Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, consists of an estimated 115 islands, most of which are not permanently inhabited. The second-smallest country in Africa, Seychelles has an area of 455 sq km (176 sq mi), of which Mahé, the principal island, comprises 144 sq km (56 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by Seychelles is slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C. There are two main clusters: one is a granitic group, centering around Mahé; the other, to the SW, includes the coralline Aldabra Islands and the Farquhar group. Situated about 1,600 km (1,000 mi) off the east coast of Africa, Mahé extends 27 km (17 mi) N–S and 11 km (7 mi) E–W.
The capital city of Seychelles, Victoria, is located on the island of Mahé.