seychelles

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Palm-fringed beaches and smooth boulders are breathtaking features of the Seychelles granitic islands
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Paradise islands to the tourist industry, the Seychelles archipelago is not quite an unpeopled paradise. Most Seychellois, including this composed little girl, live on Mahé
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High noon seine fishing off a dazzling white island beach
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A miniature Queen Victoria on a water fountain in the capital, Victoria, is from a colonial past; the islands have been independent since 1976
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On Mahé, the main island, a street corner in the capital Victoria (2003)
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In a broadly Creole population of 80,000 are French, Anglo and Chinese elements--like this storekeeper
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Grizzled labourer chopping coconuts for copra in a Praslin island cooperative
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Long-legged girl cracks and drains coconuts in a Praslin copra cooperative
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In a matriarchal Catholic society a grandmother tends her daughter's infants
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Sitting in her doorway an elderly woman works on her stitching
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Children rafting unafraid in the shallows of a bay
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Owner of Moyenne island for more than 30 years, Brendon Grimshaw waves from a sandy spit; aided by 'Man Friday' René Lafortune, he has developed his island with fruit trees and endemic plants. In 2003 fourteen other islands were private luxury tourist resorts
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Capturing the lush beauty of the islands in glowing colour has made Michael Adams renowned as a 'Gauguin of the islands'; Michael lives with his wife Heather and a profusion of cats, birds and other creatures on Mahé's southwest coast
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In an extraordinarily lavish array of flora are hedges brilliant with Caesalpinia pulcherrima, localled called 'aigrette'
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A young boy displays the wingspread of a captured fruitbat, also called flying foxes and native to the islands. Some are eaten in stews; a few are kept as pets
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Numbering more than in the Galapagos islands, giant tortoises like this one, a Bird Island pet, exist in a large population in the Seychelles
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Many of the islands are rich in birdlife: Bird Island hosts more than a million sooty terns, in the breeding season whirling in a wild cacophany; the birds lay their eggs without nests on the open ground
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Sooty terns are not deterred by a human presence and, on the ground or overhead, are close and noisy company
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Easily seen among a range of other bird species: shearwaters bearing up to a breeze on a coral island
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Not at all numerous, their numbers watched by wardens, are the big goose-size boobies.
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Fluffy baby birds--fledgelings--are beautiful in all species; this one is a tropic bird and, as an adult, will have a long sweeping tail
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Cousin Island for many years has closely protected its birdlife, among them brilliant white fairy terns
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Only on La Digue, like a darkly thrilling jewel, is the rare black paradise flycatcher to be seen--this one a male of the species
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