Seychelles


The Seychelles, a group of islands off the east coast of Africa, have always been a popular destination for honeymooners and holiday makers. It is actually made up of approximately 115 islands, each of which offers visitors a different perspective of the warm Indian Ocean and the white sandy beaches. These islands are divided into five main groups; namely, Amirantes, Southern Coral, Alphonse, Farquhar and Aldabra.

Image of La Digue island, Seychelles.
La Digue island, Seychelles.

Unlike many other destinations, the Seychelles has a remarkably constant and predictable climate. The tropical environment guarantees balmy, sunlit days for tourists seeking relief from chilly winters. From October to March sees the North West Trade Winds, which render calm seas and humid conditions. The water gets warmer during April, May, October and November. This is the ideal time to snorkel, fish and SCUBA dive, and to get a taste of these gorgeous waters and the lives they sustain. The waters reach almost 30 degrees Celsius at times and visibility averages around 30 metres. Sailing conditions are ideal all year round, which is great news for boating enthusiasts who wish to enjoy their holidays on the water. Surfers are advised to pay the Seychelles a visit during September for optimal conditions.

Mahé is the main island of the Seychelles and boasts almost 70 different beaches! It is littered with mountains, the highest of which towers over 900 metres. Those tourists visiting on yacht are welcome to spend the night at anchor. Otherwise, there are many tourist- and accommodation facilities that cater to the international market. The various restaurants, cafés and eateries offer an array of traditionally Creole dishes as well as fresh seafood, vegetables and so on. If you prefer your own fare, drop a line in these teeming waters and enjoy the thrill of enjoying the fruits of very little hard labour.

Image of a Seychelles Beach.
Seychelles Beach.

Because of the perfect diving conditions, the Seychelles cater to the needs and wants of its visitors by providing many dive centres. These provide equipment and instructors for inexperienced or experienced divers. Most of the centres try to combine stunning scenery and a proliferation of wildlife under the water. Some of the fascinating creatures include turtles, stingrays, crayfish (depending on the depth of the water) and even sharks. Shipwrecks are also visible on some tours, including the Ennerdale and Dredger wrecks, while the coral formations are sure to take your breath away. Tourists visiting the Seychelles with the intention of diving are advised to enquire about group packages, as many operators include picnics or sundowners as part of their experience.

Desroches Island is home to stunning sights as canyons and dive caves populate its landscape. These provide fantastic day trips that will leave lasting memories of this area’s natural beauty. Aldabra was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being home to the world’s largest raised coral atoll.

The Seychelles have proved to be one of the most rewarding destinations for visitors from all over the world seeking sunshine, sand and sea in gorgeous surrounds.

For more information, please view: http://www.seychelles.travel/en/home/index.php

 

Effects Of Climatic And Environmental Changes On Ancient African Civilisations


Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the entire planet earth looked very different to what modern man experiences today. Continents were not yet divided, and the vegetation and animals were different. Significantly, the climate was also vastly different to what it is today. Climate plays an integral role in determining the plants and animal that live in a certain areas, as well as how habitable a place is for human beings.

In fact, even the theory of the evolution of man was dependent largely on the climatic influences on our ancient ancestors. It is hypothesised that the ancient versions of man were forced to walk upright, lose body hair and develop their coordination for survival in a changing environment. New skills also needed to be learned as farming techniques and living habits had to be adapted.

Ancient Africa experienced major vacillations between mega-droughts and Ice Ages, although these fluctuations occurred over thousands and thousands of years. As humans continued to develop and evolve through these phases, they needed to make major adaptations, not only to their ways of life, but also to their personal body structure. Prior to 135 000 years ago, the whole of Africa was lush and fertile, with a tropical climate. Then, the most intense mega-drought ever to occur hit the continent in the period referred to as the early part of the Late Pleistocene epoch. This is believed to have led to the migration of most of our human ancestors into other areas that were more habitable and fertile. Lake Malawi has been used by scientists as a rain gauge to ascertain water levels in ancient times. Research has shown that, during this mega-drought, the lake’s level dropped at least 1968 feet, or 600 metres! Evolutionists claim that this severe lack of water not only pushed ancient man from the area, it also forced aquatic animals (such as fish) to develop the facilities to be able to survive on dry land, thus evolving into land animals.

As people flocked out of the continent, only a very small proportion of this specific generation remained. Humankind as we know it is widely believed to have come from these few remaining on the continent, who evolved significantly and in response to the climatic changes.

These conditions continued until about 70 000 years ago, when the climate was again characterised by wetter conditions. These led to the growth and renewal of fresh vegetation, as well as an increased water supply to the region. More people were in the area during this time of abundance, and the population grew. This increase in numbers eventually led to migrations due to space limitations and the ownership of land.

Then, about 20 000 years ago, an Ice Age overcame the entire earth. This meant that the planet underwent a long-term period of cold temperatures over most of its surface. In places like North America and Eurasia, giant ice sheets covered enormous proportions of the land, making it impossible to farm and, sometimes, even live in these areas. This final Ice Age lasted for about 9 500 years. It forced most of the populations to migrate to the highlands, where they would be relatively protected from the ice sheets. Again, these civilisations had to adapt their farming methods, and change their diet, social habits, clothing and migratory patterns. This forced an evolution to a certain extent. Body hair was necessary to keep people warm, their skin lightened due to a lack of the harsh rays of the sun that they experienced during the mega-droughts, etc…

When this Ice Age came to an end 10 500 years ago, areas like the Sahara were left fertile and healthy. This made it and the other areas like it the ideal spots in which to settle as ancient man began to descend from the highlands. Animals and plants thrived in this environment, which made it very desirable in the eyes of mankind. The abundance of food, water and sunshine again changed the habits and physical structures of our earliest forefathers.

These conditions lasted for some time, but the Sahara in particular continued to experience fluctuations between humid and dry conditions. These eventually left the entire area unable to yield crops or sustain life for any extended period of time. Today, it remains a large stretch of desert. Then, approximately 2500 years ago, the group of people who had made their home in the Sahara began to follow the direction of the Nile River, which held promise of a rich water supply. The arid conditions of the Sahara and its surrounds continue to the present day.

Africa has, since prehistoric times, proven to be a place of fascination, life and evolution. Changes in the climate were often dramatic, and these were, to a great extent, responsible for determining the ancient civilisations that inhabited this vast continent. It is no wonder that many researchers and scientists maintain that Africa is the Cradle of Mankind, and research continues to yield fascinating evidence of this theory.