About Seychelles

A PRESTIGIOUS ISLAND GETAWAY AND EXCLUSIVE DESTINATION WHERE THE RICH AND FAMOUS PLAY UNDISTURBED, YET THE DISCERNING TRAVELLER FINDS THE ISLAND GETAWAY OF THEIR DREAMS - NO MATTER WHAT THEIR BUDGET.

The capital of Seychelles is Victoria, a quaint ‘city’ situated on the main island of Mahé. The three main inhabited islands are Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

The population of Seychelles is roughly 96,000 people, most of which reside on Mahé. Historically, the people and culture of Seychelles is a blend of European (French and British settlers), African (Freed African Slaves) and Asian (Indian and Chinese merchants). This makes for a colourful and rich cultural heritage shared and enjoyed peacefully by its people.

The official languages are English, French and Seychellois Creole. Most visitors get by on English as it is predominant, and French speakers will have no problem speaking French to most locals or even understanding some Creole.

The primary religion practiced in Seychelles is Catholic and there are many churches around the main islands. There are also several Anglican, Adventist and Jehovah’s Witness churches, as well as Mosques and Hindu temples for the minorities.

The time-zone is UTC+04:00 and the country dialling code is +248 (number).

GETTING THERE

Where is Seychelles?

Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean off the East Coast of Africa. The capital island, Mahé, is situated approximately 1600km from the African Coast and lies at 4.62° S, 55.45° E. Seychelles is out of the cyclone belt and enjoys a stable weather system all year round.

There are daily flights in & outbound to and from most major cities around the globe and many airlines make regular stops to our sunny shores.

Arriving at Seychelles International Airport on the main island of Mahé, domestic flights to many of the other islands take off regularly and private plane, helicopter and sea transfers can be arranged through Mason’s Travel, as well as ferry bookings to Praslin and La Digue.

Seychelles International Airport also includes all the facilities for private jets and a full service VIP Lounge.

Airlines that operate to and from Seychelles include Air Seychelles, British Airways, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Kenyan Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Condor, Mihin Lanka, Qatar Airways and Air Austral.

AN ISLAND NATION

115  Seychelles Islands

The Seychelles Archipelago is made up of the inner granitic islands and the outer coralline islands and atolls. All together 115 islands, strung like pearls in the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean collectively make up this paradise island getaway.

 The islands can be broadly categorised as the ‘inner islands’ – those centralised around the main island of Mahé – and the ‘outer islands,’ which are located beyond the Mahé Plateau and much further away.

THE INNER ISLANDS

Masons Travel DMC Seychelles_Seychelles Hikes

Mahé

Mahé, the largest and most populated island, is the centre of commerce in Seychelles, and is home to the capital of Victoria, the international airport, many large hotels and resorts, a diverse selection of small hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments. Mahé is also home to the highest mountain in Seychelles, and the islands topography offers clients a nice variety of picture perfect beaches, mountain vistas and lush tropical forests. Mahé is also the cultural and historical hub of the country, boasting an array of attractions for visitors.

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Praslin

Praslin, the second largest island is more sparsely populated and offers a laid back experience for visitors. The Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is found here, and this prehistoric forest is a beauty to behold any fortunate enough to visit. Surrounded by  many satellite islands, Praslin offers the opportunity to island hop and visit many of these on day trips, including Curieuse, Cousin, Cousine,  Felicité, the Sister Islands, and of course, La Digue.

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La Digue

La Digue is a popular destination for tourists due to its unique charm and stunning scenery. This is island lifestyle at its best, and life  remains laid back at its core. The favoured mode of transport is the  bicycle or ox-cart, but the island is small enough to get by on foot. La Digue is home to the world famous beach, Anse Source d’Argent, a  magical landscape of sculptural boulders and pristine beach – possibly  the most photographed beach in the world! The island is also home to L’Union Estate. This coconut plantation and mill is a living example of  what life was like in Seychelles 200 years ago.

Other inner-islands that offer accommodation include:

  • St. Anne
  • Cerf Island
  • Round Island
  • Fregate
  • Felicité
  • Cousine
  • Silhouette
  • North Island
  • Denis Island
  • Bird Island

THE OUTER ISLANDS AND ATOLLS

Speckled in the Seychelles waters lie the magnificent outer islands. True paradise awaits anyone who ventures beyond the beaten path and discovers  these jewels of creation. Only two  of these islands feature private luxury resorts, where the ultimate in indulgence awaits visitors to  these paradisiac oases. These are  Desroches and Alphonse Islands.

 For the  adventurous traveller, the other uninhabited outer islands atolls – the ultimate in untouched and pristine natural splendour – can be visited courtesy of private yacht charter   (speak to a Masons Travel Representative). These include Poivre, the St. Joseph Atoll, the Amirantes Group, African Banks, the Farquhar Group and , of course, the iconic Aldabra Atoll.

Outer-islands that offer accommodation include:

  • Alphonse
  • Astove
  • Cosmoledo
  • Desroches

ISLAND HOPPING:

The beauty of the Seychelles is that each and every island is so diverse and unique in its charm.
Seychelles is made up of 115 islands, so why be stuck on just one? With Mason’s Travel we make it easy to plan a holiday that makes the most of the Seychelles experience. We know Seychelles best, and we take care of everything, so you don’t have to, ensuring client satisfaction trip after successful trip – with us, an Island Hopping adventure becomes a reality!

