Welcome to our third episode in season 2 of 80 Days: an exploration podcast. Today we will be looking at the little island paradise of the Seychelles, a country made up of an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. This former British colony has a population of just over 90,000, the smallest of any independent African state, and lies 1,500 kilometres (or 932 miles) off East Africa.
Like neighbouring Madagascar, the islands are best known for their unique geology and diverse wildlife populations. White sand beaches and clear blue oceans abound here, in what was once a haven for pirates marauding throughout the Indian Ocean. A tropical rainforest climate ensures that the islands are hot and humid year-round. Victoria, the capital city of Seychelles, is the smallest capital in the entire world, with a population of around 27,000 and the country today is one of the most prosperous in all of Africa.
Table of Contents:
[01:10] Intro – sounds pretty nice tbh
[02:07] Early history – coco de mer the rudest fruit
[06:28] Discovery – Seychelles can’t get no respect
[14:00] Pierre Poivre & other French colonial hijinks
[19:54] As usual the British turn up and Seychelles surrenders many times
[26:13] Welcome to the Empire Seychelles
[29:24] Seychelles – exotic prison colony with balls, baths and Birch
[36:30] Smut(s) and WW2’s loyal aliens
[40:30] Independence – Brits start to feel bad
[45:44] Commie Coup
[53:20] Mad Mike Hoare and his bad couping
[1:00:37] Democracy, climate change and geology
[1:04:22] Food – sharks and tiny persons
[1:07:13] Economy – tourism & N. Korean… friendship
[1:37:07] Modern day
Hindu temple (credit: Murat Dagdeler)Key Facts
- Smallest population of any independent African state (92k) mostly on Mahé
- 1500 km east of African mainland
- 115 islands in archipelago spread over 1m sq km
- Unique Geology
- Interesting flag, looks like a combination of Hungary and Romania (/r/vexillology) – third flag since independence, adopted after end of single-party state
- Low temp of 24 degrees, highs in the 30s…
- Mix of granite islands (only examples and oldest islands in the World) and coral islands (very new)
And now you can check out some of the main reference links for the podcast. It’s a red letter day for you and no mistake.
- Check out this info on the rudest nut of all
- A collection of documents from the early expeditions to Seychelles
- The lad of misfortune (“The First World War and its aftermaths in the Seychelles”)
- Colonial history to 1810
- Royal Pioneer Corp
- Interview with Seychellois WW2 Veteran
- Clip from 1976 on independence
- The coups, Mad Mike Hoare and Ricci’s questionable wealth and power
- The assassination of Gerard Hoarau by the Albert René government
- Climate change in modern era in the context of Paris agreement
- Bat curry and Shark Chutney are examples of local dishes
And here’s the coco de mer that got us all so… excited. Think you can see why.
Thanks to Rob Curran & Krista Phillips for their generous Kickstarter support. You guys are heroes.
And a massive thank you, as always to our sponsor Hairy Baby, makers of the funniest Irish-themed clothing. Remember to get a 10% discount off anything you buy on their website (www.hairybaby.com) by using our special promo code, read out during the episode. We recommend the 80 Days official tee.