Seychelles History

A short history of the islands


The Seychelles is made up of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, of which 33 are inhabited.

The portugese explorer Vasco da Gama came to the islands in 1502 although it is widely believed that the seychelles were known to arab traders before that time. A Portuguese map of 1544 shows the islands named as the Seven Sisters. Two Seychelles islands, Petite Soeur and Grande Soeur still retain these original names to this day.

The British navy often visited the Seychelles in the following years but never set up a permanent settlement .

It wasn't until the 1750s that the first settlement was founded and the French claimed the islands. Britain took possession of the Seychelles in 1794 and under british rule, the Seychelles continued pretty much as before. The main industries were cotton farming, whaling, coconut plantations and curiously, guano exportation..

It wasn't until as recently as 1975 that the Seychelles became a self-governing nation.

Albert René took control two years later in a bloodless coup. Under Rene significant social reforms were enacted across the seychelles. There was a failed coup in 1981which may have been orchestrated by the South African apartheid government. Eventually, more diplomatic forms of external pressure brought back multiparty democracy in 1993; René was reelected in successive votes and only eventually stood down in 2004. Former vice president James Michel is now the president of the Seychelles. 46% of the Seychelles are designated as Nature Reserves or Parks and tourism is a thriving industry.



thomas cook

A Brown Bear Media Website