise here. The Aldabra tortoises (giant land tortoises in the wild) can be seen on Bird Island in Seychelles.
These tortoises are said to weigh between 550 lbs to 650lbs. The world’s oldest land tortoise is one named Jonathan. Jonathan is estimated to be 190 years old and lives in Seychelles.
Here is an even more surprising fact about animals in Seychelles. The Aldabra tortoises on the island outnumbered the humans there. There are an estimated 100,000 Aldabra tortoises on the island.
If you ever travel to Seychelles, hanging out with the giant Aldabra tortoises should definitely be on your bucket list.
The Aldabra island in Seychelles is home to the endemic Aldabra tortoises, thus the similarity in name.
In addition, Aldabra houses the second-largest coral atoll in the world. It is also one of the country’s UNESCO world heritage sites.
As you can guess, the Aldabra is one of the best locations to spot animals in Seychelles. You will be able to watch birds and other beautiful animals on this island. Tiger sharks, manta rays, white-throated rail, and red-footed boobies are some of the popular animals in Seychelles.
Scuba Diving In Seychelles
Seychelles has one of the best geographical makeup in the world. Coral reefs, canyons, drop-offs, wrecks, and marine life contribute to the incredibly beautiful region. The country’s amazing topography makes it a perfect destination for diving.
There are many amazing dive sites in Seychelles. Some of the best include Brissare rocks, Trompeuse, shark bank, and fishermen’s cove reef.
Because of its location on the Indian Ocean, there are many beautiful beaches in Seychelles. The Anse Lazio beach has been rated as one of the best beaches in the world by many visitors and locals, along with different international surveys.
Located on Praslin Island, Anse Lazio beach is famous for its white sand, turquoise water, green tropical trees backdrop, and it’s boulder-strewn areas. Because of its breathtaking beauty and serenity, it’s always buzzing with visitors.
If you want to avoid crowds, you should visit during the early hours of the morning, or in the late evening when tour buses have left the beach.
Birdwatching In Seychelles
If you are a bird lover, this Seychelles fact will no doubt excite you. There are over 250 bird species in the Seychelles islands. In the region, you can see many bird colonies housing migrating or vagrant birds (homeless or wandering).
The national bird in Seychelles is the Kato Nwanr (black parrot). It’s an endangered specie that is well protected on the island. There are only records of 1000 black parrots remaining on earth, and most of them can be spotted in Seychelles.
Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar
This Hindu template is one of the most important religious landmarks in Seychelles. Located in Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagaris is easily one of the biggest attractions in the city.
This colorful temple has served as a worship house for Indian Hindus on the island since 1992.
It was named after Lord Vinayagar (Hindu dirty of prosperity), and is actually the only temple on the island.
Vallée de Mai National Park
One of the many nature spots and tourist attractions in Seychelles, the Vallée Natural Reserve is a beauty to behold. It resembles a palm forest, which many of us can only relate to in jungle adventure movies.
Vallée de Mai National Park plays host to rich and diverse flora and fauna, many of which are unique to Seychelles. This reserve is located in the heart of the Parslin island, and this is a must-visit site on your travels to the country.
Cultural Fun Facts Of Seychelles
Languages In Seychelles
Considering they were colonized by the British, it is no surprise that the official language in the country is English. However, English is not the only official language in the country.
French and the Seychellois variant of creole (Seselwa) are the two other official languages. That is another interesting fact about Seychelles that many don’t know about. It is one of the few countries with three official languages.
Food In Seychelles
Another peculiar Seychelles fact to know is that the country has no national dish. However, if it has to have one, then it will be fish. Fish is a constant part of Seychellois cuisine. They are enjoyed in different styles, cooked, fried, roasted, steamed, baked, wrapped in banana leaves, and smoked.
That said, you can imagine seafood and shellfish meals are everyday food in the country. Rice and curry dishes, especially curry fish, are also popular foods in Seychelles. Regardless of your diet pattern, there is a delicacy for you in Seychelles.
Here is a nifty piece of information about Seychelles you should know before you travel there: food may be a little pricey but affordable. The county’s agricultural sector doesn’t have sufficient capacity to produce food that can sustain its citizens.
Here is another exciting Seychelles fact. It is home to the infamous breadfruit. The breadfruit is a significant part of the Seychelles culture. During the colonial era, forced labourers and plantation workers relied on breadfruit for energy and nutrition. It was their pathway to avoid starvation.
Today, this iconic fruit is enjoyed in different forms due to its versatility. It can be enjoyed in croquettes, chips, mash, and many other dishes. The breadfruit can be baked, roasted, fried, or boiled, and it always tastes good. Breadfruit is a part of Seychellois culture.
Matriarchalism In Seychelles
Here is an interesting fact about Seychelles’ culture. The Seychellois community is one of the few communities in the world that is matriarchal (governed by women/women talking up more roles than men).
In Seychelles, mothers are in charge of the household rather than the men. Women determine the children’s future and household expenditures. The men in Seychelles have reduced roles when it comes to household matters; they are more important for their money-earning abilities.
The National Sport In Seychelles Is Football
Seychelles is one of the many African countries where football (soccer) is the national sport. The men’s national team in Seychelles is nicknamed “The Pirates.”
