Seychelles

Coordinates: 4°35′S 55°40′E / 4.583°S 55.667°E / -4.583; 55.667

Seychelles (i/sˈʃɛlz/ say-SHELZ; French: [sɛʃɛl]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The 115-island country, whose capital is Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius to the south.

Seychelles, with a population of 90,024, has the smallest population of any independent African state; however, it does have a larger population than the UK overseas territory Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

History

The Seychelles were uninhabited throughout most of recorded history. Some scholars assume that Austronesian seafarers and later Maldivian and Arab traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral). The earliest recorded landing was in January 1609, by the crew of the "Ascension" under Captain Sharpeigh during the fourth voyage of the British East India Company.

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