World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Seychelles Travelling Guide
Seychelles Travelling Guide

General background: A lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands ended in 1814, when they were ceded to the latter. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993.

Area comparative: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Climate: Tropical marine; humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September); warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May).

Terrain: Mahe Group is granitic, narrow coastal strip, rocky, hilly; others are coral, flat, elevated reefs

Population: 80,098 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Mixed French, African, Indian, Chinese, and Arab

Religions: Roman Catholic 86.6%, Anglican 6.8%, other Christian 2.5%, other 4.1%

Language: English (official), French (official), Creole

Government type: Republic

Capital: Victoria

Legal system: Based on English common law, French civil law, and customary law

Economic overview: Since independence in 1976, per capita output in this Indian Ocean archipelago has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labour force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, and by tuna fishing. In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing. The vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 1991-92 due largely to the Gulf war and once again following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US. Other issues facing the government are the curbing of the budget deficit, including the containment of social welfare costs, and further privatisation of public enterprises. Growth slowed in 1998-2001, due to sluggish tourist and tuna sectors. Also, tight controls on exchange rates and the scarcity of foreign exchange have impaired short-term economic prospects. The black market value of the Seychelles rupee is half the official exchange rate; without a devaluation of the currency the tourist sector should remain sluggish as vacationers seek cheaper destinations such as Comoros, Mauritius, and Madagascar.

Communication/Telephone system: Effective system

Places of interest: Aside from palm-fringed beaches and superb snorkeling and diving, there's also plenty of forested wilderness filled with an abundance of wildlife.

Travel tips: There's very little in the way of budget accommodation here, and taking a dive with the fishes will set you back a pretty penny.