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The Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean situated northeast of Madagascar consisting of more than 120 of which 83 are named and 46 are permanently uninhabited. These are the oldest and probably the most beautiful oceanic islands to be found anywhere on the planet, a veritable kaleidoscope of untouched forests, bird sanctuaries, exotic hideaways, virgin fishing grounds and spectacular diving spots – one of the last true tropical paradises in the world today!
The 40 or so inner islands that cluster around the principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue are the world’s only oceanic islands of granite composition, representing the mountain peaks of the ancient super-continent of Pangaea. They are thought to have erupted from the earth’s core around 750 million years ago. Madagascar, Seychelles and India separated as one landmass some 75 million years ago, carrying with them certain species of fauna, such as the flying fox, that remain common to both locations, before the Seychelles finally split from India about ten million years later.
The capital city, Victoria, is situated on Mahe, the largest island of the archipelago which is where the majority of the population reside. Praslin and La Digue are the only two other islands with any significant permanent populations.
Praslin is best known for ’Vallee de Mai’, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and for ’Coco de Mer’, the largest known seed in the plant kingdom. Also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and protected from human influence, is Aldabra which is the largest atoll in the world and home to 152,000 giant tortoises.
The islands experience a sub tropical marine climate that is generally warm and humid, averaging 29ºC (84ºF) throughout the year, with more rain around November to March. The cooler season is during the southeast monsoon (late May to September) while the warmer season is during the northwest monsoon (March to May). Because most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, severe storms are rare.
WHEN TO GO
The Seychelles enjoys a tropical climate all year around - there are no extremes of weather and, except for some really outer lying islands, it lies outside of the cyclone belt. The Seychelles enjoys stable, humid weather year-round with average temperatures between 20˚C and 32˚C with 12 hours of daylight and with the heaviest tropical rainfall between December and February. However, as you would expect in such a luxuriant tropical setting, short lived showers can occur at any time! July and August are the coolest months and March to June and September to December are best for divers, with calm waters.