The Republic of Seychelles, the world's smallest independent nation, consists of a group of 115 islands with a total land area of 450 square kilometres (about 170 square miles). Located just south of the Equator in the western Indian Ocean, the islands are scattered over a land area of 1.03 million square kilometres (400,000 square miles) about 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) east of the African mainland.