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SEYCHELLES are volcanic islands that lie in the western Indian Ocean about 1,200 kilometers or 746 miles from the coast of east Africa. About 40 of the islands are mountainous and consist of granite, while just over 50 are coral islands. The climate is tropical maritime with heavy rain.

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About 90 percent of the people live on the island of Mahé, which is the site of the capital, Victoria.

The staple foods are coconut, imported rice, and fish, and some fruits are grown for home consumption.

Tourism accounts for about 90 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. It employs one-third of the labor force – export trade based on petroleum (after importation), copra, cinnamon bark, and fish.

The only mineral resource is guano. Seychelles was a one-party socialist state until 1991 when a new constitution was introduced. The first free elections were held in 1993.

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There are more than one hundred islands that make up the country of Seychelles. Generally, they fall into two categories: the core group of high-rising granite islands and a group of low coralline atolls in the southwest part of the country. Seychelles is located on the African Tectonic Plate.

The Seychelles archipelago is spread over approximately 388,498 square kilometers (150,000 square miles) of Africa’s Indian Ocean. Surrounding the islands are coral reefs. Baie Ternay and Port Launay, both on Mahé Island, are adjacent marine parks edged in stunning coral reefs.

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