The Seychelles is one of the most stunning tropical island countries in the world. A haven of white sandy beaches, clear waters filled with marine life, lush rainforests, and an entire world of history and culture. No wonder the islands are a famous honeymoon destination, it’s a true paradise on Earth!
So, whether you’re newlyweds or just tropical island fans, we’ve prepared these 51 interesting facts about the Seychelles and its history – a private tour through the archipelago to enjoy from the comfort of your home!
The geographic coordinates for the Seychelles are 4.6167° S, 55.4500°
Made up of 115 islands, the Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
The islands of Seychelles are classified into 42 inner granitic islands and 73 outer coralline islands.
It has a total area of 176 square miles (455 square kilometres).
The Seychelles is part of the African continent.
Flag of the Seychelles
It had a population of 96,762 in 2018.
By population, Seychelles ranks number 200 in the world.
The official languages are English, French and Creole.
Situated on the island of Mahé, the capital of the Seychelles is Victoria; it has a population of 26,450 (2010) and lies 932 miles (1500 kilometres) east of the mainland off Southeast Africa.
Seychelles’ capital is one of the smallest in the world. The Victoria Clocktower reflective of London’s “Big Ben” is situated at the centre of the city and just around the corner sits the Sir Selwyn Clarke Market, a luxurious symbol of the city’s unique charm, characterized by a close and friendly community. One day is more than enough time to explore this cultural hub of a city.
Despite its size, the city is home to around 25,000 inhabitants.
Victoria may be smaller than most capital, but this place certainly gives meaning to the phrase “enjoy the little things in life”.
The official currency of Seychelles is the Rupee. Within the native dialect, it’s known as the roupi.
The uninhabited islands of Seychelles, according to some scholars were sighted by Vasco de Gama in 1502. However, documented arrivals didn’t occur until 1609.
France made a formal claim to the islands, in 1756, and they were named after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, the Minister of Finance under Louis XV, King of France.
The long struggle for the islands between France and Great Britain ended in 1814 when they were conceded to the British.
In 1814, the Seychelles and Mauritius were given to England by the Treaty of Paris.
During the 19th century, Chinese and Indian tradesmen, together with former slaves settled on the island.
In 1976, Seychelles gain their independence and became members of the Commonwealth.
Pirates used to seek out Seychelles as their safe haven, during the early days.
The favourite pirates’ hideouts were the beaches, Anse Forbans on Mahe, and Côte D’Or on Praslin.
It’s believed that the infamous pirate Olivier Levasseur hid treasure worth over $160,000 in Bel Ombre, in the north of Mahe. For all you treasure hunters out there – happy hunting! The treasure is still to be found!
Esmeralda, the world’s largest tortoise lives in the Seychelles. Weighing in at around 670 pounds and aged over 170 years old, she’s the heaviest and oldest living land tortoise in the wild. She’s so heavy that she made it into the Guinness Book of World Records!
The archipelago is famous for being a bird lovers’ dream, with its different selection of rare species that includes sea, land, and migrant birds. Among the plenty of colourful birds found on the island, 12 are classified as endemic.
Seychelles’ warbler, also known as the Timerl Dezil is one of those famous rare birds, close to extinction in the 20th century.
There were just 26 of these birds left in the wild by 1968. Luckily, conservationists have managed to bring them back from the edge of extinction and there are now around 3,500 of these dainty little songbirds.
Weighing up to 30 kg, the native fruit Coco de Mer found on only two of the islands in the archipelago produces the heaviest and largest seed in the world.
An iconic fruit to the Seychellois people is the breadfruit.
During the colonial era, breadfruit represented a vital source of energy for the plantation’s workers.
Do you remember the character, Milton Krest, from Ian Fleming’s spy saga “For Your Eyes Only? The famous author came to the Seychelles islands in 1958 to find inspiration and ended up naming one of his characters, Milton Krest, after a tonic and ginger beverage that he tasted during his stay.
A lot of celebrities choose to vacation in Seychelles and enjoy the amazing private islands.
Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, chose the North Island of Seychelles for their honeymoon, a spot previously chosen by David and Victoria Beckham.
In 1997 and 1998, the Miss World Beauty Pageant was held in the Seychelles. The media used this popular event to show off the stunning islands. Afterward, many tourists started coming to discover the islands’ beauties.
The Seychelles is one of the only African nations to offer free education.
In its early years, there was little education provided to the Seychellois people. The government incorporated improved learning opportunities into their education system in 1981. By 2012, literacy among the people increased to 94%.
Today, Seychelles has successfully developed a required learning system for children up to the age of 18.
The islands are home to 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Aldabra Atoll and Vallée de Mai.
The Seychelles’ climate is tropical oceanic, with little temperature variation during the year.
Seychelles exports vanilla, coconuts, rum, coconut oil, fish and guano (a fertiliser made from seabird and bat faeces).
The average life expectancy is 72.84 sunny years (2018).
The Seychelles’ largest foreign exchange earners are the tourism and fishing industries.
Much of the Seychelles has been given over to nature reserves.
The second largest atoll in the world, the Aldabra atoll, is home to the world’s largest population of Giant tortoises…
…and it’s also home to the world’s largest land crab, the coconut crab.
The Cousin Island is also home to eleven endemic land-birds including the Seychelles Magpie-robin (Endangered), Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Fody and the Seychelles Blue-pige.
The Seychelles is home of the Coco de Mer coconut, the world’s largest seed!
It’s a scuba-diver’s paradise; fish life is prolific thanks to the strict conservation rules and the isolated position of the archipelago’s and the waters are full of beautiful rocks that are often covered in soft corals and sponges – stunning.
If you go scuba diving or snorkelling look out for angel fish, butterfly fish, squirrel fish and soldier fish – magical!
If it’s sharks you want to see, head to the outer islands where you could spot a Grey Reef, Silver Tip, Nurse or the occasional Hammerhead.
If you’re in the Seychelles in August or between October and January, keep your eyes peeled and you might just see a Whale Shark – a gigantic shark which visits the outer islands to feed on plankton during these months.
Want to call your friends in the Seychelles? You’ll need to use the international dialling code, +248.
Do you know any fun or interesting facts about the Seychelles that we’ve missed? Share them with us in the comments section below!