The Seychelles is comprised of 115 islands and is the smallest sovereign African nation. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.
1. Seychelles is an African island nation, comprised of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. There are 42 inner granite islands and 73 outer coral islands.
2. Its capital and largest city is Victoria, situated on Mahé island. 90% of the population lives on Mahé.
3. It’s the smallest sovereign African nation by size and population.
4. Major languages: English, French and Seychellois Creole
5. Major ethnic groups: Seychellois Creoles (mixed race) (93%), British, Indian, Chinese
6. Major religions: Christianity (89%), Hinduism (2%), Islam (2%), Traditional and other (6%), None (1%)
7. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1976.
8. The Seychelles are the world’s only granite islands.
9. The rare Coco de Mer palm tree (aka double coconut tree) grows naturally in only 2 places in the world: Praslin and Curieuse islands. Its large nut can grow to more than 19 inches (50 cm) in diameter and weigh up to 90 pounds.
10. It has 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites: Vallée de Mai, a protected forest, and Aldabra Atoll, the world’s largest coral atoll which is home to more than 150,000 giant tortoises.
11. It is known for its nature reserves, wildlife, hiking trails, water sports, and beautiful beaches.
12. The largest and most popular islands are Mahé, La Digue, and Praslin. Activities there include: Anse Source d’Argent beach, Seychelles National Botanical Gardens, Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden, Anse Georgette, Anse Intendance, Anse Lazio, Beau Vallon, Anse Volbert, Copolia Trail, Victoria Market, and Shark Bank.
13. Other visited islands include Curieuse, Cousine, Grande Soeur, Petite Soeur, St. Pierre, Silhouette, Denis, Cerf and Fregate.
São Tomé and Príncipe is one of Africa’s island nations and its second smallest sovereign state. Learn more fun facts about this alluring country.
1. It’s an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, located off the coast of Gabon, and is Africa’s second smallest sovereign state by size and population.
2. It consists of the 2 volcanic islands of São Tomé (the largest) and Príncipe, and several rocky islets, including Rôlas, Caroço, Pedras, and Tenhosas.
3. The capital and largest city is São Tomé.
4. Major languages: Portuguese (official), Forro, Angolar, Principense
5.Major ethnic groups: Forros, Angolares, Mestico, European
6. Major religions: Christianity (73%), Traditional and other religions (6%), No religion (19%), Islam (2%)
7. It gained independence from Portugal in July 1975.
8. It was a vital center for the transatlantic slave trade and coffee, sugar and cocoa were cultivated on the 800+ plantations there.
9. Today, cocoa is the main crop and it represents 95% of its agricultural exports.
10. It is one of Africa’s least visited countries, but its tourism industry is steadily growing.
11. It is known for its many beautiful beaches, natural landscapes and ecotourism opportunities.
12. Things to see and do on São Tomé include: Boca de Inferno blowhole, Cascada São Nicolãu waterfalls, Lagoa Azul, Pico de São Tomé mountain, Obo National Park, Fort São Sebastião, Central Market, Agostinho Neto and plantations, Corallo Chocolate Factory, dolphin and humpback whale watching, bird watching, black sand beaches, and water activities, including deep sea fishing, snorkeling and diving.
13. Things to see and do on Príncipe include: colonial architecture in Santo António, Pico Papagaio mountain, Baía das Alguhas, Príncipe Ecological Zone, bird watching, and beaches.
Mauritius is one of Africa’s island nations and was the home of the extinct dodo bird. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful island.
1. Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 km (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent.
2. It includes the main island of Mauritius and the Rodrigues, Agaléga, and Cargados Carajos Shoals (St. Brandon) islands, which are collectively called the Mascarene Islands. Mauritius also claims sovereignty over the disputed Chagos Islands.
3. The capital and largest city, Port Louis, is located on Mauritius island, where 40% of the population lives.
4. Major languages: Mauritian Creole, Bhojpuri, French, English
5. Major ethnic groups: Indo-Pakistani, Creole (descended from African slaves), Chinese, French
6. Major religions: Hinduism (49%), Christianity (33%), Islam (17%), Other (1%)
7. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in March 1968.
8. The national flag, adopted at independence, is known as the Four Bands. It consists of red, blue, yellow and green bands representing:
Red: the bloodshed at the time of slavery and colonization.
Blue: the Indian Ocean surrounding the island.
Yellow: the new light of independence and the bright future.
Green: the lush vegetation of the island.
9. It was the former home of the extinct dodo bird.
10. There are two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Aapravasi Ghat and Le Morne Cultural Landscape.
11. It has many world-famous public beaches including the whimsically-named Flic en Flac, Pereybere, Tamarin, Blue Bay, La Morne, Belle Mare, and Grand Bay.
12. The Seven Colored Earths is a popular tourist attraction. This geological formation of seven colors of sand spontaneously settles in different layers, giving the dunes a surrealistic, striped appearance.
