This section aims to provide you with instant knowledge of the destination, orientating you in such a way as to allow you to make the most of your vacation. Everything you need to know is here, from immigration and health requirements to banking regulations and credit cards, medical services and information about electricity, communications and drinking water.
Of particular note is the ENTRY FORMALITIES section that lists all the requirements for entering Seychelles. Among other things, it advises that, whatever the nationality of the visitor and his or her family members, NO VISAS are required for entry.
Clicking on a particular topic below will show its details.
The following is a list of prices of certain essential commodities intended to give visitors an idea of the cost of living in Seychelles and, so, their approximate expenditure. For updated exchange rates, please visit the Central Bank of Seychelles website.
The international dialling code for Seychelles is 248.
Seychelles enjoys modern, efficient communication services. At present, there are two GSM networks in operation, Cable & Wireless and Airtel. Payphones are available in most districts on the Inner Islands while the international roaming agreements in force between Seychelles and an increasing number of countries are always looking to provide more comprehensive services.
The offices of internet service providers, internet cafés, postal and courier services are located in or around central Victoria. Among the increasing number of Internet cafés, several may be found in the Beau Vallon area on Mahé, as well as on Praslin and La Digue. Postal services are also available on Praslin and La Digue.
MasterCard / Access and Visa cards are widely accepted while Diners Club and American Express cards are honoured to a somewhat lesser extent. Such cards may be used for car hire, hotel and restaurant services, for all of which the visitor will be charged in foreign currency. Shops and boutiques accepting credit cards will typically display the relevant card logo on their doors or windows.
ATM facilities exist at major banks on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and at the airport on Mahé and Praslin. These machines provide cash in local currency; Seychelles Rupees (SCR).
The duty free allowance for all liquors (including wine, beer, stout, ale and port) perfumes and tobacco is:
All personal possessions intended to be re-exported on departure are exempt from tax. In addition to the duty free allowances listed above, each visitor may import tax-free a video camera, other camera, musical instrument, portable electronic or electric equipment, sports requisites and other leisure equipment.
Offensive weapons such as stun guns, mace, bows and arrows, knuckle dusters, daggers, swords, tear gas, whips, firearms and ammunition are prohibited imports unless the appropriate import permit or official authorization has been obtained in advance from the relevant authorities.
This also applies to spear guns, fireworks, pyrotechnic products and explosives of any kind.
The import of plants and parts of plants, animals and animal products, biological specimens, radioactive substances and apparatus, dangerous drugs, chemicals, medicines, pharmaceutical items and poisons is forbidden without the necessary import permit or official authorization having been obtained in advance from the relevant authorities.
The value of food items brought into Seychelles by a passenger must not be in excess of the SCR3,000 personal/household allowance unless the relevant import permits have been obtained in advance.
Pornography in the form of obscene articles, publications, video tapes and software is strictly forbidden.
Where goods are imported in excess of allowances, payment of import tax is to be made in cash (or personal cheque drawn on a local account). Credit card facilities are not available for the payment of import tax.
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 from countries other than the United Kingdom are advised to bring their own adaptors.
Irrespective of the nationality of the visitor and his or her family members, there are NO VISA requirements to enter Seychelles. However, the following documents must be shown in order to obtain immigration clearance at the Seychelles International Airport:
1) A passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles
2) Return or onward ticket
3) Proof of accommodation; including contact details
4) Sufficient funds for the duration of the stay
Holders of a "Kinderausweis" issued to German minors (up to and including 15 years of age) may enter
Presentation of all of the above documents will grant you a Visitor’s Permit that will be issued upon arrival by the Seychelles Department of Immigration.
The Visitor’s Permit is initially valid for the period of visit of up to one month. It can be extended for a period of up to three months from the date of issue and capable of further extensions for successive periods not exceeding three months at a time to a maximum period of twelve months, provided that the person still meets the criteria of a bona fide visitor.
