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PLANNING YOUR SEYCHELLES HOLIDAY

Visa & Entry Requirements
There are no visa requirements to enter Seychelles.

Entry
Documents required for immigration clearance:

  • A valid passport

  • Return or onward ticket

  • Proof of accommodation

  • Sufficient funds for the duration of stay

  • Presentation of all the above documents will grant you a Visitors Permit which is issued upon arrival in Seychelles. This permit is valid for a maximum of one month with extension available on application.

    Exit
    A passenger service fee of US$40.00 per person is payable in foreign currency only. This is payable by all visitors over the age of 12 years.

    Passenger service fee can be purchased anytime throughout the duration of your stay, from all Seychelles banks inncluding banks at the airport. It is advisable to purchase the coupon in good time before your departure.

    Best Times To Go
    Diving
    March-May/September-November
    Bird-watching
    April (breeding season), May-September (nesting of Sooty Terns) October (migration)
    Hiking/walks and trails
    May – September
    Surfing/windsurfing
    June – September
    Fishing
    October- April
    Sailing
    Year round
    Snorkelling
    Year round, however seaweed is present on Praslin’s north/northwest coast in the south east trade winds between May and October
    Foreign & Commonwealth Office
    For relevant travel guidance on our Indian Ocean destinations please go to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website refer to www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo
    Accommodation
    The rich diversity of the Seychelles holiday experience is reflected in the great variety of the accommoadtion offered:
    • Hotels – both large and small (hotels with more that 25 beds are classed as large hotels)
    • Guesthouses – offering Creole intimacy and hospitality
    • Self-catering establishments
    • Island resorts – there are remote island hideaways, with 14 islands in Seychelles currently offer hotel accommodation ranging from beachside bungalows to luxurious chalets
    Each establishment interacts with the immediate surrounds in its own distinct manner, offering variations on a common theme of pure hospitality, designed to introduce the visitor to the seductive charms and rhythms of the finest in island lifestyle.

    Environmental concerns governing the manner in which hotels in Seychelles are to harmonise with their environment ensure a more discreet profile.

    Health
    There is no risk of contracting malaria , yellow fever, cholera or other common tropical diseases in Seychelles. No vaccinations are required. However if travelling through a country which is considered to be an infected area for yellow fever, it is compulsory to provide a vaccination certificate on arrival . The continents considered infected areas are South America and Africa (excluding South Africa)
    Water Supply
    Tap water meets WHO specifications and is safe to drink throughout the country.
    Climate
    The islands enjoy a pleasant tropical climate all year round, and as they are situated outside the cyclone belt there is not much seasonal variation,. The temperature seldom drops below 24 degrees ar rises above 33 degrees centigrade. As one may expect in such a lush tropical environement, short lived tropical showers may occur at any time.

    Northwest trade winds – October to March – the sea is generally calm with warm tropical weather

    Southeast trade winds – May to September – the weather is generally drier and cooler, with choppy seas, particularly on south – eastern coasts.

    Flights
    Seychelles Direct use Air Seychelles, Air Mauritius, Emirates and Qatar Airways to provide you with seats on scheduled airlines. Seats are available in Economy, Business and First Class. Charter flights are not available to Seychelles.
    Religion
    Roman Catholism is the dominant religion, but there are also Anglican and Protestant churches together with smaller Muslim, Hindu and Bahai communities based on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Mass and other parish feasts are colourful occasions when Seychellois dress up on their Sunday best and socialise.
    Transfers
    Transport and Inter- Island Transfers
    • Bus services operate daily on Mahé and Praslin between 0600-1900
    • Taxis and car hire representative offices are available at the airports as well as in Victoria.
    • A valid international or EU driving licence is required to drive. Vehicles are driven on the left hand side of the road
    • Air Seychelles offers daily domestic flights to five neighbouring islands
    • Chartered aeroplane and helicopter flights and a shuttle service to the Inner and OuterIslands are available from Mahé airport
    • Scheduled ferry services are available to a selection of islands from Port Victoria, Mahé and Baie Ste Anne, Praslin
    Language
    The population numbers just over a million consisting Hindus, Muslims, Chinese, Creoles and Europeans. English is the official language. French and Creole are widely spoken plus other oriental languages.
    Currency & Foreign Exchange
    The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR) made up of 100 cents. Notes come in denominations of SCR 10, 25, 50 and 100; coins from SCR5 downwards.

    Visitors are requried to use only foreign currency when making payments in htoels and guesthouses and when paying for other hospitality-related expenses such as hiring of cars or boats, the services of tour operators or travel agents, patrongage of casinos and domestic transfers within Seychelles.

    Small indicental purchases in restaurants outside hotels, shopping (excluding duty free shops) and taxi fares are payable in local currency (Seychelles Rupees).

    For those limited needs foreign currency may only be exchanged at banks, authorised money dealers at the Seychelles International Airport or with the hotel cashier. Credit cards are widely accpeted throughout Seychelles.

    Banking hours are from 0830 to 1400 on weekdays and from 0830 to 1100 on Saturdays.

    It is a criminal offence to change money with an unauthorised person.

    Electricity
    220-240 VOLTS AC50 Hz. Seychelles uses the British standard square three pin 13 amp plus. Visitors from countries other than the UK should bring adaptors.
    Cuisine
    The broad range of Creole cuisine is an eloquent reflection of the diverse ethnic mix of the islands. It features the subleties and nuances of French cooking, the exoticism of Indian dishes and the piquant flavours of the Orient. Grilled fish marinated in a sauce of crushed chilli, ginger and garlic is a favourite as are octopus and chicken curries prepared with coconut milk.

