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SEYCHELLES             Indian Ocean Enquiry Form
History    Weather   Mahe   Praslin Island   La Digue Island   Good to Know   Accommodation

The beautiful granitic islands of the Seychelles archipelago cluster around the main island of Mahé.  On Mahé you find the international airport and the capital, Victoria.  Mahé together with Praslin and La Digue, form the cultural and economic hub of the nation and contain the majority of Seychelles’ tourism facilities as well as its most stunning beaches.

They Seychelles is home to no less than two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the legendary Vallée de Mai on Praslin where the wondrously shaped Coco-de-mer nut grows high on ancient palms and fabled Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll, first seen by early Arab seafarers of the 9th century A.D.

Seychelles, one of the world’s very last frontiers, promises adventure and breathtaking natural beauty in pristine surrounds still untouched by man.


HISTORY   Back to top

Seychelles can trace its first settlement back to 1770 when the islands were first settled by the French, leading a small party of whites, Indians and Africans. The islands remained in French hands until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, evolving from humble beginnings to attain a population of 3,500 by the time Seychelles was ceded to Britain under the treaty of Paris in 1814.

Under the British, Seychelles achieved a population of approximately 7000 by the year 1825. Important estates were established during this time producing coconut, food crops, cotton and sugar cane. During this period Seychelles also saw the establishment of Victoria as the capital, the exile of numerous and colourful troublemakers from the Empire, the devastation caused by the famous Avalanche of 1862 and the economic repercussions of the abolition of slavery.

Seychelles achieved independence from Britain in 1976 and became a republic within the commonwealth. Following a period of single party rule by the government of Mr. France Albert René, on December 4, 1991, President René announced a return to the multiparty system of government.  The year 1993 saw the first multiparty presidential and legislative elections held under a new constitution in which President René was victorious. President René also won the 1998 and 2003 elections before transferring the Presidency to James Alix Michel in June 2004.


CLIMATE/WEATHER   Back to top

Seychelles’ humid climate is always warm and without extremes. In this tropical paradise the temperature seldom drops below 24°C or rises above 32°C. All but the remotest southern islands lie comfortably outside the cyclone belt making Seychelles’ a year round destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers.

Between the months of October and March the north-west trade winds visit and the sea is generally calm and the weather warm and humid, with average winds of 8-12 knots.

In January and February the islands receive their life-giving rains, rejuvenating the rivers and streams and teasing the vibrant foliage into rainbows of colour.

The months between May and September bring drier, cooler weather, and livelier seas - particularly on south-eastern coasts – and winds of 10-20 knots.

Go to our Weather Page for current forecasts and more

The table below is courtesy of the Seychelles Meteorological Services.

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rainfall (mm)

402.6

283.2

194.9

186.7

151.6

105.1

76.6

119.3

154.0

189.7

206.3

302.8

Temperature (°C)

26.9

27.4

27.8

28.1

27.8

26.7

26.0

26.0

26.5

26.9

26.9

26.9


THE INNER ISLANDS


MAHE   Back to top

Mahe

Mahé, is the largest island and cultural and economic hub of the Inner Islands.  The island measures 28km long by 8km wide (154.7 sq kilometres), and is the international gateway to Seychelles. It is home to the international airport and the nation’s capital, Victoria.

The island is home to almost 90% of the total population reflecting Seychelles' diverse ethnicity and descent from African, Indian, Chinese and European populations, and is the seat of government and the chief centre of commerce.

With a backdrop of imposing 1000m granite peaks, Mahé is an extraordinary treasure trove of flora that has evolved over centuries of splendid isolation. 


Rare endemic plants found nowhere else in the world adorn Mahé’s mist forests in mountain strongholds, such as the Jellyfish Tree, the carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher Plant and the Seychelles Vanilla Orchid.

Mahé is the transportation hub for island-hops and day excursions to neighbouring islands and all other islands within Seychelles. All scheduled domestic flights by Air Seychelles originate from Mahé to the serviced islands.

PRASLIN ISLAND    Back to top

Praslin Island

The popular holiday island of Praslin is Seychelles second largest island, covering an area of 37.56 sq kilometres.  It lies 21 miles (34km) north-east of Mahé in the Seychelles archipelago, a popular stop for cruise liners and a vacation destination for honeymooners and beach lovers.

Praslin is the site of the fabulous Vallée de Mai, one of Seychelles’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The island features truly exquisite beaches such as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette, both sporting coral reefs and crystal clear waters.  Both of these popular beaches have appeared on the top-10 list of world’s best beaches in recent years.