The people of Seychelles enjoy other sports like basketball, cycling, and volleyball. But football is still the most popular sport in the country. Although the country has not done very well in the sport as they are still awaiting their AFCON debut.
Seychelles has seen more success in beach football and the Indian Ocean Island games, where they were champions in 2011.
Simple Facts About Seychelles For Kids
Geography Of Seychelles
Seychelles is an island country on the African continent. Sitting on the Indian Ocean, it is bordered by Kenya, Madagascar, Comoros, and Mauritius. The country comprises over 110 islands, of which only 3 (Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue) are inhabited.
A citizen of the Island nation of Seychelles is referred to as Seychellois. Most of them are of creole ancestry.
Least In Africa
Did you know? With a population of around 95,000 people, Seychelles is the least sovereign country in Africa. That is one fact for kids about Seychelles.
Victoria Island is the capital of Seychelles. It is named after Queen Victoria, is the world’s smallest island and capital city.
Here is an interesting fact about Seychelles; although Victoria is a small island, at least one-third of the country’s population lives in there. There are many attractions in this city, and because of its size, you can explore it on foot within a day.
Seychelles Rupee – The Currency
The official currency of Seychelles is the Seychelles Rupee. It is also the only legal tender within the country. However, because of tourists, some guesthouses and hotels also accept U.S Dollars or Euros in the country.
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Other Interesting Facts About Seychelles
World’s Only Granite Island
Here’s a fascinating Seychelles fact about its origins. It was part of a supercontinent (Gondwana) that existed over 500 million years ago.
Due to persistent tectonic activities, the Gondwana turned out to be what we know today as Seychelles and the Indian Ocean around it.
Seychelles, as a country, has around 73 coral islands and 42 inner islands. These islands are mainly formed with granite. The 42 additional islands to the Seychelles archipelago are the only islands in the world with no coral or volcanic elements.
Therefore, another interesting fact about Seychelles to know is that you can only spot granite clusters on the inner islands. This makes them some of the world’s most unique and beautiful destinations.
The Victoria Clocktower
Better known as Lorloz in Seychelles, the Victoria Clocktower is the most historical and prominent landmark in Seychelles. Erected in the heart of the capital city Victoria, this clock tower is over 100 years old.
Queen Victoria died in 1901, and the clock was constructed in 1902 in memory of the queen. Although not as big as the London clock, the Victoria Clocktower is a replica of the London clock built in 1897.
Seychelles has one of the most prosperous and thriving economies in sub-Saharan Africa. This is one fact about Seychelles that is often trivialized due to the county’s small population and geopolitical location.
The economy in Seychelles is heavily based on tourism, fishing, vanilla, furniture, and beverages, among others.
Due to the geographical makeup, agriculture is not so lucrative but also contributes to the country’s economy. Some of the main agricultural products in the country include cassava, banana, sweet potatoes, and cinnamon.
Coco de Mer
One of the things Seychelles is known for is Coco de Mer. Also referred to as double coconut, this is a plant and fruit native to Seychelles.
This is the largest nut that also has the biggest seed in the world. Interestingly, it takes close to a decade for a Coco de Mer to ripen. The seeds weigh around 25 kg and are sold for around $300-500 depending on their shape.
Life Expectancy In Seychelles
Seychelles has one of the highest average life expectancies in the African continent. The average life expectancy for men in Seychelles is 68 years and 78 years for women.
You might think that doesn’t sound particularly high. This is partly because the average life expectancy in Africa is relatively low due to the different challenges faced by other countries, such as hygiene, health, and war.
Popular Honeymoon Destination
One of the more obvious facts about Seychelles is its reputation as a honeymoon paradise. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince Williams and Kate), George and Amal Clooney, and David and Victoria Beckham all picked Seychelles as their honeymoon destination.
Seychelles is a popular spot for celebrities who are looking for a place to unwind and have a good time.
National Parks And Reserves
Another cool fact about Seychelles is that over half of the country’s 445 square km land area is occupied by National Parks and Reserves. That is why its an exciting destination for nature lovers. From the crystal clear ocean to lush forests, there is plenty to indulge in.
This is one Seychelles fact you don’t often associate with African countries. Although it may not be as famous as other African countries, the Seychelles passport is the most powerful on the African continent.
Seychelles passport holders have the license to travel to over 150 countries visa-free.
The Seychelles flag is one of the very few national flags in the world with 5 colors. Adopted in 1996, the flag features blue, yellow, red, white, and green.
This is the country’s third flag since it gained independence in 1976.
The blue represents the sky and the sea surrounding the country. Yellow represents the sun that gives light and life. Red represents the citizens of Seychelles and their determination to work for the country’s future, unity, and love. White represents social justice and harmony in the country. The green represents the vegetation and land in the country.
Regular Participant But No Olympic Medals Yet
How about this for a consistent yet funny fact about Seychelles? Since 1980, the country has competed in every Olympics except Seoul (Korea) in 1998. However, the country has yet to win its first Olympics medal.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Seychelles
Seychelles is a small but incredibly beautiful country with no lack of scenic views. It’s no surprise that this tropical paradise is a popular spot for honeymooners and nature lovers.
These are just some of the interesting facts about Seychelles, but there is much more than meets the eye in this stunning African island nation. When you get the opportunity, make a trip down to explore the country first hand and you are bound to experience more on your adventures.