Mahé, Seychelles

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Beach on Mahé
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Location Seychelles, Indian Ocean
Coordinates 4°40′S55°28′E / 4.667°S 55.467°E / -4.667; 55.467 Coordinates: 4°40′S55°28′E / 4.667°S 55.467°E / -4.667; 55.467
Archipelago Inner Islands, Seychelles
Adjacent bodies of water Indian Ocean
Total islands1
Major islands
  • Mahé
Area157.3 km2 (60.7 sq mi)
Length26 km (16.2 mi)
Width17 km (10.6 mi)
Coastline111.3 km (69.16 mi)
Highest elevation905 m (2,969 ft)
Highest point Morne Seychellois
Group Granitic Seychelles
Sub-Group Mahe Islands
Districts multiple
Largest settlement Victoria (pop. 35000)
Population95,000 (2018)
Pop. density490 /km2 (1,270 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Creole, French, East Africans, Chinese, Indians.
Additional information
Time zone
Official website

Mahé is the largest island (157.3 km²) of Seychelles, lying in the northeast of the nation in the Indian Ocean. The population of Mahé was 77,000, as of the 2010 census. [1] It contains the capital city of Victoria and accommodates 86% of the country's total population. The island was named after Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, a French governor of Isle de France (modern-day Mauritius).

Seychelles Island country to the East of Africa

Seychelles, officially the Republic of Seychelles, is an archipelago country in the Indian Ocean. The capital of the 115-island country, Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius to the south; as well as the Maldives and British Indian Ocean Territory to the east. With a population of roughly 94,228, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country.

Indian Ocean The ocean between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica (or the Southern Ocean)

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi). It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, by Antarctica.

Victoria, Seychelles Place in Mahé, Seychelles

Victoria is the capital and largest city of Seychelles, situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé island, the archipelago's main island. The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government. In 2010, the population of Greater Victoria was 26,450 out of the country's total population of 90,945.


Mahé's tallest peak is Morne Seychellois at 905 m (2,969 ft), which lies in the Morne Seychellois National Park. The northern and eastern parts of the island are home to much of the population and the Seychelles International Airport which opened in 1971. The southern and western parts have Baie Ternay Marine National Park, Port Launay Marine National Park, and University of Seychelles. The Sainte Anne Marine National Park lies offshore, as do Conception Island, Thérèse Island, Anonyme Island and several smaller islands.

Morne Seychellois mountain

Morne Seychellois is the highest peak in Seychelles. Morne Seychellois is located on the island of Mahé in the Morne Seychellois National Park.

Seychelles International Airport airport

Seychelles International Airport, or Aéroport de la Pointe Larue in French, is the international airport of the Seychelles located on the island of Mahé near the capital city of Victoria. The airport is the home base and the head office of Air Seychelles and features several regional and long-haul routes due to its importance as an international leisure destination.

University of Seychelles

The University of Seychelles, informally known as "UniSey," is the primary institution of higher education in Seychelles. It was established on 17 September 2009.

Mahé was first visited by the British in 1609 and not visited by Europeans again until Lazare Picault's expedition of 1742. The French navy frégate Le Cerf (English: The Deer) arrived at Port Victoria on 1 November 1756. On board was Corneille Nicholas Morphey, leader of the French expedition, which claimed the island for the King of France by laying a Stone of Possession on Mahe, Seychelles’ oldest monument, now on display in the National Museum, Victoria.

Lazare Picault was a French explorer known for his exploration of islands in the Seychelles. Although Arab, Portuguese and British sailors visited the Seychelles prior to Picault, he was the first to do any extensive exploration.

Cerf Island island in the Ste Anne Marine National Park

Cerf Island (1.31 km2) lies 4 km off the northeast coast of Mahé in the Seychelles.

Captain Corneille Nicholas Morphey was the commander of the French East India Company frigate Le Cerf.

In August 1801 a Royal Navy frigate HMS Sibylle captured the French frigate Chiffonne on the island. Mahé remained a French possession until 1812 when it became a British colony. It remained a colony until 1976 when Seychelles became an independent nation.