Praslin stands at the forefront of Seychelles’ tourism industry with a strong tradition of hospitality and wide range of accommodation facilities. It also provides a base for excursions to neighbouring islands, some of which are important sanctuaries nurturing rare species of endemic flora and fauna.


LA DIGUE ISLAND    Back to top

La Digue Island

Close neighbour to Praslin La Digue is  the fourth largest island in Seychelles. La Digue is an island where time stands still and time-honoured traditions such as travelling by ox-cart and bicycle are still king. Traditional methods of boat building and refining of coconut products (copra) are still practised on this beautiful island.

The friendly atmosphere of this intimate island with its languid pace of life, traditional architecture and breathtaking beaches, such as legendary Anse Source d’Argent, is an absolute must for visitors. It boasts numerous and diverse accommodation for visitors, and its picturesque satellite islands nearby are ideal for snorkelling and diving excursions.

La Digue takes its name from one of the vessels in explorer Marion Dufresne's fleet, sent by the French to explore Seychelles' granitic islands in 1768.

Apart from hosting the Seychelles' black paradise flycatcher, one of the rarest birds on earth, La Digue's biodiversity features such stars as the Chinese Bittern, Cave Swiftlet, Waxbill as well as two rare species of Terrapin.  The islands forests also contain a wealth of flora in the form of delicate Orchids, tumbling vines of vanilla, as well as trees such as Indian almond and Takamaka. Gardens blaze with hibiscus and nepenthes against a backdrop of swaying coconut palms.


GOOD TO KNOW    Back to top

Time: Seychelles local time is GMT +4 hours.

Electricity:  Electrical current is 220-240 volts.  Plugs are the three prong square pins used in England.

Language:  There are three official languages in Seychelles: Creole (a lilting, French-based patois), English and French. Many Seychellois also speak fluent Italian or German.

Telephone dialling code: The international access code for Seychelles is +248. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 27 for South Africa or 44 for the United Kingdom).

Currency / Money: The Seychelles currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR).  Visitors to the islands are required by the country’s foreign exchange regulations to pay for all services provided by hotels, guesthouses and self-catering enterprises in major foreign currency notes or by credit card. Rupees can only be used for taxis, in local shops, bars, markets and restaurants outside major hotels.  Restaurants in certain hotels will accept international currency as well as Rupees. Money can be exchanged at banks, major hotels and at the airport on Mahé.  Travellers are recommended to use their Seychelles Rupees before leaving as changing Rupees back into foreign currency on departure requires the official receipt from the initial transaction. ATMs are available at major banks on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

Note: Please go to our Currency Converter for the latest rates.

Tipping: Tipping is not obligatory, as bills for most services do a include service charge of between 5 and 10%.  However additional tipping is appreciated for exceptional service.

Passports & Visas: Generally no visa is required by any nationals who wish to enter Seychelles as long as the passport is valid form the date of entry until the passengers final destination and passenger is in possession of a return ticket.
A visitor’s permit is issued upon arrival for a period of one month (subject to the validity of return / onward ticket) and can be extended for another 2 months depending on the Immigration in the Seychelles (A total of 3 months altogether).
Note:  Entry requirements change, sometimes with little notice.  Please CHECK with your World Wide Travel West Coast consultant regarding updates at the time of making a travel enquiry.

Health Requirements:  The information shown below is general with regard to health requirements.  These do change on a regular basis so check with your World Wide Travel West Coast consultant at the time of making a travel enquiry.

    • Compulsory vaccinations:  Yellow Fever (if coming from an Endemic Country or if been in contact with any East-African country and South American countries falling within the Yellow fever belt.
    • Recommended vaccinations:  Hepatitis A & Tetanus

    ACCOMMODATION   Back to top

    MAHE

    Coral Strand
    Situated as it is in the heart of the beau Vallon tourist village, this hotel offers excellent value for money for every type of traveller. Every room has air-conditioning, IDD telephone, radio, safe & balcony. En suite bathroom has bath and in-bath shower, vanity and WC. The hotel facilities include: Islander Trader restaurant for buffet breakfast & dinner, Mahek Indian speciality a la carte restaurant - Mughalai cuisine, Bistro poolside restaurant for fish and light lunches & dinner, Pool & beach bar, swimming pool, TV room and Games room.

    Leisure activities include: boathouse with canoes, windsurfers and hobie cats, PADI Diving Centre, waterskiing/parasailing nearby, two hardcourt floodlit tennis courts, volleyball etc.

