Outer Islands Travel Guide
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Outer Islands Travel Guide
Collection of islands in the Seychelles
The Outer Islands or Coralline Seychelles is a collective term for those islands of the Seychelles that are not on the shallow Seychelles Bank which defines the location of the granitic Inner Islands archipelago to the east. The local Seychellois Creole name for the outer islands is Zil Elwannyen Sesel, while the French name is Îles Eloignées. They are all of coral formation, and in the western Indian Ocean.
The coral islands are flat with elevated coral reefs at different stages of formation. They are generally low-lying, and often form atolls around a central lagoon. The soils of the Corraline Seychelles are generally sandy and infertile, and hold little fresh water. The Inner Islands or Granitic Seychelles, by contrast, are composed of granite on the Seychelles Bank plateau, and are ancient fragments of continental crust. They are generally more mountainous, humid, and populated. The Outer Islands comprise 216.57 square kilometres (83.62 sq mi) or 46% of the total land area of the Seychelles, but hold less than 1% of the population of the country. The coral Outer Islands are located at distances of 230–1,150 kilometres (140–710 mi) from Mahé, the nation’s principle island, located in the granitic Inner Seychelles.
When to visit Outer Islands
The Seychelles’ climate is one which is always warm and does not reach extremes of heat or cold. The temperature rarely drops below 24°C or rises above 32°C. All but the remotest southern islands lie outside the cyclone belt making Seychelles’ a year round destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers.
It is generally cooler when the north-west trade winds blow during the months of November to March. The sea is generally calm and the weather warm and humid, with average winds of 15 – 22 kilometres per hour.
A larger amount of the annual rainfall falls during the months of December to February compared to other months. The average number of rainy (days with 1 millimetre or more rainfall) in December, January and February are 18, 17 and 11 days respectively. It is also fairly cloudy at times during those months and therefore less sunshine. The weather is hottest from December to April, and the humidity is high – often 80% or higher.
The months of May to October bring drier, cooler weather, and livelier seas – particularly on south-eastern coasts – and winds of 19 -37 kilometres per hour are common.
On average the number of rainy days during this period is 11 with long periods of sunshine.
Dry spells of two weeks or more are fairly common.
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