Useful information about Seychelles
When is the best time to go to go to Seychelles? This depends on your personal preferences and the places you want to visit. Seychelles has a tropical climate: warm and humid with strong maritime influences. The temperature ranges from 24-30°C. The hills on Mahé rise up to 900m and the rainfall increases with altitude. But what really the islands' climate are trade winds. From May to October the south-east trade winds (Southeast Monsoon) bring a quite dry period. Reaching its peak in July/August, there is little precipitation and temperatures average 27°C. By November (pre-Northwest Monsoon), the winds start to change, bringing light, warmer winds and the start of the main rainy season. During December to March (Northwest Monsoon), Seychelles gets extremely wet, especially in December and January, though the vegetation is lush, the winds generally light and the sun at its warmest. This is also the cyclone season, though only the most remote southern islands are within the cyclone belt. This period is followed by the calmest, warmest month, April (Pre-Southeast Monsoon), as the winds die down and start to change direction. The best weather conditions for diving and snorkeling are April/May and October/December.
Republic of Seychelles got independency by the Britains in 1976. The Seychelles president (since 2004 James Alix Michel), who is head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The Seychellois parliament consists of 34 members. The primary political parties are the ruling socialist People's Party (PP), known until 2009 as the Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF), and the socially liberal Seychelles National Party (SNP).
The Seychellois are a very mixed population. Over the decades they have developed their own form of the creole language - the so-called Seychellois Creole or Seselwa. Part of it is based on French but Anglicisms got mixed in. According to the Constitution of Seychelles Creole, English and French are the official languages. The majority of Seychellois are bilingual, because teachers speak English with their students and their books are written in English as well. Many of them also speak French fluently.
Most Seychellois are Christians (76%), followed by Protestants (10%). Hinduism is practiced by 2% and Islam by 1.6%. Seychellois people are very superstitious and Voodoo is quite popular on the islands.
Victoria is the capital city of Seychellessand is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé. The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government. The principal exports of Victoria are vanilla, coconut oil, coconuts and fish. Attractions in the city include the clocktower, the Botanical Garden and the National Museum of History as well as the Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market. Victoria Market is the local hotspot for the Seychellois people. Definitely worth a visit!
What to wear?
Because of the warm temperatures all year long we recommend you to wear airy clothes and shoes. If you want to go hiking, bring your hiking boots with you. Especially during evening/night it sometimes gets cooler and therefore we recommend you to bring a sweater with you. Don’t forget sun protection!
You can find many ATMs on Seychelles and we recommend you to change your money in Seychelles. You can find several banks and exchange bureaus on Mahé. 5000 Rupies (310 Euro) are the maximum you can withdraw at a cashpoint. Exchange rate for Euro: 1:15 (January 2017).
Seychelles are an expensive destination. The islands do not have their own industry and therefore almost everything has to be imported. Our prices are calculated to be affordable but also to cover our costs and expenses. Regarding the conditions on Seychelles we are located on the lower price levels. Our offers include lump sums as reserves for extra investment, marketing costs, a flat rate for a currency risk (1%) as well as small extra services (pickup-service from the restaurant on request etc.). Furthermore, our prices include all taxes and fees.
The water in Seychelles is drinkable but the quality varies depending on the area. It is recommended to drink bottled water only. During the dry months the water sometimes gets rationed but our apartments are all equipped with water tanks. Try not to waste water during these periods.
The power grid of Seychelles has 230 volt (like Europe). Although you get the plug in the socket (which do have three instead of two holes), we advise you to bring an adapter with you. These can be found for less money online.
Internet and telephone
Seychelles do have well-developed mobile networks called Cable & Wireless and Airtel. German and Austrian providers can be used on the islands without any problems. The international dialing code of Seychelles is 00248. Internet cafes can be found in Victoria and at Beau Vallon. Mobile Internet is the best and cheapest alternative for guests, who want to use laptops and smartphones. Therefore you need a valid SIM card of the local provider, which you insert in your electronic device. The SIM card must be registered at the office of the mobile operator with you passport. The upload and download rate varies and depends on the time of the day. We recommend you the Cabel & Wireless 3G simcard which works perfectly at our accommodations. We are happy to assist you in getting the SIM card. Just let us know. You can find more details about the internet usage in the data sheets of the accommodations.