French frigate <i>Sibylle</i> (1792)

Sibylle was a 38-gun Hébé-class frigate of the French Navy. She was launched in 1791 at the dockyards in Toulon and placed in service in 1792. After the 50-gun fourth rate HMS Romney captured her in 1794, the British took her into service as HMS Sybille. She served in the Royal Navy until disposed of in 1833. While in British service Sybille participated in three notable single ship actions, in each case capturing a French vessel. On anti-slavery duties off West Africa from July 1827 to June 1830, Sybille captured numerous slavers and freed some 3,500 slaves. She was finally sold in 1833 in Portsmouth.

Battle of Mahé

The Battle of Mahé was a minor naval engagement of the last year of the French Revolutionary Wars, fought on 19 August 1801 in the harbour of Mahé in the Seychelles, a French colony in the Indian Ocean. Since the demise of the French Indian Ocean squadron in 1799, the Royal Navy had maintained dominance in the East Indies, controlling the shipping routes along which trade flowed and allowing the rapid movement of military forces around the theatre. French First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte had long-harboured ambitions of threatening British India, and in 1798 had launched an invasion of Egypt as an initial step to achieving this goal. The campaign had failed, and the French army in Egypt was under severe pressure by early 1801, partly due to the presence of a British squadron acting with impunity in the Red Sea.

Mahé's forests have rare endemic plants found only in Seychelles, such as the critically endangered Medusagyne oppositifolia (the jellyfish tree), the carnivorous Nepenthes pervillei (Seychelles pitcher plant), and many unique species of orchid.

<i>Nepenthes pervillei</i> species of plant

Nepenthes pervillei is the only pitcher plant found in the Seychelles, where it is endemic to the islands of Mahé and Silhouette. It grows in rocky areas near granitic mountain summits, its roots reaching deep into rock fissures. The species has an altitudinal range of 350–750 m above sea level. Like all members of the genus, N. pervillei is dioecious, having separate male and female plants.

Pitcher plant

Pitcher plants are several different carnivorous plants which have modified leaves known as pitfall traps—a prey-trapping mechanism featuring a deep cavity filled with digestive liquid. The traps of what are considered to be "true" pitcher plants are formed by specialized leaves. The plants attract and drown their prey with nectar.

Mahé had a huge land reclamation project due to a shortage of housing, in the areas of Bel Ombre and the Port of Victoria. [2]

Port of Victoria (Seychelles)

Port of Victoria, is located in Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar. Port-Victoria has no fixed handling equipment. Ships are handled through ship's gear by the private stevedores. Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles and is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé, which is the main island of the archipelago. The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government. As of 2009, the population is 25,000, out of the population of 84 000. Victoria is served by Seychelles International Airport


Mahé's economy is mainly dependent on tourism. Air Seychelles has its head office on the property of Seychelles International Airport on the island. [3] The Port of Victoria is home to a tuna fishing and canning industry.


The island has multiple districts. [4]

Related Research Articles

In the Seychelles, local and international telecommunications lines are operated by Cable & Wireless. In 1997 there were around 11,000 telephone lines and in excess of 20,000 telephones, meaning that over half of the population have a home telephone. Digital microwave systems were introduced to the Seychelles in 1992 and Cable & Wireless offers other services from its Seychelles radio coast station. Direct international calls are available to over 100 countries worldwide.

Silhouette Island island of the Seychelles

Silhouette Island lies 20 km (12 mi) northwest of Mahé in the Seychelles. It is the third largest granitic island in the Seychelles. It has an area of 20.1 km2 and has a population of 200, mostly workers on the island. The main settlement is La Passe, where Hilton Hotel is located. The name Silhouette was given after Étienne de Silhouette (1709-1767), the French minister of finances under Louis XV.

Praslin island

Praslin is the second largest island (38.5 km2) of the Seychelles, lying 44 km (27 mi) northeast of Mahé. Praslin has a population of around 7,533 people and comprises two administrative districts: Baie Sainte Anne and Grand' Anse. The main settlements are the Baie Ste Anne, Anse Volbert and Grand' Anse.