The visitor's permit is issued free of charge for the first three months after which there is a fee of SCR1,000 for extension covering each period of three months or any part thereof.
For all visa exemptions and extensions and other enquiries regarding immigration issues please contact:
Department of Immigration
On the main islands of Mahé and Praslin getting around by bus is easy with designated bus stops on all routes. On Mahé the central bus depot is in Victoria and services the various districts between 0530hrs and 2200hrs, although services on most routes are less frequent after 1830hrs. Consult a detailed bus schedule, which can be obtained from the bus depot, for exact departure and arrival times.
Independently operated taxis are available on Mahé and Praslin, and a handful on La Digue. You can hail one from the street, at designated taxi stands or by simply phoning a driver directly. It is advisable to request a metered ride, or if a particular taxi is not equipped with a meter, quotes should be negotiated and agreed prior to the trip. Many drivers will take clients on sightseeing tours for a set tariff.
Cars may be hired only on Mahé and Praslin with several companies represented at the International airport on Mahé and at the larger hotels. Hire vehicles, which can also be booked through your ground handling operator, range from Mini-Mokes to saloon cars, 4-wheel drives, chauffeured Mercedes Benz and small vans. A valid E.U. or International licence is required to rent vehicles and most companies will deliver your rental to a location of your choice. Vehicles are driven on the left-hand side.
There are also the services of knowledgeable guides who will help you to discover the numerous walking trails and interesting sites on the islands, by foot or in the comfort of a tour bus.
You can also discover the islands by bicycle, readily available for hire on La Digue and Praslin, where they are a popular mode of transport.
Island-hopping is made possible through a regular network of air and sea transport primarily operating out of the principal island, Mahé.
Air Seychelles operates a shuttle service between Mahé and Praslin, the second largest island. The flight lasts only 15 minutes with an average of 20 return flights every day. Air Seychelles also operates other inter-island flights, usually on the request of hotels to Bird, Denis, Desroches and Alphonse Islands.
Also part of the air network is Helicopter Seychelles, which is a helicopter charter company specialising in island transfers, excursions and chartered scenic flights throughout Seychelles. The Islands Development Company (IDC) specialises in charter flights mostly to the Outer Islands of Seychelles.
Two types of sea ferry operate in Seychelles: the traditional and the modern. The traditional, sail-assisted schooner-type ferry chiefly operates from the Inter-Island Quay of Victoria on Mahé to Baie Ste. Anne Jetty on Praslin (2½hrs duration), or to La Passe Jetty on La Digue (3hrs duration).
The modern mode is the Cat Cocos service, a fast and modern catamaran that operates transfers between the Inter-Island Quay of Victoria and the Baie Ste. Anne Jetty on Praslin (less than 1hour duration).
There is NO risk of contracting malaria, yellow fever, cholera or other common tropical diseases in Seychelles.
No vaccinations are required except in the case of yellow fever where a vaccination is required for travellers over 1 year of age who have come from, or passed through a partly or wholly infected area within the preceding 6 days. Infected areas include certain parts of northern and central South America and central Africa. (South Africa is not considered an infected area.)
Persons travelling to Seychelles via Nairobi, Kenya and who remain in transit in Kenya do not require a vaccination against yellow fever.
Medical facilities and call-out doctors are available to visitors on request from accommodation establishments and island resorts.
Private clinics/doctors’ rates vary. A call-out can cost from SCR350 to SCR500 and a consultation in a clinic for all non-residents ranges from SCR70 to SCR150.
Government clinics are located in most areas and charge a fee of SCR100 for non-resident consultation.
For emergency situations please call 999.
There are several dental outlets on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Clinics are generally open from 0800hrs-1600hrs and call-outs can also be made for visitors on request from most accommodation establishments. The average charge for oral examinations, extractions and dressings is SCR100 for government dental clinics and SCR300 for private dental clinics.
The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR) which is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in 5, 10, 25 cents, and 1 and 5 Rupee denominations. Notes come in 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 Rupee denominations.
