Composed of either coral or granite, the Seychelles archipelago is made up of 115 islands. Located in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar, the landmass is only 457km2, although the islands are spread over an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1,374,000 square kilometres.
Located 4 degrees south of the equator, the tropical islands of Seychelles enjoy generally good weather all year round and are not affected by cyclones, so the best time to plan your trip should probably be best decided by your preference for certain activities.
Two opposing trade winds govern the weather in Seychelles: the north-west monsoon from October to March when wind speeds average 8 to 12 knots and the south-east trade winds from May to September, when wind speeds reach between 10 and 20 knots.
With 42 islands in total, 2 of which are composed of coral, the largest granite island is Mahe - home to the capital city of Seychelles, Victoria. The second largest island is Praslin, followed by Silhouette.
All the granitic islands of Seychelles are covered in lush green tropical vegetation. The highest peak in Seychelles is located on Mahe… Morne Seychellois rises to 905m and offers astounding views. Trees are evergreen and many species are endemic to the Seychelles, such as the Coco de Mer (the world’s largest nut) found on Praslin island.
The outer islands of Seychelles are separated into five coralline clusters.
One of the world’s most important atolls and the second largest in the world, Aldabra is located on one of the outer islands. Home to the world’s largest colony of Aldabra Giant tortoises, 100,000 of these creatures roam the land in complete freedom and with unique isolation. The atoll was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982 and has since remained untouched by man. Only a fortunate few have set foot on the island but rules limit what you can see and where you can go.
The coral islands are flat, with elevated coral reefs at different stages of formation that sustain a vibrant coral ecosystem.
With more than 2000 listed species of tropical and equatorial plants, some 100 of which are endemic, the Seychelles archipelago is a botanical paradise. Much of the original coastal vegetation seen by the first explorers is still intact and untouched by man. Picture perfect and secluded, the Seychelles islands make up the only true paradise on earth. It’s no mystery why the famous artist and botanist, Marianne North, came to the Seychelles. Through her paintings, she has immortalised the immaculate beauty of these islands.
Despite the species of plants being scattered across many islands, the Botanical Garden in Victoria, Mahe, is the perfect place to view them as a collection.
The Seychelles offer a wide range of diving opportunities for the underwater enthusiast. The waters of the Indian Ocean are brimming with diverse and exotic marine adventures.
Seychelles is the only mid-ocean granitic island destination in the world that offers both granite-based reefs, as well as the more common carbonate tropical reefs – both flourish with diverse marine life. Other activities include snorkelling, fishing, windsurfing, sailing, cycling, horseback riding, hiking, various watersports and golf.