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Friday 24th March
Seychelles Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Seychelles consists of one hundred and fifteen islands in the Indian Ocean, over one and a half thousand kilometres east of the African mainland.

The principal islands are Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Victoria, on Mahé, is the capital.

Forty-three of the Inner Islands are granitic, the remaining two Inner Islands and the seventy-two Outer Islands are coral reefs.

The climate is tropical marine. It is cooler between late May and September, the southeast monsoon season.

Environment
The Seychelles has designated a number of areas protected reserves and parks. These include St Anne Marine National Park (six islands near Mahé) and Morne Seychellois National Park (Mahé).

The Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve, a World Heritage site, is a protected area on the island of Praslin. The Aldabra Atoll, in the Outer Islands, is also a World Heritage site. This atoll, comprising of four large coral islands, supports over one hundred and fifty giant tortoises, indigenous to the Seychelles.

The islands of Cousin and Aride are bird reserves. Birds living in the Seychelles include the Black Parrot, the national bird, and the Aldabran Rail, the only flightless bird in the Indian Ocean.

Architecture
The influence of architecture from French and British Colonial years can be seen in buildings in the capital. The Bishop's Residence and the Creole Institute, both in Victoria, are examples of Colonial architecture.

Old buildings have steep roofs and plenty of openings, such as louvre windows, to maximize breezes. Today, new buildings use features of traditional design to keep buildings cool.

Population
The population of the Republic of Seychelles was estimated at 89,188 in 2011.

Languages
English is the official language. A large percentage of the people speak Creole.

Religion
The majority of the people are Christian, mainly Roman Catholic. There are small minorities of people practising the Hindu religion and Islam.

Food
Seychellois cuisine is influenced by its ethnic groups, for example, Indian curry, Chinese noodles and Creole stew.

Coconut milk is used in a number of recipes, such as fish curry. Grilled fish is prepared using a mixture of onions, garlic, ginger and chillies. Salted dried fish is another popular use of fish.

Chicken is often eaten with rice. Vegetables available include cassava (manioc), pumpkins, sweet potatoes, plantains and breadfruit.

Fruits available are bananas, citrus fruits, guavas, mangoes, melons, pineapples and papayas.

Tea, beer and rum are produced locally.

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