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Country Overview – Seychelles Islands

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Fast Facts About Seychelles


  • Languages: English, French, Creole
  • Population: 87,122
  • Capital city: Victoria
  • Currency: Rupee (SCR)
  • People: European, Asian, and African
  • President: James Michel
  • Government: Multiple-party republic. Independence in June 29, 1976
  • Religion: Catholic 82.3%
  • Climate: The climate is equable and comfortable, although quite humid, as the islands are small and subject to marine influences. The temperature varies little throughout the year.
  • Average Temp: Between 24°C to 30°C
  • Major Industries: The economy in Seychelles rests on tourism and fishing

 


Accommodation in Seychelles


Seychelles offers accommodation to suit every travellers preference and budget. There is a wide range of affordable, new and refurbished hotels, self-catering chalets and charming Creole guesthouses are joining the ranks of existing 5-star hotels and exclusive island retreats. Seychelles offers memorable stays among welcoming Creole people and stunning natural surrounds. 16 of Seychelles 115 islands currently offer accommodation with more Islands expected to develop hotel facilities in the near future.

 


When to go


Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April, May and October, November when the water temperature reach up to 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus. The best time to visit Seychelles is, Always! Seychelles is a year round destination and provides beautiful weather during all seasons. The north-westerly trade winds blow from October to March when wind speeds average from 8 to 12 knots; and cooler slightly windier conditions can be experienced from May to September with winds of between 10 to 20 knots. The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October.


Climate


Seychelles’ enviable climate is always warm and without extremes. Temperatures seldom drop below 24°C or rise above 32°C.

  • Rainy season between January and February
  • Sea most calm between October and March
  • Cooler weather and livelier seas between May and September

 

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

Relative Humidity (%)

82

80

80

80

79

79

80

80

79

79

80

82

Predominant Wind Direction

NW

NW

NW

SW-NW

SE

SE

SE

SE

SE

SE

SW-NW

NW

Wind Speed (kts)

6.3

6.3

5.2

4.9

7.8

10.4

11.4

12.1

11.3

7.9

5.4

5.4

 


Tides in Seychelles Tides are semi-diurnal and asymmetrical with about 6 hours between high tide and low tide. The tidal range around the Inner Islands can get as high as 2 metres at spring tides and as low as 0.9 metres at neaps. Tides give rise to currents that can be strong in the channels leading to lagoons, which may empty completely at low tide.


Services


Communications 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.


Electricity 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.


Healthcare 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 SCR75 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 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 from SCR300 for private dental clinics.


Infrastructure Public investment in infrastructure and strong foreign direct investment inflows in the tourism sector have kept construction buoyant, with its share of GDP at around 10%. Given the shortage of arable land, agriculture, forestry, and fishing (excluding tuna) make a small contribution to national output.


Money


Currency in Seychelles:

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. 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. 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. 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.


Banks in Seychelles:

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.


Credit Cards and Traveler's Cheques in Seychelles

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).


Language


Seychelles Creole is a creole language spoken in the Seychelles by about 70,000 people. It is one of the official languages of the Seychelles, along with French and English. It is a French-based Creole and has much in common with Mauritian Creole. Other names include Seselwa Creole French, Seselwa and Seselwa Kreol.

Hello - "Allo"

Nice to meet you - "Plezir"

Thank you - "Mersi"

How are you? - "Komansava?"

What’s up? - "Ki dil?"

Yes - "Wi"

Goodbye - "Orevwar"


Culture


The people of Seychelles also known as Seychellois are from a variety of different races, cultures and religions. At different times in its history, people of African, European and Asian origin have come to Seychelles, bringing with them their distinct traditions and customs and contributing to the way of life and to the vibrant Seychellois culture. One can see these influences at work throughout the domains of local art, cuisine, music, dance and architecture. The architectural design of some of the grand old houses with their steep roofs are representative of a style adapted for comfortable living in the tropics that displays influences from Seychelles’ French and British colonial heritage. Modern architecture attempts to assimilate traditional styles with practical features designed to capture the island breezes. Local artists continue to exhibit diverse styles that echo the multi-ethnic backdrop of the islands and bear testament to the various influences which have come to bear.  Creole music and dance have their roots in African, Malagasy and European cultures with rhythms traditionally accompanied by simple drums and string instruments which, today, include such recent imports as the violin and guitar.


Seychelles Travel Tips


What to pack

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.

 

Travel insurance

It is imperative that you have travel insurance. Even though they do not check any certificates when you enter the airports, for your own peace of mind, make sure that you are adequately covered.


Crime in Seychelles

Although Seychelles has a relatively low level of crime it is advisable not to carry large sums of money, items of value or important documents such as passports on your person. Most hotels offer facilities for safeguarding these. Similarly, do not take these to the beach or leave them in your hired vehicle or on display in your hotel room.


 

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2 Travellers Comments
Written by Martha Levendal

MrsI had a marvelous

I had a marvelous holiday in the Seychelles and I am going back there , come what may.
Written by Hannelie

Ms

Hi Candis 
We had a wonderful time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Thanx for the bags you send us. 
The hotel is upgraded lately and it looks stunning. It has been paved all around the swimming area, the rooms have air cons, kettles etc. and sometimes a TV and a fridge. 
The excursions are really value for money. I paid $105pp for the coral reef trip. They collected us at the hotel at 8:30, took us to the harbour where we got onto the catamaran. They were extremely gentle with my two elderly parents. 
We went down in the sub-marine, did some scuba diving, having a divine meal, and took us with the rubber duck to Surfer Island and then gliding with the wind towards the open see, etc. 
After the most wonderful day we were back just after 5 o'clock at the Hotel. 
On another day I hired a Suzuki Jeep (to accommodate the wheelchair). That cost me $55 for the day, as well as 300 Rupees for petrol. I took stunning photos. 
I met this guy, a local, a dentist etc. He said that the beach at Coral Strand was the best. He drove 12km every day after work to have a swim & coffee at Coral strand Hotel. 
I'll send some photos later. 
Thanx for all the arrangements 
Hannelie

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