Location – Positioned a few degrees below the Equator, the Republic of Seychelles is a 115-island country spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean that lies some 1000 miles east of mainland Southeast Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. Of the total of 115 islands in the Seychelles, there are 43 “inner islands”, of which 41 are formed by granite and 2 by coral. The other 72 coral islands belong to the so-called “outer islands”. The Seychelles are home to two natural monuments, which are listed as UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites: the Vallée de Mai on the island of Praslin, which is known for its unusually formed Coco-de-Mer nuts, and the world’s largest raised coral atoll, Aldabra.