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History Of Seychelles

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The Seychelles has been uninhabited for most of its recorded history. Some scholars speculate that Austrian sailors, and later Maldivian and Arab traders, may have been the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. The first recorded sighting by a European was that of Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through Amirantes in 1502 and gave the island his name (“Admiral’s Island”). The earliest recorded landing was made in January 1609 by the crew of the “Ascension” under Captain Sharpe during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

As a major trading center between Africa and Asia, it was occasionally exploited by pirates. The island was named after Jean Moreau de Seychelles, Louis XV’s finance minister.

The British took control of the island between 1794 and 1810, and during the war years with the British, the French administrator, Jean Baptiste Quaiot de Quincy, refused to resist the arrival of armed enemy warships. Instead, he successfully negotiated surrender status to Britain, giving the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.

Britain eventually took full control after the surrender of Mauritius in 1810, which was formalized in the Treaty of Paris in 1814. The Seychelles became a separate crown colony from Mauritius in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970.

Independence (1976)

In 1976, the country’s independence was recognized as a republic within the Commonwealth. In the 1970s, Seychelles was “the place to be seen, a playground for movie stars and the international jet set.” In 1977, the republic’s first president, James Mancham, was deposed in a coup d’état by Frenchman Albert René. René was discouraged by the over-reliance on tourism and declared that he wanted to maintain a “Seychelles for Seychellois.”

The 1979 constitution declared a one-party socialist state that lasted until 1991.

The 1980s saw a series of coups against President France-Albert René, some of which were supported by South Africa. In 1981, Mike Hoare led a team of 43 South African mercenaries posing as vacationing rugby players in a coup attempt known as the Seychelles Affair. A firefight ensued at the airport, and most of the mercenaries later escaped in a hijacked Air India plane. The leader of this hijacking was the notorious German mercenary D. Clodo, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS. Clodo later stood trial for air piracy in both South Africa (where he was acquitted) and his native Germany.

In 1986, an attempted coup led by Seychelles Defense Minister Ogilvy Berlouis prompted President René to ask India for help. In “Operation Flowers Are Blooming,” the Indian Navy ship INS Vindhyagiri arrives in Victoria harbor to avert a coup.

The first draft of a new constitution failed to receive the required 60% of the electoral vote in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.

In January 2013, Seychelles declared a state of emergency; Tropical Cyclone Felleng caused torrential rains, and flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of homes.

How To Travel To Seychelles

With plane The Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), located in the vicinity of Victoria, is the only international airport gateway to the Seychelles. Air Seychelles is the country's flag carrier and flies to Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Paris, as well as Dar Es Salaam, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Antananarivo...

How To Travel Around Seychelles

With plane Air Seychelles operates several daily flights between Mahe and Praslin. Over two dozen flights vary in frequency from 15 minute to 2 hour intervals, depending on the time of day. Air Seychelles also flies once a day or several times a week between Mahe and Bird, Denis, Fregate, Desroches...

Weather & Climate in Seychelles

The Seychelles are warm and humid, with an average annual temperature of 29°C (84°F) and an average sea temperature that rarely drops below 27°C (81°F). However, the heat is usually tempered by refreshing sea breezes, especially on the beaches. The cooler season in Seychelles is during the southeast monsoon...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Seychelles

Regardless of the nationality of the visitor and their family members, there is NO visa requirement to enter Seychelles. However, the following documents must be presented for immigration clearance at the Seychelles International Airport: A valid passport valid on the date of entry into and departure from Seychelles.Return or onward...

Destinations in Seychelles

The 115 islands of the Seychelles belong to two distinct groups. The inner islands, high and granitic, are mainly located on the relatively flat Seychelles plateau, 4° south of the equator and about 1800 km from the east coast of Africa, while the outer islands, low and coral-bearing, are...

Accommodation & Hotels in Seychelles

Seychelles is not tolerant of backpackers who turn up at the airport without booked accommodation. In such a situation, you will probably be taken to a counter where you will have to book and pay for accommodation for the duration of your trip before being allowed through immigration. Visitors...

Things To See in Seychelles

Visit the beaches. Most of the beaches appear to be untouched by people and they are refreshingly uncrowded. The clear blue skies and rarely seen tranquility make this a great place to visit. Hiking up the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major is approximately an hour and a...

Things To Do in Seychelles

Water sports: The warm waters of the Indian Ocean make Seychelles the perfect place for water enthusiasts. Explore aboard a yacht, motorboat, catamaran or sailboat. Windsurfing is also very popular and the best time for this activity is usually around May and October, at the beginning and end of...

Beaches in Seychelles

L'anse aux Poules Bleues - Mahe island A quiet and shady beach next to Anse à la mouche that disappears with the tide; Anse aux poules bleues is well worth a visit. Parking is available under the tall takamaka trees and the water is shallow and perfect for families or...

Food & Drinks in Seychelles

Food in Seychelles Seychellois cuisine has been strongly influenced by the rich cultures of the islands. Creole cuisine, varied seafood dishes, coconuts and curries are most popular. The country's staple, fish, is prepared in a variety of ways. Red snapper in particular is very tasty and well known among visitors. There...

Money & Shopping in Seychelles

The currency of the islands is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR). ATMs usually have the best exchange rates; but airports and banks also conveniently exchange money. Trading in foreign exchange, which was illegal for a long time, was legalised in November 2008 and the currency was freely traded. This also wiped...

Culture in Seychelles

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most of the expenses and looking after the children's interests. Unmarried mothers are the social norm and the law requires fathers to support their children. Men are important because of their earning potential, but their...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Seychelles

Stay safe Try to avoid dark paths and be careful not to leave your bag unattended. Swimming alone on secluded beaches is not advisable. If you are on a boat, you should avoid taking valuables with you, or if you have no choice, be familiar with finding a nice hiding...

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