A map of the Seychelles The Seychelles is a country made up of 115 islands lying 1500 kilometres (932 miles) off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean. Some of the islands are volcanic and have rocky, forested landscapes, while others are coral atolls, ringed with white sand beaches. Many are uninhabited and some have been made into nature reserves. The Seychelles have a tropical climate; between May and November they are cooled by southeasterly trade winds. For the rest of the year, the weather is hot and humid.
People from the Seychelles are known as Seychellois. They are descended from the diverse mixture of peoples who settled on the islands after the 18th century, or were brought to work on spice plantations as slaves. Today, most Seychellois are a mix of African, French, Indian and Chinese ancestry. Many people work in tourism, or as farmers, growing cash crops such as vanilla, coconuts and cinnamon. They also grow sweet potatoes and catch fish for themselves and their families.
The Seychelles were named after Jean Moreau de Séchelles, who was the Minister of Finance under the King Louis XV (1710–74) of France.
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