Exchange rates are featured on the Central Bank of Seychelles website, in the Nation newspaper and are also available at all banks.
Banking hours are generally Monday-Friday 0800hrs-1400hrs, and Saturday 0800hrs-1100hrs. All banks process traveller’s cheques and foreign exchange transactions. Passports are required for visitors’ transactions and nominal commissions may be charged. ATM facilities exist at major banks on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and at the airport on Mahé and Praslin. Please note that these provide cash in local currency.
Visitors to the islands are now entitled to make payments for services/products in Seychelles rupees. The discretion to pay in another currency other than the Seychelles rupee shall lay solely with the visitor. Exchange rates will be determined by the market and may differ from bank to bank or at various bureaux de change.
Exchanging foreign currency into Seychelles Rupees must only be done at banks, with authorised money dealers such as a bureau de change, or with other licenced operators.
Visitors should refrain from exchanging money with any individuals who approach them in a public place as there is a very high possibility that those persons are engaging in unauthorized dealing, possibly with counterfeit currency.
BE WARNED! It is a criminal offence to change money with any person or business other than those authorised to do so and who are mentioned above.Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Seychelles. When acquiring rupees by credit card, it is advisable to exchange only what is needed on a daily basis.
Subject to availability at the different banks, visitors wishing to exchange Seychelles Rupees for foreign currency may shop around at banks and bureaux de change in order to gain the best rate.
Seychelles enjoys a low level of crime. Nevertheless, it is still advisable to take some routine precautions to ensure your personal safety and that of your possessions.
Walking alone on isolated beaches, swimming alone or leaving yachts unlocked at their moorings is not advisable.
It is also not recommended to carry large sums of money or valuables on your person, to leave them unguarded in your room or in the boot of your car or to advertise the fact that you possess them.
Most accommodation establishments offer room or reception safes to secure valuables and visitors are advised to take advantage of this service.
Following are the list of public holidays in Seychelles for 2008.
New Year - 1st & 2nd January
Labour Day - 1st May
Liberation Day - 5th June
National Day - 18th June
Independence Day - 29th June
Good Friday – 21st March
Easter Sunday – 23rd March
Corpus Christi – 22nd May
Assumption Day - 15th August
All Saints’ Day - 1st November
Immaculate Conception - 8th December
Christmas Day - 25th December
Seychelles is 4 hours ahead of GMT, 3 hours ahead of British summer time and 2 hours ahead of European summer time.
Visitors may enjoy almost 12 hours of daylight throughout the year with sunrise occurring just after 0600hrs and the sun setting around 1830hrs.
The table below highlights the time difference with other countries:
Most charges (restaurant, hotel, taxis, porters, etc) already include a 5% to 10% service charge or "tip" and so tipping is not obligatory in Seychelles.
However, as a reward for exceptional service, a nominal tip is sure to be warmly received.
Tap water meets W.H.O. (World Health Organization) specifications and is safe to drink nation-wide.
Because tap water is chlorinated, visitors may prefer to drink bottled water, of which several different brands are widely available in shops, restaurants and hotel bars.
Light clothing suitable for Seychelles’ warm tropical climate is recommended and visitors should prepare themselves for the relatively hot, humid atmosphere. Also, for plenty of sun.
Bring hats, sunglasses and adequate UV protection - SPF30+ is advisable. It is important to remember that even on an overcast day the tropical sun is still strong and able to cause unpleasant sunburn. Wearing a t-shirt for the first swim or snorkel is a good idea.
A camera is an absolute must! Please bring a stock of film (particularly for non-standard cameras and video cameras) together with a supply of batteries.
Casual eveningwear (long trousers for men), together with appropriate footwear, is necessary for dining out and for gaining entrance to casinos and most hotels.
Sturdy walking shoes are recommended if you intend to take guided walk and trail excursions.
Visitors suffering from a specific medical condition should be sure to bring an adequate stock of the appropriate medication along as well as their preferred brand of sun cream, mosquito repellent etc.