30+ Interesting facts About Seychelles

  1. Seychelles is an island country in Africa. It consists of nearly 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
  2. Seychelles is the smallest country in Africa and one of the smallest in the world. Its area (451 km sq.) is less than half of Sao Tome and Principe (964 km sq.), the second-smallest country in the continent.
  3. Seychelles is also the least populated country in Africa. However, its population density (over 235 inhabitants per sq. km in 2023) is higher than most African countries.
  4. The closest country to Seychelles is Madagascar (700 miles), while Kenya (1,000 miles) is its nearest country on mainland Africa.
  5. Seychelles has the most powerful passport in Africa, while its global rank is 29. Holders of this passport can enjoy visa-free travel to 155 destinations worldwide. (Source)
  6. There are more than 150,000 giant tortoises in Aldabra Atoll, one of the two UNESCO World Heritage sites in Seychelles. This island has the highest population of these reptiles in the world. This atoll also contains one of the two oceanic flamingo populations in the world.
  7. Jonathan, a tortoise born in Seychelles, became the oldest tortoise ever and the oldest living terrestrial animal in 2022 after reaching 190 years. It arrived in St. Helena, a British overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean, from Seychelles in 1832 at age at least 50 years. (Source)
  8. Coco-de-mer, a palm tree endemic to Seychelles, produces the largest seed of any plant in the world. This seed is 50 cm (19.6 in.) long and weighs up to 25 kg (55 lb). (Source
    A tree and fruits of coco de mer
    Plant that produces the largest seed is endemic to Seychelles

  9. There are 51 protected areas in Seychelles, comprising more than 50% of the country’s total (land and marine) area. It is the highest percentage of protected areas in the world.
  10. Seychelles was initially part of Gondwana, a supercontinent, and separated nearly 150 million years ago. Due to this, many of its islands are granitic instead of the usual volcanic islands in the middle of an ocean. (Source)
  11. There are two types of islands in Seychelles: Mahe and coralline islands. More than 40 islands in the Mahe group are granitic and mountainous, while coralline islands (over 70) are flat with elevated coral reefs. Most people reside in the Mahe group of islands.
  12. Seychelles has the highest literacy rate in Africa. More than 96% of adults in this island country are literate. (Source)
  13. Traders from the Persian Gulf were aware of these islands centuries ago. However, the British East India Company achieved the first known landing here in 1609.
  14. The islands in Seychelles were a safe place for pirates before the arrival of the French in the 18th Century. There is a famous story of a precious treasure in a cave on Mahe, buried by a notorious pirate, Olivier Levasseur.
  15. Numerous saltwater crocodiles were present in the coastal areas of Seychelles during the arrival of early settlers. According to estimates, human encounters and environmental changes caused the extinction of these reptiles around 1819.
  16. A Frenchman explored these islands in 1742, which resulted in their annexation by France in 1756. Human settlements started in Seychelles after the arrival of French planters and their African slaves in 1768.
  17. Britain captured these islands from France in 1810. France recognized British control after the Treaty of Paris in 1814. Seychelles gained independence from Britain in 1976.
  18. Authorities used several islands in Seychelles as leprosy settlements during the 19th and 20th centuries. However, the most famous is Isle Curieuse (Curieuse Island). The British used it as a leprosy colony until 1968. (Source)
  19. In 1977, the country’s first Prime Minister, France-Albert Rene, ousted the then president, James Mancham, in a coup and became president.
  20. Seychelles became a one-party socialist state in 1979 after a new constitution. It led to several unsuccessful coup attempts during the 1980s.
  21. The island country adopted a multi-party system after a new constitution in 1993. It also gradually moved towards a market-based economy after abandoning the former socialist economy.
  22. United Seychelles (former name People’s Party) remained the largest party in the National Assembly for four decades. It lost to an opposition alliance for the first time in 2016.
  23. United Seychelles also won all presidential elections from independence until 2020. A candidate from the opposition won the election for the first time in the 2020 presidential election.
  24. Seychelles has the highest alcohol consumption per capita in Africa. The average alcohol consumption in this island country is 9.48 liters. (Source)
    A glass of whisky
    Seychelles has the highest alcohol consumption in Africa

  25. Seychelles has the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Africa. Its GDP is nearly double that of the following country (Equatorial Guinea) in 2022. (Source)
  26. Seychelles is the second-most developed country in Africa after Mauritius. Its HDI score in 2023 is 0.782. (Source)
  27. The population of Seychelles is a blend of various cultures due to European, African, and Asian influences. Creole, English, and French are the national languages in Seychelles. The mother tongue of most inhabitants is Creole.
  28. Around 88% of the Seychelles population follows Christianity (including 70% Roman Catholics). The minority religions are Hinduism (6%) and Islam (3%).
  29. Seychelles is the least corrupt country in Africa, according to Transparency International’s CPI (corruption perception index) report. The CPI of Seychelles is 70, while the average index score in Africa is 33. (Source)
  30. Moutya is a traditional dance in Seychelles brought by African slaves of the initial French settlers. In 2021, UNESCO added this dance to its list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity due to its role in resisting hardship and social injustice. (Source)
  31. Many locations in Seychelles are considered perfect honeymoon destinations due to their attractive beaches, natural beauty, and year-round sunshine. Therefore, several celebrity couples chose this country for their honeymoon. These include Prince William and Duchess Kate, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Francois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek, George and Amal Clooney, and others.
  32. Seychelles is named in honor of Viscount Jean Moreau de Sechelles, the French Minister of Finance during the reign of Louis XV. Its capital city, Victoria, was named after the British Queen Victoria.


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