You’re brave enough to drive on your own? We are cooperating with a car-rental company on Seychelles, which offers us special prices for our clients. We will send you a blank contract on demand. The rental is with a deductible of 1000 Euro. A foreign driving license is valid on Seychelles. Don’t forget about the left-hand-traffic. You can’t compare the road conditions with European standards, but for practiced drivers this should not be a problem. The car-rental service offers a range from small cars to jeeps and the price depends on the chosen model.
Seychelles has a good public transport system. The island can easily be explored by bus. The ticket price ranges from 5-7 rupees. The bus drivers drive quite fast and buses can be very crowded, especially during rush hour.
Seychelles do have an excellent health care system. The hospital in Victoria has well educated staff and doctors. The clinics in the bigger towns are open weekdays between 08:00 and 16:00 and on Saturdays until 12.00. Private doctors are mainly located in Victoria. The central hospital with a dental and eye clinic is located in Victoria (Mont Fleuri Road), another at Anse Royale. Praslin has two hospitals and La Digue has one. Seychelles is free of tropical diseases such as Ebola or malaria.
In case of emergency, you can contact the hospitals by calling following numbers:
Victoria-Hospital: Tel. 388000;
Mahé - Anse Royale: Tel. 371222;
Praslin Hospital: Tel. 233333;
La Digue Hospital: Tel. 234255.
Grocery shopping & food
You find mini grocery shops at every single corner. The best place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables is the market in Victoria. Recently the number of large supermarkets on the island has increased and now you can find almost everything in the stores. There are numerous restaurants (Boathaus, Pizzaria Baobab, La Perle Noire etc.) located close to the great beaches and in the capital. For a quick snack, you can stop at one of the take-aways. Every Wednesday you can buy delicious and fresh food on the market at Beau Vallon Beach.
Seychelles do have a relatively high income level, which keeps the crime rate low. However, there have been attacks on tourists in the past. We recommend you to take good care of your valuables. Always lock the door of your accommodation and car and take good care of your belongings on the beach.
Seychelles are free of poisonous snakes, spiders or scorpions. The only dangerous animal on the islands is the 10 cm centipede, which is quite rare. His bites are painful, but can easily be treated in the hospital. The huge palm spiders (up to 8 cm in size) are not dangerous, but very impressive.
Mosquitoes and fleas
Mosquitoes can be expected especially during dusk. Simple mosquito sprays help against those beasts. On the beach, you should beware of sand fleas. Although there are no preservatives, however, you should avoid to sunbath close fallen leaves or seaweed. On large beaches such as Beau Vallon Bay, leaves get cleaned up regularly. Treat bites by cooling them.
Seychelles offer a unique jungle soundscape. Throughout the day you can hear birdsong and especially in the evening the howling of flying foxes. The dogs (stray beach dogs and guard dogs) can strike up a howl at night. The majority of our guests do not get bothered by the sounds. However, if you are very sensitive, it is recommended to preventively take earplugs with you.
50 % of the land area of Seychelles are under conservation. The most famous plant is the legendary Coco-de-Mer palm, which occurs mainly on Praslin. The female fruit is shaped like female pelvis while the male fruit looks like a phallus. The palm tree owes its name due to a misbelief. Furthermore you can spot following trees and plants on Seychelles: Banyan Trees, hibiscus, frangipani trees and so on. Almost everywhere fruits and spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, citronella, papaya, passion fruit, banana, breadfruit, mango are growing. Seychelles also have mangrove swamps.
Animals in Seychelles
The environment is a treasured aspect of Seychelles and there are more than 1,000 recorded species of fish around the islands. It is also a paradise for birds. One of Seychelles’ most famous animals is Aldabra, the biggest tortoises in the world.
The underwater world of Seychelles is as lavish as its landscape. Beside magnificent granite formations there are also colorful coral reefs, which are perfect for diving or snorkeling. Underwater you meet parrotfish, barracudas, snappers, morays, clown fish, trumpet fish and so on. If you are lucky, you will discover free-swimming turtles, mantas or reef sharks. Between August and October there is the possibility to spot the most majestic animals underwater, the whaleshark.