The Seychelles, officially known as the Republic of the Seychelles, is an archipelago of 115 islands in the heart of the Indian Ocean. This island-country is located northeast of Madagascar and over 1,000 kilometres east of the mainland of Africa. Some other territories and countries close to Seychelles include Mayotte and Comoros in the southwest, Mauritius to the south, and Zanzibar to the west. The Seychelles has an estimated population of less than 100,000. Europeans under the leadership of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama first reached the islands in 1502. This is the reason why the Seychelles archipelago is also known as the ‘Islands of the Admiral’. Being a transit point of sea-trade between Asia and Africa, the Seychelles was also used as a pirate hideout. However today the Seychelles has transformed into a wonderful vacation spot.