Seychelles (in full: Republic of Seychelles), an island country in the Indian Ocean near the Equator, some 1,100 miles (1,800 km) east of Africa. It consists of about 90 volcanic and coral islands, totaling 171 square miles (444 km 2 ).
Most of the people are of mixed African and European descent and live on the largest island, Mahe. The capital and only sizable city is Victoria, on Mahe. Agriculture, fishing, and construction sustain most of the people. But tourism is an important source of income for the country. Seychelles is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Seychelles is a republic that consists of a president and a 34-member Legislative Assembly. All serve five-year terms. The president appoints a Cabinet.
The Seychelles Islands were known to the Portuguese by about 1500. They were first settled, by the French and by African slaves, in 1770. Britain seized the islands during the Napoleonic Wars and acquired them by treaty in 1814. They were made a colony in 1903 and granted independence in 1976.