The Seychelles Travel Tips

time

GMT : +3 hours

climate

The Seychelles enjoys an idyllic and fairly constant temperature of around 29°C. It lies outside the main Indian Ocean cyclonic belt, which means that big storms are rare. January and February are the wettest months, but rain occurs in heavy downpours rather than as continuous rain. July and August tend to be the driest months. For scuba-diving and snorkelling, the best time is March-May and September-November when the seas are calm and underwater visibility is at its best.

language

Official Creole, but French and English are widely spoken

public holidays

May 1 Labour Day
Jun 5 Liberation Day (Anniversary of 1977 Coup)
Jun 10 Corpus Christi
Jun 18 National Day
Jun 29 Independence Day
Aug 15 Assumption/La Digue Festival
Nov 1 All Saints Day
Dec 8 Immaculate Conception
Other public holidays are over Easter, Christmas & New Year.

health / immunization

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required by all travellers over one year arriving from infected areas or who have passed through partly or wholly endemic areas within the preceding six days. There is a large general hospital in Victoria and there are clinics elsewhere on La Digue, Mahé and Praslin, but medical facilities are limited. Visitors may obtain emergency treatment for a basic consultancy fee. Additional medical insurance is advised, including emergency repatriation. There are several pharmacies in Victoria. On other islands, government clinics are used.

There are dental clinics on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Prices vary according to whether they are government clinics or private ones. A 24-hour doctor is on call for visitors at their hotels. Mains water is normally chlorinated and, whilst relatively safe, may cause mild abdominal upsets. Bottled water is available.

Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.

visas and entry requirements

Visa are not required by any nationality as long as you have: (a) onward or return ticket (if not, onward or return ticket must be purchased on arrival); (b) proof of sufficient funds (minimum US$150 per day) and organised accommodation for the duration of the stay. A visitors permit, valid for up to one month, is issued on arrival subject to possession of (a) and (b) as above; alternatively a deposit may be made by ‘security’ bond in lieu. The permit may be renewed, provided the applicant holds a valid open return ticket and applies at least one week before the permit's expiry. For further information, contact the nearest Seychelles Tourist Office. Passengers in transit must have tickets with reserved seats for their onward journey.

Passports must be valid for six months from date of arrival in the Seychelles.

money

Seychelles Rupee (SRe: singular; SRs: plural) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of SRs100, 50, 25 and 10. Coins are in denominations of SRs5 and 1, and 25, 10 and 5 cents. A number of gold and silver coins are also minted (with face values as high as SRs1500), but these are not in general circulation.

Tourists must pay hotel bills in foreign currency (in the form of cash, travellers cheques or credit or debit cards). Payment in local currency is widely accepted. The duty-free shop at the airport only accepts credit cards or foreign cash.

Exchange facilities are available at the airport banks, which are open for all flight departures and arrivals.

The following banks have branches in the Seychelles and will exchange travellers cheques and foreign currency:

Barclays Bank
Bank of Baroda
Banque Franaise Commerciale
Central Bank of Seychelles
Development Bank of Seychelles
Habib Bank Ltd
Nouvo Banq
Seychelles Savings Bank.

Currency exchange receipts should be kept in order to facilitate re-exchange on departure. Access, American Express, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted; Diners Club has more limited use. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers Cheques are accepted in most hotels, guest houses, restaurants and shops. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. The import and export of local and foreign currency is unlimited.

internal travel and public transport

Air Seychelles provides an efficient network of scheduled and chartered services from Mahé to Alphonse, Bird, Denis, Praslin, Silhouette and Desroches islands. Helicopters are available for inter-island shuttle services and scenic flights. Charter flights can be arranged from any heli-stop. Privately owned schooners provide regular inter-island connections between Mah, Praslin and La Digue.

Boats can be chartered privately to get to the other islands. Traffic drives on the left. There are paved roads only on La Digue, Mah and Praslin; elsewhere the roads are sandy tracks. Visitors should be aware that Mah is mountainous with narrow, winding roads, rarely with safety barriers. SPTC buses run on a regular basis on Mahé and Praslin from 05:30 - 19:00. There are a number of 18-seater coaches for airport transfers and excursions. Prices for buses and coaches are very reasonable.

There are about 135 taxis on Mahé and Praslin with government- controlled rates. There is a surcharge for taxi fares on Praslin between 19:00 - 06:00. There are over 550 cars or Mini Mokes for hire on Mahé, and a limited number on Praslin. It is advisable to make advance reservations, especially in the high season. Conditions of hire and insurance should be carefully checked. A national driving licence is sufficient, for up to three months.

safety / security

Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, especially for shipping which does not take appropriate precautions or follow agreed shipping industry best practice guidelines. Most visits to the Seychelles are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. Please note that beaches and parked cars are favourite targets for petty thieves.

This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisation for the latest travel advice. British Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Tel: 0845 850 2829; website: www.fco.gov.uk

tipping

In general, restaurants and accommodation establishments do not include a service charge in their bill. Depending on the standard of service, normally 10 - 15% is applied as a basis for tips.

Africa Collection: Portfolio House, Field Place Estate, Byfleets Lane, Broadbridge Heath, W Sussex, RH12 3PB, UK. Office Hours: 09h00 – 17h30 - Tel: +44 (0) 1403 256655, Fax: +44 (0) 1403 253325

Africa Collection after hours/emergencies: +44 (0) 7785 344648 OR +44 (0) 7904 324368

Last updated – April 2012