There's nothing like up-to-date, relevant travel information direct from the experts - get Go2Africa's essential Seychelles travel advice before you go.

Money & Spending

The unit of currency in the Seychelles is the Rupee although Euros and US Dollars are widely used. Credit cards are generally accepted at hotels and resorts while prices for car hire, diving, park fees and any other extras are usually quoted in Euros (or less frequently in US Dollars). In fact the only time you’ll ever really need Seychelles Rupees is for purchases at local markets or restaurants.

Unlike the all-inclusive Mauritius resorts, many of the hotels in the Seychelles don’t include lunch or dinner in their daily rate. You may have the option of a full board supplement but be advised that food and drink prices are generally quite high so be prepared to splash out a bit to truly enjoy the delicious international and Creole cuisine on offer.

Tipping

Tipping is not obligatory in the Seychelles, however, any extra change is greatly appreciated. Tipping at your hotel is entirely at your discretion. You can either tip individual staff members whose service you appreciate by leaving money in an envelope for them. Otherwise just leave a general tip at reception which will be shared equally among the staff.

For in-depth tipping guidelines, enquire with one of our Africa Safari Experts - they'd be happy to share their knowledge with you.

Climate

Average year-round temperatures: 22°C to 30°C

Rainy season: October to February

Refer to “best time to visit the Seychelles” for climate charts and advice on the best times of year for scuba diving.

What to Pack

When packing for your Seychelles holiday include plenty of light clothing for the country’s warm, tropical climate. As most of your days will be spent on the beach, you’re advised to pack hats, sunglasses and sunscreen, along with plenty of casual beach wear – swimming costumes, sandals, sarongs, shorts, t-shirts and summer dresses. And if you are planning on exploring some of the trails and walks available around the islands, include a comfortable pair of walking shoes in your suitcase.

Most Seychelles hotels will expect you to have smart-casual eveningwear for dinners along with appropriate footwear. It’s a beach holiday after all so you don’t need to be overly formal - long trousers for men and dresses for women are perfect.

If you are bringing a camera, stock up on film and battery supplies or extra chargers before you leave home as these are not readily available in the Seychelles.

Flights & Getting Around

Did you know you can book your flights through Go2Africa? For more information and frequently asked questions, please see our Flights section.

Seychelles International Airport: served by several direct flights as well as from Johannesburg and Nairobi, the airport is located close to the capital city Victoria on Mahé Island.

It’s easy to hop between islands if you're not staying on Mahé itself: Air Seychelles runs frequent flights to Praslin; fast catamarans and leisurely schooners travel between the islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue; and charter flights and helicopters whisk guests off to the more remote private islands.

Most of the Seychelles islands are relatively small and easy to explore on foot or by bike but if you’re staying on the larger Mahé or Praslin islands we’d suggest hiring a car. Roads are often narrow but in good condition, traffic is light and distances are short.

Passport & Visa Requirements

Irrespective of nationality, there are no visas required to enter the Seychelles. However, all visitors must be in possession of a passport valid for the entire duration of stay, a return or onward flight ticket and proof of accommodation. Upon presentation of these documents, you will be granted a Visitor’s Permit which is issued free of charge and is valid for three months from the date of issue.

 

About the Seychelles

History & Economy

Some of the oldest islands on the planet, the Seychelles Archipelago was uninhabited save for the occasional pirate until French settlers from Mauritius and their slaves arrived and planted crops and spices in the 18th century. Following their rise to power in the Indian Ocean, the British took over the Seychelles in 1814 but other than their anti-slavery stance ran the islands according to French practices. Consequently, the islands have retained their French flavour though it was from Britain that the Seychelles won their independence in 1976.

The Seychelles economy once revolved around its plantations - cinnamon, vanilla, and copra were the chief exports - but the opening of the archipelago's international airport in 1971 changed the country for good. Fuelled by tourism which now occupies 30% of the workforce, economic growth was rapid and the Seychelles now has the highest Human Development Index in Africa.

People & Culture

The people of the Seychelles have their ethnic roots in Africa, Europe, India, and China but the culture is distinctly Seychellois with many African and Asian traditions, superstitions and culinary ingredients incorporated into the local way of life. The vast majority of the 86 000 population live on Mahé Island, the archipelago's biggest, leaving many islands virtually or totally uninhabited.

Characterised by a religious, matriarchal society, the Seychellois are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. Music and dance are popular and visitors to the islands may find themselves joining in the Moutia - a dance with strong African and Malagasy rhythms. French and English are spoken throughout the archipelago though it is the French-based Seychelles Creole that is the language of everyday use.

Landscape & Wildlife

Dominated by classic 'desert island' scenery - flowering tropical vegetation, palm-fringed beaches and a dazzling blue ocean - the Seychelles Archipelago comprises 115 islands, separated into two groups. The more populated granitic inner islands are famous for their boulder-strewn beaches and forested, mountainous interiors; the coralline atolls of the outer islands are flatter, dominated by palm trees and are mostly uninhabited.

Millions of years of geographical isolation have led to a high rate of endemism among the archipelago's plants and animals, best illustrated by the dozen species of bird unique to the Seychelles, two of which - the Seychelles white eye and magpie-robin - are the rarest in the world. Other Seychelles wildlife highlights on land include Aldabra Island's giant tortoises - the world's largest - bird watching on Bird, Cousine and Aride Islands and nesting hawksbill turtles between October and February but it's the marine environment that delivers the most.

Thanks to a long history of marine conservation, the reefs of the Seychelles are among the best in the world and support over 1 000 species of fish. Needless to say, diving and snorkelling in the Seychelles are truly spectacular experiences and in many cases you can walk straight off the beach and swim to pristine coral reefs. The inner islands offer an accessible world of submerged boulders, cliffs and peaks while the outer islands boast remote reefs suitable for more advanced divers.