The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago of about 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. It is situated between approximately 4ºS and 10ºS and 46ºE and 54ºE and is about 1,500 kilometres (932 miles) east of mainland East Africa. The Seychelles is a country of outstanding natural beauty with a great variety of coastal and ocean habitats.
The islands are spread out over 400,000 square kilometres (150,000 square miles) of the Indian Ocean and range from granitic rock islands (considered the oldest and hardest granite in the world) with lush vegetation to coral atolls that barely rise out of the sea. Most of the islands are uninhabited. There are more than 25 Protected Areas in Seychelles, 14 of which are marine protected areas.
The landmass of Seychelles is only 459 square kilometres (177 square miles), but the islands are spread over an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1,374,000 square kilometres (530,502 square miles), making Seychelles the country with the largest percentage of water of any in the world.
With a population of just over 90,000, Seychelles has the smallest population of any African state. About 90% of its people live on Mahé, where the capital, Victoria, is located. Victoria is one of the smallest capitals in the world.