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The island nation of Seychelles, located off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean, is known for its remarkable beauty and breathtaking beaches. The country’s small population and incredible geography and climate makes it one of the most idyllic tourist spots in all of Africa.
A British colony until 1977, Seychelles boasts a long and unique history that has been influenced by African, Arab, Asian and European cultures. Seychelles’s capital and largest city, Victoria, is found on the island of Mahé, but the country spans 114 other islands and is practically defined by its ethnic and cultural diversity. As a result it is one of the most interesting and relaxing places on the entire continent to visit.
A good amount of Seychelles’s history can be found in the capital city of Victoria. Originally settled in the 16th century by French colonists, it has remained a center of business and finance ever since. It has several museums and cathedrals that are definitely worth visiting when on you’re on Mahé Island.
2. Island Hopping
Work with your hotel, a guide or a travel agency to plan out your itinerary of island hopping; we recommend visiting the heavy hitters, which include Mahe, La Digue and Praslin. Each one will leave you breathless.
3. Botanical Garden in Mahe
There are roughly 81 plant species found throughout Seychelles. The Botanical Garden in Mahé is an outstanding representation of the natural beauty of this enchanting country.
4. Shark Bank
Mahé Island offers some of the best deep-water diving anywhere. Not only will you swim with massive and gorgeous tropical fish, but you’ll also spot white tip reef sharks, gray stingrays and many more marine creatures.
5. Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve
Located on the island of Praslin, the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has everything you would expect on a tropical island. The flora in particular is truly fascinating: the site is home to the only naturally flourishing coco de mer palm tress, known for producing huge seeds that bear a striking resemblance to parts of the human anatomy.
6. Kopolia Peak
While traveling through the Morne Seychellois National Park’s tropical paradise, hikers can work their way to the base of Kopolia Peak, the scene of a diverse ecosystem that’s home to such flora as the carnivorous pitcher plant (we strongly advise you not to touch any pitcher plants) and stunning orchids.
When to Go
Seychelles is one of the few places in the world to which you can just pick up and run without worrying about seasonal weather changes. The weather is fairly stable throughout the year; the temperature typically remains between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 to 29.4 degrees Celsius).
The islands experience the most rainfall around the month of January, but it is not heavy and would not require you to change or cancel your trip plans. Because of the islands’ proximity to the Indian Ocean, the cyclone season above the water can affect the weather from December to March, the result being dryer and grayer days. This is nonetheless a peak season for tourism.