La Digue island

La Digue is the third most populated island of the Seychelles, and fifth largest by land area, lying east of Praslin and west of Felicite Island. In terms of size it is the fourth largest granitic island of Seychelles after Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette Island. It has a population of 2,800 people, who mostly live in the west coast villages of La Passe and La Réunion. There is no airport on La Digue, so to get there from a foreign country, one has to fly to Victoria and continue by ferry, usually via Praslin. It has an area of 10.08 km2, which makes it relatively easy to travel around by bike or on foot.

Ste. Anne Island island in Seychelles

Sainte Anne Island is the largest (2.27 km²) of eight islands in Ste Anne Marine National Park of the Seychelles. These islands are part of the Mont Fleuri District of the Seychelles. It is 4 km off the east coast of Mahé and has abundant tropical vegetation. The highest peak on Sainte Anne is 246 meters.

Anonyme Island island in Seychelles

Anonyme Island is a small granitic island (0.1 km²) in the Seychelles, lying 700 m off the east coast of Mahé, near the runway of the Seychelles International Airport.

Sainte Anne Marine National Park national park

Sainte Anne Marine National Park lies about 5 km from Victoria, the capital city of the Seychelles, and encompasses eight small islands.

Outline of Seychelles Overview of and topical guide to Seychelles

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Seychelles:

Articles related to Seychelles include:

History of Seychelles aspect of history

Arab navigators and other sailors doubtless knew of Seychelles for many centuries. However, the recorded history of Seychelles dates back to the fourth of the Portuguese India Armadas led by Vasco da Gama. On 15 March 1503, the scrivener Thomé Lopes noted the sighting of an elevated island, doubtless one the granitic islands and almost certainly Silhouette Island. The first recorded landing was by the men of the English East India Company ship Ascension, which arrived in Seychelles in January 1609. The islands were claimed by France in 1756. Seychelles remained uninhabited until the first settlers arrived on board the ship Thélemaque, which arrived on 27 August 1770. Captain Leblanc Lecore landed the first colonists, comprising 15 white men, eight slaves and five Indians. The Seychellois Creole language developed as a means of communication between the different races. The British frigate Orpheus commanded by Captain Henry Newcome arrived at Mahé on 16 May 1794. Terms of capitulation were drawn up and the next day Seychelles was surrendered to Britain. Following the fall of Mauritius to British forces, Captain Phillip Beaver of the Nisus arrived at Mahé on 23 April 1811 and took possession of Seychelles as a permanent colony of Britain. The Seychelles became an independent republic in 1976. Following a coup d'etat, a socialist one-party state ruled the country from 1977 to 1993. The subsequent democratic Presidential elections were won by candidates of the same party.

Mahé highlands and surrounding areas Important Bird Area

The Mahé highlands and surrounding areas Important Bird Area occupy the central and north-western part of the island of Mahé in the Seychelles archipelago of the western Indian Ocean.

Soleil Island

Ile Soleil is a small artificial island (0.14 km²) in the Seychelles, lying 50m off the east coast of Mahé, near the runway of the Seychelles International Airport.

Perseverance Island, Seychelles

Perseverance Island is an artificial island in Seychelles, lying 2 km from the capital Victoria.

Mahé boulder cricket

The Mahé boulder cricket is an insect species endemic to Mahé island in Seychelles. This species of cricket is only found in two localities, the Morne Seychellois National Park and "La Reserve". However, the species had been not recorded since 1909, until its rediscovery in 2014. It is a restricted range species, with an area of occupancy less than 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi) and with a very fragmented population.


  1. "Population and Housing Census 2010 Report" (PDF). National Bureau of Statistics. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  2. New plan
  3. "Offices & GSAs head Office Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine .." Air Seychelles. Retrieved on 29 January 2011 "Head Office Air Seychelles Ltd Head Office International Airport P.O.Box 386 Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles."
  4. District map