Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Travel the World - Seychelles

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...


Seychelles is an island nation in Africa, located in the Indian Ocean, east of Kenya and northeast of Madagascar.The Seychelles islands are located in the Indian Ocean over 932 miles to the east of the African continent. 

Seychelles isn't a single land mass, but rather an archipelago consisting of 115 islands scattered over 177 square miles of Indian Ocean. These dots of lands hold the distinction of being the world's only mid-ocean islands composed of granite, as most islands tend to be remnants of volcanic lava flows. Despite their hard as...well, granite...surface, the islands are by and large carpeted in lush jungles, which are home to a diversity of life. Only 33 of the islands are actually inhabited, with Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue being the largest, most populous, and most hospitable.

Seychelles is the smallest African country in terms of both area and population.

The Seychelles are made up of 155 islands of which 44 belong to the Inner islands and house over 98% of the population. The other islands are coral islands and belong to 5 coral atolls and the reefs of the Outer islands. 

They are the only granite islands in the world.  

Seychelles’ inner islands are made of granite, making them the world’s only islands without coral or volcanic elements. 

Most of the Seychelles islands are covered with lush jungle and there are many nature reserves on the islands.

It is believed that Moyenne Island has a buried treasure, but no one dares to approach it because they think the island is haunted by a spirit that is guarding it.

There are three official languages in Seychelles - French, Creole and English.

Seychelles is over 99% water. Officially Sechelles is over 620,000 square miles but only 285 square miles is actually made of land across 115 islands. As a result, one of the main draws of Seychelles lies beneath the waves.

As beautiful as the islands themselves are, they have stiff competition from their neighboring terrain beneath the waves. The underwater portion of Seychelles is nothing short of magical, and an adventure worthy of even the most traveled diving enthusiast. Endless coral reefs, mysterious caverns and tunnels, sunken ship wrecks, and a diversity of life equal to any jungle make the undersea-side of the Indian Ocean a treasure trove of exploration and unforgettable experiences.

The Seychelles Ocean Festival is an underwater festival organized every year in December. The festival comprises photographic competitions, school events, diving and snorkeling. It is celebrated primarily to remind the Seychellois of their rich underwater reserves and a need to protect and preserve them.

Crowned as the world's most photographic beach by National Geographic, Anse Source d'Argent is the most beautiful beach of La Digue islands. The pink sand, granite boulders, and surrounding coral reef render this place as one of the best snorkeling beaches in Seychelles.

Almost half of all of the land area of Seychelles has protected status. The magpie robin, which was facing extinction 30 years ago with only 14 individuals existing is now steadily increasing in numbers and other rarities include the Seychelles white eagle and the Seychelles warbler. The Aldabra giant tortoise roams free in many areas.

Most of the islands are uninhabited with 90% of the population living on Mahe island. The next two most populated islands are Praslin and La Digue.

Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, is the smallest capital in the world and can be easily explored on foot in less than a day. Bordered on one side by steep mountain slopes, the city is made up of just two dozen streets and has only two sets of traffic lights.

The majority of Seychelles’ roadways are paved, most of which are on the islands of Mahé and Praslin; there are no railroads.

Ferry services operate between the islands.

Air service is centered on Seychelles International Airport, located near Victoria on Mahé, and the smaller airports and airstrips found on several islands. 

The Coco de Mer found in Seychelles is the largest nut in the world, thought to weigh up to 44 pounds and is from the Coco de Mer palms. The palm trees themselves can grow up to 100 feet high.

For many, the Seychelles are a typical tropical island paradise. There are splendid sandy beaches, people lead a more relaxed lifestyle and the weather is always summery warm. There are many attractions tourists can explore when visiting the beautiful Indian Ocean islands.

Moutia which is a traditional dance of Seychelles. With deep roots in the history of African slavery, Moutia is the centre of attraction in all the celebrations and festivities of Seychelles. Moutia is basically swaying your hips to and fro to the beats of African music in a light-hearted fashion.

Esmeralda, who is actually male, is the world’s largest tortoise at almost 670 pounds. He is an Aldabra Giant Tortoise, indigenous to Seychelles. At 170 years old, he is also thought to be the second oldest tortoise in the world.

The world's largest crabs are also fo9und in Seychelles. The Coconut Crab, also known as the Palm Thief and Robber Crab, is the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod. The coconut crab can weigh up to 9lbs and grow up to 40-inches from leg tip to leg tip. The monstrous crab has ten legs and a huge abdomen. 

There are many mammals, butterflies, fish, plants and more that are endemic to the Seychelles.

Seychelles was once home to crocodiles. 

When settlers first arrived, one of the biggest problems they faced was an abundance of saltwater crocodiles. It’s thought they became extinct by around 1819, although there are still are reported sightings of them from time to time.

Seychelles is the only home of the jellyfish tree. The jellyfish tree was assumed to be extinct but was rediscovered on Mahe Island in the 1970s. Today there are less than 100 mature jellyfish trees in existence,e all of which are in Seychelles. Efforts to regrow this tree in other parts of the world have been unsuccessful.

Breadfruit is very popular on the Seychelles and can be eaten in a variety of ways from fried to boiled. Legend has it that anyone who eats it while on the islands will return someday.

Breadfruit is a starchy plant and smells like freshly baked bread when cooked. The versatile plant can be prepared in many ways, such as boiling, frying, and cooking it in coconut oil to make Seychelles traditional dessert Ladob.  Legend says anyone who eats breadfruit while visiting Seychelles will return to the islands someday. 

Coconuts, cinnamon, sweet potatoes and exotic fruits are the main agricultural products in the Seychelles. 

Seychellois main dishes contain: fish and seafood, fresh vegetables and fruits as well as rice. The cuisine is well known for its freshness, exotic spices and tropical fruits.

Just some of the colorful birds found on the Seychelles islands are the beautiful Seychelles bird called 'Paradise Flycatcher', the black parrots and blue pigeons.

The Black Parrot is the national bird.

More than 250 bird species have been observed on the islands. There are many unique land birds and important seabird colonies that are home to various vagrants and migrants. 

The White Shark can be seen in the Seychelles in August or between October and January, keep your eyes peeled and you might just see a Whale Shark

The 'flying foxes' are the only wild animals on the islands.

Arable land is limited in Seychelles and the soil is generally poor—and the country remains dependent upon imported foodstuffs—but copra (from coconuts), cinnamon bark, vanilla, tea, limes, and essential oils are exported. 

Because of the exorbitant expense of the large and lavish wedding receptions that are part of Seychellois tradition, many couples never marry; instead, they may choose to live en ménage, achieving a de facto union by cohabitating without marriage. There is little or no social stigma related to living en ménage, and the arrangement is recognized by the couple’s family and friends. The instance of couples living en ménage increases particularly among lower income groups.

Seychelles is one of the safest places to visit and the people and warm, friendly and helpful.

Known for its beaches, marine life and luxury holidays, over 350,000 tourists travel to Seychelles every year.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Seychelles... The Seychelles was once a pirate hideout. It is believed that famous pirate Olivier Levasseur hid a treasure worth more than $160,000 that remains unfound.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp: Nellie Snellen Treasure stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Hammermill 110# White, Recollections Black, and SU River Rock CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: Gina K Master Layouts 2 and MFT Stitched Rectangles

Embellishments: Eyelet Outlet Matte Finish Enamel Dots

1 comment:

kiwimeskreations said...

Apart from the coconut Crab, that sounds like a fabulous holiday destination Jeanette
Love the cute pirate on your fun, and beautifully made, card :)