    Creole cuisine is resourceful, echoing a time before supermarkets. Chatinis, made from grated green fruits offer a tasty accompaniment to fish or meat dishes while mangoes, golden apples, coconut procuts, heart of palm, tubers and local delicacies such as octopus and fruit-bat form an impressive culinary array.

    Tax and Tipping
    Restaurant and hotel bills normally include a VAT of 7%. Tips for expceptional service are warmly received.
    Deep Vein Thrombosis
    Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition where blood clots develop in the deep veins of the legs. In the event that a blood clot breaks off from the DVT, it can travel to the lungs causing significant illness and on rare occasions, death. Prolonged sitting is generally thought to be the common underlying risk factor and thus any travel involving lengthy periods of sitting can result in DVT. People over 40 years of age who have already had blood clots, or with a family history of blood clots are most at risk. However, DVT is still not fully understood and you are advised to contact to take medical advise if you believe you are in the high risk category. For more information on DVT, click here. The important thing to remember is that the vast majority of air passengers do not need to take medication on long haul flights to prevent DVT.
    Arrival/Departure
    Your resort accommodation is usually reserved for you from 12.00 noon and access to your room will not be available until this time. (From 2.00p.m. in some resorts). Rooms are typically vacated at the internationally recognised time of 10.00a.m. on the day of your departure, giving resort staff sufficent time for cleaning. On occasions there may be several hours to wait for the departure for your flight home, in such cases a room may be made available for storing your luggage. Sometimes hotels will let you keep your room but they are entitled to make a charge for this service.
    What To Pack
    Light clothing for tropical conditions. It is advisable to carry a change of light clothing for disembarkation when arriving from a winter climate.
    • Pack a hat, sunglasses and high protection sun cream, even on an overcast day the sun is still strong
    • A camera for those memorable moments. Film is available in photo shops at approx SCR35 per roll, but it is advisable to bring your own especially for digital cameras or if you plan to island hop. Batteries for cameras are not readily available and there are no developing facilities for EPS cameras.
    • Smart/casual evening wear for dining and enterance to casinos (long trousers for men)
    • Walking shoes for those guided walks
    • Any medication you may require for the treatment of a specific condition.
    Romance/Weddings
    Syechelles is hard to beat for the romantic ambiance of its island-style honeymoons, anniversaries and weddings and there are many venues both indoor and outdoor where a registrar will gladly conduct a wedding ceremony.

    Ceremonies can be tailored to suit the couples’ wishes and tour operators offer a fulll range of options ranging from the arrangement of marriage procedures to the provision of cakes and organisation of parties.

    Plans can be made for a church service in addition to the civil ceremony (which is obligatory) as can arrangements for a traditional Creole wedding, complete with musicians and witnesses.

    A wedding in Seychelles is a simple civil ceremony recognised under European laws that requries eleven days prior notice be given to the local Civil Status Office. Couples should bring their respective passports, original birth certificates and where applicable, a decree absolute or death certificate and certified document to show there is no lawful impediment to the intended marriage (translated into English and French) should be provided.

    Communications
    Seychelles enjoys modern, efficient telecommunication services.

    There are two competing GSM networks, Cable and Wireless and Airtel. Payphones are available in most districts on the inner islands. International roaming agreements exist between Seychelles and most countries. SMS offers a limited service.

    Internet service providers, Internet cafes, postal and courier services are located in central victoria. Postal services are also provided on Praslin and La Dignue.

    The international dialling code into Seychelles is +248

    Time Difference
    Seychelles time is four hours ahead of GMT.
    Sailing
    A dazzzling array of granitic and coral islands, located outside the cyclone belt, makes Seychelles a year round sailing destination.

    The east sailing distances between the inner islands with their secure moorings offers myriad beaches, golden sands, hidden bays and secret coves.

    The Outer islands, mainly coral atolls, are virgin territories featuring stunning lagoons and unparalleled opportunites for big-game, bottom and fly-fishing.

    Fleets of professionally maintained and operated monohulls and catamarans are available for charter, either crewed or bareboat, with many other styles of vessels available for scenic cruises, snorkelling trips and island – hopping excursions.

    Diving
    Amid 1,3000,000 km sq of sparkling warm waters it is not surpising that Seychelles foffers spectacular and diverse oppportunite for diving.

    The inner islands, the reamins of a submerged mountain range, rest on a shallow plateau that has encouraged prolific growth of marine life while the Outer Islands in the soutern arc of the archipelago are largely uninhabited and present the experienced diver with excellent diving sports where few have gone before.

    Thoughout the islands dive centres are located on the beach, the majority of which belong to the Association of Professionl Divers Seychelles and adhere to the Strict safety standard s set by the assosication.

    All diving is supervised by internationally qualified and insured Dive masters or instructors with a number of courses of instruction available at internationally recognised centes and resorts.

    Fishing
    Seychelles has some of the richest fishing ground sint he world and you do not have to venture far from the shore to break fishing recoreds. Seychelles waters already boast world records for pacific bonito and dog-tooth tuna while the outer islands have become the epicentre of salt-waer fly-fishing.

    Spectacular trophy sailfish and marlin together with shark, giant barracuda, rainbow-runner and wahoo make Syechelles an exciting fishing destination for experienced fishermen and novice alike.

    A variety of charter boats and fishing excursions allow for individual tailoring of fishing programmes.

    The Marine Charter Association (MCA) is a service organisation which includes most game fishing yachting and diving charter operations in Seychelles. Located in centreal Victoria is the focal point for departure of torus and excursions to the inner islands from Mahe.