Seychelles

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 Seychelles:

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Quick Facts

Area: 174 sq mi
Capital City: Victoria
Government: Unitary representative presidential republic
President: James Michel Prime Minister: Danny Faure
Languages: French, English, Seychellois Creole
Location: An island nation, Seychelles is located to the northeast of Madagascar and about 1,600 km (994 mi) east of Kenya.
Population size: 84,000 Population density: 482.7/sq mi
Telephone code: +248
Time difference: GMT + 4 hours (Seychelles is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and three hours ahead of Central European time in winter and two hours in summer).

Passport Information:

There are no visa requirements to enter the Seychelles. Immigration documents required for entry include:

  • Passport valid on date of entry and exit
  • Return or onward ticket
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Sufficient funds for the duration of your stay

The situation regarding blank Visa pages in passports changes regularly.  For Seychelles you require 3-4 blank VISA pages.

All passport holders should verify with their travel agent or relevant consulate concerning visa entry requirements. If you are extending your journey to other countries, please establish entry requirements for those countries as well.

Banks/ Foreign Exchange:

Banking hours are: Monday to Friday 08h00 – 14h00 and Saturday 08h00 – 11h00.

All banks handle travellers’ cheques and foreign exchange transactions. Passports are required for all transactions and nominal commissions may be charged.  Barclays Bank and Banque Francaise Commerciale also have branch offices on Praslin and La Digue. The banks at the airport open only for flight arrivals and departures.

Currency & Credit Cards:

The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR), made up of 100 cents. Notes come in denominations of SCR10, 25, 50 and 100 and coins from SCR5 and 1, and 5, 10 and 25 cents. Travellers’ cheques and foreign currencies can be changed at banks or hotels. Visitors are required to use only foreign currency when making payments in hotels and guest houses or when paying for other hospitality related services such as hiring of cars and boats and the services of tour operators or travel agents, patronage of casinos and domestic transfers within Seychelles. Diners Club, Visa, Access and MasterCard are widely accepted throughout Seychelles.

Duty Free:

Passenger baggage, when accepted as such by the Controller, is exempt from tax provided that the baggage is for the personal or household use of the passenger and is not for sale or for use as trade goods. There is a duty-free allowance for all liquors: 2 litres per person (including wine, beer, stout, ale and port); perfumes: 200ml per person and tobacco: 400 cigarettes. Persons under the age of 18 years are excluded from the alcoholic and tobacco items.

Prohibited Export:

The export of the following items is prohibited:

  • Tortoises, turtles and shells
  • All wild birds, all species endemic to Seychelles
  • All plant material
  • Fish
  • Mammals and marine plants

Please note that souvenirs and artifacts made from permitted local products have no restrictions, however should be declared to avoid any misunderstandings.

Electrical Current:

Throughout Seychelles the voltage is 220-240 volts AC 50 Hz. Seychelles uses the British standard square

three-pin, 13 amp sharp electric plug.  Visitors are advised to bring their own adaptors.

Health Considerations:

The Seychelles is free of tropical diseases such as malaria, bilharzia, typhoid and dysentery. No vaccinations are necessary.

Metal Hips, Pins, Knee replacements, Pacemakers, etc.

Please be aware that if any guests travelling with us have had a knee or hip replacement (usually metal) or have pins, pacemakers etc., they may set off security alarms in airports which can prevent them from being allowed to board. Our recommendation is that they must travel with a doctor’s card/letter stating this information to show security officials to ensure there are no delays, especially at our regional airports.

Water:

Tap water meets W.H.O specifications and is safe to drink throughout the country.

Medical Information:

The main hospital is on Mahé, at Mont Fleuri.  There are also clinics in the districts and islands of Praslin & La Digue.

The ONLY twin-lock, two–man recompression chamber is located at Victoria Hospital, Mahé.  It is available 24 hours.

Holidays:

January 1 New Year
April 3 Good Friday
April 6 Easter
May 1 Labour Day
June 4 Corpus Christi
June 5 Liberation Day
June 18 National Day
June 29 Independence Day
August 15 Assumption
November 1 All Saints’ Day
December 8 Immaculate Conception
Decemebr 25 Christmas Day

Value Added Tax & Tipping

Restaurants and hotel bills normally include a VAT of 7%. Tips for exceptional service are warmly received.

Religion:

Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion, although there are Anglican and other Protestant churches as well as smaller Muslim, Hindu and Bahá’i communities based on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

Shopping in Mahé:

Opening hours from 08h00 to 17h00 Monday to Friday and 08h00 to 12h00 on Saturday.

Main post office in Victoria is open from 08h00 to 16h00 Monday to Friday and 08h00 to 12h00 on Saturday.

Helicopter Transfers to the Islands:

The aircraft used are usually Bell206B III Jet Rangers. Check in for all flights is 30 minutes before departure.
Each aircraft (maximum 4 passengers per flight) can normally carry the full airline 20kg baggage allowance per person, but space is the limiting factor. Soft luggage is preferable to the rigid bulky variety.
If guests bring more than the allocated luggage allowance per person on the helicopter transfer then they will need to pay extra to get this luggage transferred to their island.
All flights are subject to weather conditions and will be at the Captain’s discretion.

What to take:

  • Good quality sunglasses – preferably polarized. Tinted fashion glasses are not good in strong light
  • Sun hat
  • Film is available in photo shops.  It is advisable to bring stock, particularly if you plan on island hopping or for special digital cameras
  • Long trousers/slacks, Golf-shirts, T-shirts and long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • Shorts/skirts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Medication for treatment of specific conditions
  • Good walking shoes (running/tennis shoes are fine)
  • Sandals and walking shoes for the more adventurous
  • Swimming costume
  • Binoculars
  • Personal toiletries
  • Moisturizing cream & suntan lotion
  • Insect repellent e.g. Tabard, Rid, Jungle Juice, etc
  • Tissues/”Wet Ones”
  • Tickets, passports, money etc

Climate:

The islands enjoy a pleasant tropical climate year round and, as they are situated outside the cyclone belt, there are no extremes of weather. The temperature seldom drops below 24 degrees or rises above 33 degree Celsius. Globally changing climatic conditions make it difficult to predict exact weather patterns.

  • From October to March the islands are affected by the northwest trade winds. This is when the sea is generally calm with warm tropical water.
  • From May to September, the weather is generally drier and cooler, with choppy seas, particularly on the southeastern coast, which is when the southeast trade winds occur.  The wettest months are December and January.
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