The Weather & Climate of Seychelles

Please note that in the South East Monsoon the seas can be rough, and it is advisable to travel by domestic flight if one suffers from sea sickness.

The South-East Monsoon also may bring seaweed deposits to some beaches across Seychelles, which may affect the experience of some guests.

Seychelles is out of the cyclone belt and enjoys a stable weather system, and dangerous weather conditions are extremely rare. Temperatures remain constant and range between 24 and 31 degrees Celsius year round (75 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit). The Archipelago is affected by two main weather systems – the  South East Monsoon / Trade-Winds and the North-West Monsoon / Trade-Winds.

The North-West Monsoon – From December to April

Generally, this time of year is wetter and hotter than the remaining months, but still just as pleasant for a trip to Seychelles. As a rule, the south – eastern parts of any of the islands will enjoy calmer seas than those affected by the north-westerly winds – this is something to consider when booking your accommodation.

The South East Monsoon – From May to November

During this time, temperatures are generally cooler and there is less rainfall. As a rule, the north-western parts of any of the islands will enjoy calmer seas than  those affected by the south-easterly winds – this is something to consider when booking your accommodation.

Visa & Entrance Requirements for Seychelles

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:

  • A passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles
  • Return or onward ticket
  • Proof of accommodation; including contact details
  • Sufficient funds for the duration of the stay

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.

Traditionally visitors to the Seychelles do not require a Visa regardless of the nationality of the person. However, in view of the recent health  concerns on the Covid-19 virus, the Public Health commissioner has announced certain travel restrictions. Please view our Covid-19 resource page for the latest information and entry requirements.

Department of Immigration website: www.ics.gov.sc

Currency and Living Costs in Seychelles

The currency in Seychelles is the ‘Seychelles Rupee (SCR). United States Dollar, Euro, British Pound and South African Rand can be exchanged at most forex  outlets and major banks across Seychelles. Most establishments accept credit cards, with VISA and MasterCard being the most common and widely accepted. American Express and Diners Club are accepted at selected hotels.

Tax Refunds for Visitors

Visitors leaving Seychelles can claim a refund on Value Added Tax (VAT) of 15% on certain taxable goods purchased during their stay in the Seychelles. Before entering the Departure Lounge, there is a Customs Office nearby where clients will have to go and show their VAT receipt alongside the goods bought. Once this procedure is done, clients can proceed to Departure Lounge going through Immigration and Security, and then guided to collect their refund should there be any.

Excursion - Peaks of Paradise (4)

Here is an example of the estimated cost of certain goods at local stores:

  • Beer: SCR 28 / bottle
  • Papaya: SCR 60
  • Coconut: SCR50
  • Bananas: SCR35
  • Milk: SCR 30
  • Nappies: SCR 190
  • Bottled Water: SCR 15 / 500ml
  • Bread: SCR 20 per loaf
  • Soft Drinks: SCR 20 / 500ml

Did You Know?  
Mason’s Exchange can handle all  visitors’ foreign exchange needs, and outlets are conveniently located on the  main island of Mahé. Please advise your clients to visit us on Mahé at Mason’s Head Office,  Revolution Avenue, Victoria | Tel: 428 8800

Medical Services in Seychelles

There are several private clinics that offer professional medical and dental services. Local clinics are spread over the three main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, and the Seychelles National hospital is located in Victoria on Mahé and another smaller branch at Anse Royale. There is also a branch at Baie Ste.Anne on Praslin and La Passe, on La Digue. Health clinics can be found in most districts. Their respective contact numbers can be supplied by your hotel or by contacting your Mason’s Travel rep.

 However, in the case of a guest emergency, we advise them to contact our 24/7 hotline (+248 428 8888) and we will make all the necessary arrangements based on the prevailing situation, and can even organise domestic and international medi-vacs if necessary.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS IN SEYCHELLES

Police: Emergency  999    |    Hotline  133
Central Police Station: +248 428 8000
Hospitals: Emergency  151
+248 438 8000 (Mahe)  |  +248 423 2333 (Praslin)  |  +248 423 4255 (La Digue)
Fire & Rescue Services: Emergency  999    |   Hotline +248 432 3 42
Risk & Disaster Management: +248 467 2210 | +248 467 2211

Communications & Internet in Seychelles

Cellular Networks: Airtel and Cable & Wireless are the two local cell phone coverage service  providers in Seychelles, and sim-cards can be bought at various outlets and local stores around the  three main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and at the International Airport on arrival.

WiFi Access: Wifi is freely available at almost hotels and guest houses, and some restaurants may offer this service.  Kokonet and iSurf offer Wifi hotspots across the main islands and Pay-As-You-Go recharge vouchers can be bought to give you access to these networks.

Internet access may be limited on some of the outer islands.

Internet Cafés: Internet cafés can be found across various locations on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

Postal Services: The Post office opening hours, for those that prefer the old traditional way of communicating with loved ones, are: Mon-Fri: 0800hrs-1600hrs  and Saturdays from 0800hrs-1200hrs. Postcards can be bought from various vendors around the main islands. Courier companies, such as DHL, are also  available.