13. Things to see and do include: the colonial capital of Port Louis, Champs de Mars (one of the oldest horseracing tracks in the world), Pamplemousses botanical gardens, the Blue Penny Museum (home to one of the world’s rarest stamps), the Black River Gorges National Park, and the Casela Wildlife Park.
6. Major religions: Christianity (85%), Traditional religions (5%), Islam (3%), Other or no religion (7%)
7. Madagascar gained independence from France in October 1960.
8. It is one of the most undeveloped countries in the world.
9. It is a biodiversity hotspot and more than 90% of its plants and wildlife is found nowhere else on earth.
10. Lemurs are the most well-known mammal species of Madagascar and more than 103 species and subspecies live on the island.
11. The Avenue of the Baobabs is a popular attraction and one of the most visited sites. This aisle of trees features baobabs more than 800 years old and 30 meters (98 feet) tall.
12. Tourism is a young, but growing industry and centers largely around nature and outdoor activities. Things to do include Tsingy de Bemaraha (the largest nature reserve), Tsingy de Ankarana reserve, Morondava, Ranomafana National Park, Masoala National Park, Isalo National Park (the Malagasy Grand Canyon), Andasibe Park, whale watching on Ile Ste Marie, Royal Hill of Ambohimanga (a historical village), Nosy Be island, Lemurs Park, swimming and surfing on the great beaches.
Comoros is the 4th smallest African country and one of Africa’s 6 island nations. Learn more fun facts about these remote islands.
1. The Comoros are a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, located about 180 miles (290 km) off the eastern coast of Africa, between northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar. Its the 4th smallest African country.
2. The three Comoros islands are: Grande Comoro (Ngazidja), Anjouan (Nzwani), Mohéli (Mwali). A fourth island, Mayotte, is claimed by Comoros, but is a French overseas territory.
3. The capital and largest city is Moroni on Grande Comoro island.
4. The population consists almost entirely of persons of mixed African, Malagasy, Malay, and Arab descent. Major ethnic groups: Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava and Shirazi.
5. Major languages: French, Arabic and Comorian (aka Shikomori). Comorian is spoken by 97% of the population, typically as a first language.
6. Major religions: Islam (98%), Christianity (2%)
7. Comoros is the only majority Muslim country in southern Africa.
8. The Comoros islands were colonized by France in the late 19th century.
9. Comoros gained independence from France in 1975 (except Mayotte, which voted to remain under French rule). It’s had more than 20 attempted or actual coups since independence.
10. Comoros is one of the world’s poorest countries, with an economy based largely on subsistence agriculture and fishing.
11. The Comoros are known as the Perfume Islands due to the ever-present smell of vanilla, cloves and other spices. The Comoros are one of the world’s largest producers of Ylang-Ylang essence for perfume.
12. Mount Karthala, an active volcano, is the highest point at 7746 feet (2631 meters) above sea level. Its last eruption was in January 2007.
13. The Comoros are a remote destination, with a small tourism industry and minimal tourism infrastructure (outside of Mayotte). The main tourist attractions are its beaches, underwater fishing, mountain scenery, and the medina, mosque and Vola Vola market in the capital.
Cape Verde is Africa’s 5th smallest country and one of its 6 island nations. Learn more fun facts about this beautiful country.
1. It’s an island nation comprised of 10 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, located about 350 miles west of Senegal. The 10 islands are: Santiago, Sal, Boa Vista, Santo Antão, São Vicente, São Nicolau, Santa Luzia, Maio, Fogo, and Brava.
2. It’s the 5th smallest nation in Africa and the 30th smallest in the world.
3. Its capital and largest city is Praia on the main island of Santiago.
4. More than half of Cape Verde’s population lives on Santiago Island.
5. Major languages: Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole (aka Kriolu).
6. Major religions: Christianity (95%), Islam (2%), Traditional and other religions (2%)
7. Most of the population is Creole, descending from the mixture of European settlers and African slaves who were brought to the islands to work on Portuguese plantations.
8. It gained its independence from Portugal in July 1975.
9. More Cape Verdeans live abroad (nearly 1 million) than in the country itself (about 500,000).
10. The national music is the Morna, typically sung in Kriolu. Cesária Évora, known as the Queen of Morna, was the best-known Cape Verdean singer in the world. She passed in 2011 but left a big legacy.
11. Cape Verde has a spectacular Carnival held annually on Shrove Tuesday. While all of the islands celebrate, the most popular one is in Mindelo on São Vicente island.
12. Tourism is fast becoming one of Cape Verde’s biggest sectors. Visitors are drawn to the variety of landscapes and activities, including white and black sand beaches, water sports, mountain trekking, hiking, historical sites and architecture, street art, music, local cuisine and wines, and even an active volcano.