I cannot find a precedence for how nations of hundreds of islands are divided into regions, so I think the main islands (no matter how close) should be their own "region" and the clusters of uninhabited islands may be clustered together. So here's what I propose:
La Digue-third largest population and a bit rustic
Lesser Granitic Islands-technically the "Granitic" (since they are granite and not coral islands) or "Inner" (because that's where the population lives) Islands includes the above three, but all the others are smaller and have very small populations or are uninhabited (hence the "Lesser" in the title)
When making a map, the lower islands (forming the last region) can be circumscribed with a band of color and the Granitic Islands a different color with a zoomed-in box in the upper left (where there are no islands) to show Mahe, Prslin, & La Digue amongst the Granitic Islands similar to the way this map zooms in on Mahe. Of course, you'll need to find a better, larger map to do this. AHeneen 22:49, 20 January 2010 (EST)
Basically all the little rocks of the lesser Granitic Isles are just off the coast of the major Granitic islands, and I think they could be covered in the do or get out sections of the nearest island that qualifies for an article. So that region page probably would not be necessary, I think.
Of the red-linked islands at present, I think it might be worthwhile to give Silhouette Island its own article, albeit a small one, since it does have a hotel.
I can imagine the Outer Islands possibly being broken into a couple parts, since they cover such a vast area, but I agree that we can just leave that for another time if/when it becomes practical. --PeterTalk 10:41, 10 March 2010 (EST)
The problem with placing the rest of the granite islands in the do/get out section is that there's about 20. Rather than add clutter to the Mahe/Praslin/La Digue articles, I feel it is not too much to group those islands together, "X, X, & X are private islands while Z & Z are nature reserves", the "get in" is "X & X are accessible by boats leaving from Z while X & X are only accessible by by helicopter, etc.", see & do are generally the same, and there's only a few hotels on isolated islands so "sleep" won't be cluttered. The outer islands are all but uninhabited except for a few small plantations. They contain a grand total of three hotels and there are a half dozen or so airstrips. I think dividing them up is not practical. Silhouette certainly could be its own article as it has a resort and day trips by boat to walk on its many trails, snorkel, and for its lush vegetation. AHeneen 03:44, 11 March 2010 (EST)
I don't think the little uninhabited/private islands would add much clutter—if we cover them at all, my hunch is that each could just be a single do listing (if even that). No reason why we can't cover the Cousins, Aride, and Curieuse in the Praslin article; the Sisters, Felecite, and Marie Ann in La Digue, etc. That's how I was treating all the rocks floating around Virgin Gorda, which is, I think, about the same size as Mahé. We don't have any content for any islands other than the "big" three, and actually, we have almost no content for those either! So personally, I'd prefer to hold off before subdividing any further then is necessary. Anyway, I'll get up the map soon, to show what groupings I have in mind, hopefully they'll make some sense. --PeterTalk 10:27, 11 March 2010 (EST)
OK, maps done, albeit unpolished, and I think our options are coming into better focus (for me at least). The Outer Seychelles are straightforward, as we'll just have one article to cover them all. The Inner Islands are less so. Here are the options I see:
Per AHeneen, we would have five articles: Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette, and a catchall Lesser Granitic Islands article to cover the rest. (That name is a bit complicated, though, as Bird and Denis Isles are actually coralline.)
Per the existing map, we would group all islands into four articles, anchored by the four major islands.
Create an Inner Seychelles article, which would provide overview information for the region, specifics for the lesser islands, and links to the big four.
#1 is unorthodox but would work—I can't think of other times we have handled islands in this way on Wikitravel. The main disadvantage would be that it might not make sense to discuss, say, Cerf and Bird Islands in the same article, when they are quite far from each other. One solution might be to keep some of the islands grouped with main islands when very close to them (e.g., Sainte Anne and Cerf with Mahé), and then cover the rest (e.g., North, Aride, Frigate, Marnelle, Bird, etc.) in this catchall article. #2 is nice and simple, but the groupings may be a bit forced (e.g., Bird Isle grouped with Praslin). #3 is perhaps the most straightforward, but it creates an additional layer of regions, and threatens dreaded listings in an intermediate-level region article (for individual lesser islands). The way we handle this will probably set an important precedent for the many other island chain nations that we haven't dealt with yet, so this question is important.
While I still think option 1 is good, a combination of all three may work well. The Inner Islands form their own distinct region (for the most part) they are granite (except two), where practically all of the population lives, and access between islands (boat, plane, helicopter) is frequent, and they are in close proximity. I've warmed up to the idea of listing small islands near a larger one into the larger's "get out" or even the "do" section, provided a redirect page is created to the listing (for example, Cerf Island is a redirect to Mahe#Get_out, where it is listed). The islands not particularly close to another could be listed in the understand and see/do sections of the Inner Islands. Of those, they fall into three categories: few are private/exclusive and only people staying at their resort may visit (North, Fregate, Denis—listed under understand & sleep), uninhabited and wildlife sanctuaries with air service (Aride, Bird—listed under "do"), or uninhabited with no transport (Mamelles, Ile aux Recifs—listed only in understand).
