The Seychelles 115 granite and coral islands extend from between four and ten degrees south of the equator and lie between 480 and 1,600 kilometres from the east coast of Africa, in the western Indian Ocean. Of the 115 islands, the 41 Inner Islands constitute the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on earth, while a further 74 form the five groups of low-lying coral atolls and reef islets that are the Outer Islands.
The Inner Islands, which are mostly granitic and cluster mainly around the principle islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, form the cultural and economic hub of the Seychelles.
The Outer Islands are coral, flat, sandy, and planted with coconut trees. Bird and Denis Islands are 100 kilometres north of Mahé, while others in the south west are as far as 1,100 kilometres away. The Outer Islands in the south are divided into two groups: Amirantes (made up of 20 islands) and Aldabra (made up of 22 islands).
The inhabitants of the islands are called Seychellois and the majority of them came on ships in the 18th and 19th centuries. When the slave trade was abolished in Britain and the USA some of the slaves who were already being transported from Africa were simply ‘dropped off’ at the Seychelles. At different times throughout history people of African, European and Asian origin brought their traditions and customs to the Seychelles, creating the diverse blend of cultures that can be seen today, which includes French, British and Indian influences. The main languages spoken within the islands are Creole, French and English.
- Seychelles Leisure & Business 2012 Magazine
- Information provided by Variety Cruises