Country: Seychelles
Currency: Rupee (SCR)
Peak Season: June-August
Shoulder Season: September-December
Median Temperature: 26.90 C / 80.42 F
Main Languages: French, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, car rental, bike rental
Recommended Duration of Stay: 4 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $120.00/day
Tourist Passes: La Passe
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Seychelles is a nature lover’s dream destination: 115 lovely islands spread across 12 nautical miles. Much of the islands remain untainted by the threats of industrialization; natural resources and endemic species are carefully looked after by conservationists. As per safety, it is one of the best places to live in South Africa due to its good quality of life fueled by agricultural sector—all curbed by the efficient French/British legislated government.

Owing its popularity to honeymooners and beach aficionados, its top-rated islands of Mahe, Praslin, Fregate, Alphonse, denis, North, Da Ligue, Cousin & Cousine, Aride, Bird and Bijoutie are just the tip of the iceberg; the island nation features two island categories: granitic and coral. Granitic islands usually have a wider land mass and also boast very fertile soil, making it a good habitation for diverse inland flora (tropical forests) and fauna; coral islands, on the other hand, are better suited for snorkelers because of the platoons of coral reefs and marine life that rest on these reefs. Additionally, large plantations are found in the granitic islands while most resort facilities are clustered on the narrow spits of coral islands.

The country’s ideal climate makes it better place for agriculture than tourism, being one of the top exporters of raw materials used by furniture-makers/upholsterers in South Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The government is keen on regulating the proliferation of tourist facilities due to ecological lessons learned in both South America and the Mediterranean. Its capital, Victoria, is known for its quaint French houses, as well as the dry and wet markets that consolidate produce coming from various islands. The vibrancy of Seychelles is outstanding; the only downside is it being farther from most European itineraries.

Packing List

  • Foreign currency, local currency and credit cards; interestingly, hotels and restaurants only accept local currency if it is backed by an exchange receipt, while the duty-free shop dishonors local currency
  • Casual, loose clothing for the day and smart dresses for evening socialization and late-night partying; the leisure venues at Victoria are some of the finest in the world due to French influence and ownership
  • Beachwear, snorkeling gear and/or diving equipment—bring earplugs if planning to venture near fish-populated areas; before proceeding to an island, remember to consult locals and you handy island guide
  • Essential medication and toiletries, including sunscreen, bug spray and skin-applied insect-repellants; if staying outside Victoria for a prolonged period, it’s best to bring some extra duffel bags for staples
  • A decent camera, plenty of film and battery—Seychelles’s beauty demands a lot of film and zoom lenses (if you have any); waterproof electronics (particularly cameras and/or camcorders) are highly advisable

Things to Do

  • Visiting Vallée de Mai at Praslin—a truly deserving UNESCO site, due to its Coco de Mer palms and tropical birds, many of which are endemic to the island and are found nowhere else in the world
  • Getting a glimpse of Victoria's Clock Tower and a slew of other cultural appetizers at the island of Mahe; the island seats the capital and nearly the entire population, and it’s the island’s only urbanized section
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling at Ste Anne Marine National Park, comprised of six (four small, two larger) islands; the islands are virtually smothered by sea grass and are populated by bottlenose dolphins
  • Getting an idea of how copra is harvested, stacked and husked at the Copra Factory in La Digue; inside the L'Union Estate are also a State Guest House for diplomatic guests as well as suite of colonial houses
  • Engorging yourself in bales and bales of turtles (150,000 at least) at Aldabra, the world’s second largest coral island; endemic to the island are the both massive Aldabra Giant Tortoise and coconut crab

DON'T

  • Be too loose (ladies) when interacting with male locals—the might mistake it for sexual attraction; ample personal space (from British/French culture) is the norm here, especially in business talks
  • Drink tap water—even though it looks pure, doesn’t mean it isn’t safe from toxic deposits; also, do the island a big favor and don’t litter and snag/spoil natural resources—zip locked bags come really handy
  • Bring too much money, and don’t flaunt your jewelry, especially when visiting island plantations and after-hours Beau Vallon and Victoria; daytime sightings of Somali pirates have also been reported
  • Enter island territory unless otherwise notified that it’s safe; islands/isles like Lazio, Georgette, Pierre, Curieuse have been occasionally shut down due to reports of shark attacks, so keep abreast of news
  • Be caught being nude whilst on the beaches, or else you may find yourself in the shutter for the remainder of your stay; you’re also in double jeopardy if locals find out that you’re both gay and a nudist