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.Location: Eastern Africa,
group of islands in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar Climate: Tropical marine;
humid; cooler season during southeast monsoon (late May to September);
warmer season during northwest monsoon (March to May) Borders: None More... The
Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of
Madagascar, consisting of more than 100 islands of which 83 are
named and 46 are permanently uninhabited. Maheacute; is the
principal island comprising of 142 sq km, with the islands of
Praslin, La Digue and Silhouette being the next important . Situated
about 1,600 km off the east coast of Africa, Mahe extends 27
km north to south and 11 km east to west and has a coastline
of 127 km.
The Seychelles Islands are the highest point of the Mascarene Ridge, an Indian
Ocean ridge running in a generally north-south direction.
The granite islands rise above the sea surface to form a peak or ridge which,
in the case of Maheacute;, attains an elevation of 3,000 ft at Morne Seychellois,
the highest point. Rugged crests, towering cliffs, boulders and domes contribute
to the islands great natural beauty. Here and there, in the hollows between
the rock relief, are pockets of lateritic soil, often very thin and easily
eroded.distance of 200 or 300
meters, are flats of coral and shell known locally as plateaus, although they
rarely achieve an elevation of more than 10 ft above sea level. Small streams
descending the mountain slopes deposit alluvial material, creating the most
fertile soils on the island.
The coralline Seychelles are, in contrast, low-lying, rising only a few feet
above the surface of the sea. Many have the typical Indian Ocean lagoon. Soils
tend to be thin with poor moisture retention. These island are suited only
to coconut palm and a few other species.