The outer islands are sparse, nearly unpopulated and are primarily accessed by about a dozen small airstrips (some served by Air Seychelles), supply ships every 2-4 months, and private yachts; thus, even given the distances between them, they are very similar and could easily occupy just one article given the sparse number of people visiting and the grand total of two resorts (hotels). One issue that needs to be addressed is that, as per Wikitravel:What is an article?, uninhabited islands do not get their own article. However, there are ways of accessing the islands and for some (divers, nature enthusiasts) these islands are a destination, so perhaps they can use the city/destination template even though they are a region in the hierarchy...an issue which should probably be discussed at Wikitravel talk:Region article template.
How's that for a plan? AHeneen 23:06, 13 March 2010 (EST)
I know next to nothing about the Seychelles, but from a big fuzzy picture level, I like the proposed five region articles from Peter's map below (nice work, btw). My general thoughts on breaking down islands are:
Small islands that are
close to an island/region with an article (especially with transportation links), and
don't meet the standard for being an article -- e.g., uninhabited islands, minimal facilities or attractions (e.g., just one resort)
should be grouped with the nearest island/region that has an article. I think this makes logisitical sense over putting scattered small inner islands in one region. I had visions of Cousins, Marie Anne and Cerf in the same article (although maybe this would be appropriate, it just doesn't seem so looking at a map!). Not sure what to do if the nearest region is an island with several city articles... maybe list the small island in the city that it has the most significant transportation links to?
I'd probably stick the small islands in a See or Do section, although I guess it could go in Get out (I've never been sure what exactly can and can't go in Get out). A resort or hotel would be listed in the Sleep section and a redirect set up as AHeneen mentioned above.
I like grouping remote islands with few attractions and accommodation together in one article like the proposed Outer Seychelles.
I'm not sure where to draw the line on "remote" though. In the case of the Outer Seychelles it seems pretty obvious, but in cases like the Bird and Denis islands, I'm not sure. They look reasonably far from Praslin, but don't fit with anything else (and don't seem to have enough content for their own article).
I'm not sold on an Inner Seychelles article. Like Peter said, it adds an extra region layer, and it would put all the lesser islands into one article - is it really better to put Cousins, Marie Anne and Cerf in the same article rather than the article for the nearest main island?
So, I think I'm saying I prefer #2, although I'm not sure about it for the Bird and Denis islands. On the surface, grouping the scattered little islands doesn't make sense to me (#1, #3) -- but, I don't know much about the Seychelles so I freely admit to my ignorance on what really makes sense. Since there is a resort on Denis Island and a wildlife sanctuary on Bird Island, is there scope to create an article for those two islands (even if it is small)? -Shaund 01:39, 17 March 2010 (EDT)
I have gone forward mostly with plan #2, but also taking Shaun's suggestion of putting Denis & Bird Islands into their own separate article, small though it forever may be. --PeterTalk 16:42, 12 May 2010 (EDT)
First of all, Somalia is certainly not that close to the Seychelles!!!! If you are going to include nearby a nearby country for reference, it's probably best to use the northern tip of Madagascar and Comoros...not just because the Seychelles lie closer to Madagascar than Somalia, but it's probably not a good idea for the Seychelles to seem close to Somalia given the piracy associated with it. These two maps would probably work well for the Outer/Inner Seychelles region pages respectively, if we decide to only break the Seychelles into two regions, with the only adjustments to the first map being the "Southern Coral Group" being changed to "Plat & Coetivy" (they're just two remote islands). A third map, based on the first map above, ould then be used on the Seychelles page with just the two regions colored. AHeneen 23:06, 13 March 2010 (EST)
Oops! I clearly misread this map . Fixed. --PeterTalk 20:02, 14 March 2010 (EDT)
Ok. Did you notice the comments I made under "Regions"?AHeneen 02:54, 15 March 2010 (EDT)
Yes, and I'll respond as soon as I have time to think about it carefully ;) --PeterTalk 04:08, 15 March 2010 (EDT)
While there is nothing wrong with a warning or two this does look terribly alarmist. I was there 3 times, october 2010 the last time and the likelyhood of incidents is definitely much smaller than US, Hawaii or any European country that I know - not to mention some problem countries. No longer the paradise it was 10 or 20 years ago but far better than average. 126.96.36.199 11:07, 6 May 2011 (EDT)
If you find the description unreasonably negative, please change it to be more balanced, --ClausHansen 12:28, 6 May 2011 (EDT)