Mahé is the largest island (155 km²) of the Seychelles, lying in the north east of the nation. The population of Mahé is 80,000. It contains the capital city of Victoria and accommodates 90% of the country’s total population. The island was named after Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, a French governor of Mauritius.
Mahé’s tallest peak is Morne Seychellois at 905 m, which lies in the Morne Seychellois National Park. The northern and eastern parts of the island are home to much of the population and the international airport which opened in 1971. The southern and western parts have Baie Ternay Marine National Park and Port Launay Marine National Park. The Ste Anne Marine National Park lies offshore, as do Conception Island, Thérèse Island, Anonyme Island and Silhouette Island.
Mahé was first visited by the British in 1609 and not visited by Europeans again until Lazare Picault’s expedition of 1742. Mahé remained a French possession until 1812 when it became a British colony. It remained a colony until 1976 when Seychelles became an independent nation.