The Seychelles is an archipelago composed of one-hundred and fifteen islands in the Indian Ocean, off the mainland of East Africa. There are forty-two granitic islands, two coral sand cays and many coral islands. Tourism is a very important industry and employs about 30% of the workforce and accounts for some 70% of revenue earned. The Seychelles have no indigenous inhabitants, but is comprised of people who have emigrated there over the years. The society is matriarchal, meaning the mother tends to be the dominant one of the household.
The island has many unique qualities and since 1993, there has been a law that guarantees every citizen of the island has a right to a clean environment, while at the same time must do their part to protect it as well. The Seychelles Islands is the world leader in sustainable tourism and every project undertaken requires time-consuming consultations and review with the public and conservationists.
On the Inner Islands, Denis Island is the third largest and is located near the end of the Seychelles Bank. The island is a prime spot for game fishing for dog-tooth tuna, marlin, barracuda, sailfish and dorado. There is also a diving station located on the island, which provides tourists with a chance for some beautiful underwater coral reef exploration. There are also nesting bird colonies, turtles and palm forests. The small population that inhabits the island work on the copra, cinnamon and sugar cane plantations.
Mahe Island is the largest of all islands in the Seychelles. The island is covered by a 70 mile ring of white sand beaches and the Morne Seychellois Mountain chain. Its original name was IleD'Abondance, because of its lush vegetation.
Victoria, is located on the island of Mahe and is the only major port in the Seychelles. In the center of town is the Natural History Museum, here visitors can find some very eclectic exhibits having to deal only with nature. It has the bones of the now extinct Seychelles crocodile, dried out fish and even a deformed piglet in a glass jar.
Anse Lazio, is the best beach on Praslin and is far north in the chain of islands. Lazio beach is protected by a coral reef, which makes the water like a giant bathtub, it is shallow, warm and inviting and provides great diving and snorkeling opportunities.
Southwest of Praslin is Cousin Island. Since 1968, this island has been a nature preservation area and is host to several endangered bird species and is a breeding ground for turtles. Cousin Island is also home for George and Georgina, two very old tortoises who follow visitors around as they tour the island, they serve as somewhat unofficial mascots and are famous to the locals in the area.
Vallee de Mai, is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and has the greatest concentration of coco de mer palm trees in the Seychelles. There are over 4,000 coco palms on this island, as well as many other tree species indigenous to this island. People who go sightseeing on the island may also catch a glimpse of the rare Black Parrot which is native to Praslin.
The Seychelles Islands have a long standing reputation for providing guests with a warm welcome and outstanding hospitality. Vacationers will enjoy staying at the Beachcomber Hotel, Trou Aux Biches, La Maurica or the Dinarobin Hotel and Spa. Being located just south of the equator, the Seychelles Islands enjoy a climate that is warm and tropical. Visiting the Seychelles is a unique experience, much unlike any other destination and will surely leave a lasting impression in the mind of those who visit.