    Berjaya Mahe Beach Resort
    Located on the west coast of Mahe, 15km from the capital, Victoria and 16km from the airport, the Beraja Mahe Beach Resort rise magnificently from the Indian Ocean. The resort has 173 comfortably furnished rooms and suites, all air-conditioned with private balcony, bathroom, IDD telephone, tea/coffee making facility, in-house videos and TVC. All rooms enjoy spectacular views of the ocean and 20 acres of tropical gardens. Snorkelling equipments are available at the hotel. Keep fit with a game of squash, tennis, petanque, and volleyball or make use of indoor games. The hotel offers a range of complimentary non-motorised watersports.

    Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay
    This top resort hotel, set on Mahe's most magnificent beach, is truly paradise found. Here, fun and relaxation are the order of the day, with an extensive array of watersports available, including deepsea fishing and introductory diving lessons free of charge. And if you just want to relax, you can lie on popular Beau Vallon Beach, or by the pool. A fine selection of food is offered in a choice of 4 restaurants, from Cantonese cuisine to tempting Italian fare. Nightly entertainment includes theme evenings and a live band - there s also a Casino and nightclub on the premises.

    The Plantation Club
    This 4 star hotel is situated on the southwest coast of Mahe, at Valmer, Baie Lazare, fronted by a kilometre long white sandy beach. The bedroom blocks are intelligently designed in a staggered fashion so that each balcony or terrace is completely private. The split-level bedrooms are like mini suites. A variety of lounges, cocktail bars, restaurants and a casino are clustered around a rather theatrical atrium, which opens out onto a large swimming pool, pool bar and an unusual beach restaurant. There's also a full range of water sport facilities, excepting waterskiing, which is available nearby. This is a big Hotel and has something for everybody - adults and children. Children's "Turtle Club" for accompanied children age 3 to 11 years.

    Le Meridien Fisherman's Cove
    Re- opening Spring 2004. This will allow the upgrade of the property from a four star to a five star resort. Stunning new features, additional guest cottages. A fabulous new spa and greater harmony with the beautiful surroundings will take Le Meridien Fisherman's Cove to a new level of pre-eminence when work is completed. Central to the concept is the introduction of water throughout; cascades tumbling from the highest points, disappearing and reappearing until the reach of the sea, fountains and a new infinity pools that seems to plunge into the ocean. The bedrooms designed in traditional cottage style, will be unique to the area. The site has been re-planed with a new shore-side boardwalk defining the grounds and extending to sea, taking in a new restaurant and concluding with "Sunset Pavillion", offering breathtaking views of Beau Vallon Bay.

    Sunset Beach
    Built on a headland on the northwest coast of Mahe, with its own magnificent cove and sandy beach, this small and luxurious hotel offers every facility for a magical holiday experience. The centrepiece of the hotel is the freshwater swimming pool carved out of rocks, and its terrace and pool bar that overlooks the sea and Silhouette island on the horizon. This is a small, secluded retreat, only minutes away from the action of Beau Vallon. The 17 deluxe Spanish style rooms all have patios facing the sea. This hotel particularly appeals to honeymooners and those seeking luxury and privacy in a smaller hotel with secluded atmosphere. The hotel's restaurant serves excellent International and Creole cuisine in an intimate atmosphere. Facilities include a cocktail bar, shaded terrace, games room and beautiful fresh-water swimming pool with sundeck.

    Le Petit Village
    Situated on the western end of Beau Vallon Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches of Mahe. These 10 luxury self- catering apartments have fully equipped kitchenettes with private balconies and air conditioning. The 2 bedroomed apartments sleep maximum of four adults plus there's a day bed in the lounge for a child under 10 years. The studio apartments sleep a maximum of 2 adults and a baby under 2 years of age in a cot.The apartments are serviced daily and linen is changed twice a week. Residents have access to a number of restaurants, a casino and watersport facilities within a few minutes drive away.

    Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort & Casino
    Boasts lush tropical garden and pristine white beaches just 15 km from Seychelles International Airport and a mere 5 km from the capital Victoria. All 232 rooms/suites are fully equipped, 155 standard rooms with shower facilities and 25 larger superior rooms have both ensuite bath and shower facilities and garden views. 48 chalet-style deluxe rooms also have bath, garden view and their own open air balcony. For the gourmet, the choice ranges from fine Cantonese cuisine at le canton to tempting Italian fare at the Pizzeria. The Parrot Restaurant offers traditional theme dinners or try Teppanyaki Counter for something different. The resort offers extensive watersports, paragliding, waterskiing, windsurfing, deep sea fishing and more.

    PRASLIN:

    Berjaya Preslin Beach Hotel
    Set amidst coconut palms & beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, Berjaya Praslin with 79 rooms & suites is the ultimate hideaway. Just 20 minutes by air from Seychelles International Airport & 15km from Praslin Airport the resort lures visitors to its secluded beaches and carefully preserved natural environment. To complete the setting, the well-appointed rooms and suites reflects a rustic ambience enhanced by pool, garden and sea view. To satisfy the tastebuds, savour Italian fare at the beachfront Pizzeria, Creole buffets and barbeques while Fregate Restaurant offers table d'hote dining. Whether you prefer sailing, windsurfing, diving or deep sea fishing, the resort offers a myriad of activities to keep you occupied.

    La Reserve
    This charming hotel is located on a secluded private beach at Anse Petite Cour on the northwest side of Praslin in the midst of a large tropical garden. Sheltered by the surrounding hills and the nearby island of Curieuse, the calm and shallow bay with its turquoise waters and coral reef offer an ideal place for swimming and snorkelling all year around. The Hotel has 32 rooms comprising 16 bungalows, 4 suites and 12 villas, all spacious, well furnished and tastefully decorated. There is an impressive new swimming pool complete with pool bar. Whilst trying to preserve the colonial style, this hotel offers all modern amenities, including weekly cruises, sport fishing, snorkelling and canoeing.

    Coco de Mer & Black Parrot Suites
    Situated on the southwest coast of Praslin with its own private beach, this intimate and cosy hotel is named for the unique coco de mer palm - even its swimming pool is in the shape of the coco de mer! The hotel offers 40 deluxe rooms and 12 junior suites with private balconies or terrace and lounge area, so guests can watch the sunset in total peace. Coco de Mer prides itself on its high standard of service and attention to detail. Guests can enjoy a variety of non-motorised watersports, including snorkelling, windsurfing and paddle skis. Other watersports are available on request as are tennis courts and programmes of evening entertainment.

    Acajou Hotel
    Built entirely of mahogany, Acajou seeks to introduce a new concept of living in the midst of nature. Situated on the Cote d'Or beach, which stretches along the islands northern coast, he hote's 24 standard and 4 superior, tastefully decorated rooms form sea-facing wings on the ground floor which cradle the swimming pool and garden. Facilities include a lunge bar and a main restaurant overlooking the lush garden and beach and offering delicious Creole and international cuisine. This charming hotel is within walking distance of a prestigious casino and a mere 5 minutes drive from the jetty at Baie Ste. Anne.

    LA DIQUE:

    La Dique Islands Lodge
    The most well known hotel on the island offers a variety of accommodation styles, all within a stone's throw of the beach at Anse Reunion. It offers suits, rondavels or A-frame rooms, all air-conditioned. There is a total of 60 rooms, 9 of which are contained within the attractive colonial Yellow House, which was built in the early 1900's and is one of Seychelles' National Heritage buildings. The Robinson and Crusoe chalets built of local takamaka wood and thatched with latanier leaves, have been carefully arranged amidst the lush vegetation of a tropical garden and some have direct access to the beach. Watersports are offered at the Diving Centre, including snorkelling, diving courses, fishing & trips to other islands.

    CERF ISLAND MARINE PARK RESORT:

    The Resort
    Situated at the entrance of the Marine Park, Cerf Island marine Park offers 12 private and luxurious , within a naturally elegant 5 star Resort. (5 Timber lodges, 4 Hillside Lodges and 3 Hideaway Lodges). All the Lodges offer beautiful views of the tropical vegetation and patches of the Indian Ocean. All allow for fantastic sunsets. The resort boasts a fine dining restaurant, infinity pool, pool bar and beach side dining, secluded full service beach, relaxing lounge, and private mini spa.

    Saint Anne Resort

    The charm of this superb hotel is the accommodation in exclusive villas scattered among the natural scenery of Saint Anne Island in the Seychelles, 10 minutes from the main island, Mahe.

    The accent is on unbridled luxury its guests to relax in peace and privacy.

    The spacious villas (200 sq.m) are designed for outdoor living each with a private garden and a gazebo with a lovely seaview.

    Three presidential Villas offer a living space of 300 sq. m. An elevated 500 sq. m three bedroom, royal villa boasts private pool and panoramic terrace, set apart from the main hotel offering exquisite luxury in an exotic environment. Superb cuisine at a choice of the following restaurants; L'Abondance is the main restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Le Mont Fleuri is an a la carte restaurant, serving lunch and dinner.

    Services include health and beauty centre and helipad.

    Bicycles and electric carts are also available.

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