Seychelles

The Seychelles is an archipelago nation of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) east of mainland Africa. Often referred to as the 'Jewel of the Indian Ocean', this Archipelago is the very definition of Paradise.

Huge granite rocks, giant palm trees with embarrassingly shaped nuts, turquoise inlets fringed by lush green takamakas shading the fine white sand beaches. This is the idyllic image we all have about Seychelles islands, and deservedly so, for most of these islands are stunningly beautiful.

The Inner Islands which are mostly granitic, cluster mainly around the principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, forming the cultural and economic hub of Seychelles, as well as the centre of its tourism industry. Together they are home to the majority of Seychelles’ facilities as well almost the entire population of the archipelago. There are 43 Inner islands in total – 41 granitic and 2 coralline.

On the hundred or so islands in the Seychelles, scattered over an area of 400,000 square kilometres of ocean, you can discover primeval mistforests, huge flocks of sea birds and giant tortoises, black parrots and the flightless white-throated rail bird (related to the extinct Dodo).

There are old plantation houses, ruins of leper hospitals, pirate graves and legends of buried treasure. Then, of course there are the famous beaches - miles of deserted powdery white sands, surrounded by coral reefs and sparkling lagoons.

The islands are home to over 100 different plant species, particularly well-known is the Coco de mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the 'love nut' because of its suggestive shape, the coco-de-mer is the world's largest seed.

Giant tortoises populate many of the islands of the Seychelles and host some of the largest seabird colonies in the world. species including the sooty tern, fairy tern, white-tailed tropicbird, noddies and frigate birds.

The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. Unafraid of snorkelers and divers, more than 1000 species of fish have been recorded.

Add to all this the fabulous sailing conditions between the islands and the easy going lifestyle of the local population and you have all you need within a 60 miles radius of the main island of Mahé.

The tropical climate and colourful culture of the Seychellois people make this unique group of Islands the ultimate yacht charter destination.

» Beautiful beaches
» Line of sight navigation
» Picturesque harbours
» Abundant marine life
» Diverse sailing options
» Stunning natural environment

Weather Conditions

Climate

General weather for Seychelles

From May to October, almost constant winds blow south-easterly with clear skies. The winds drop in November and give way to north-westerly’s bringing heavy rains clouds. Heaviest rainfall is in January and can reach 370mm/4.5 in.

The south-easterly wind pattern returns in April. In between these two periods there are two shorts periods of flat calms or light winds. April and May are the sunniest months; however, the cloudiest months still manage a daily average of 5.30 hours of sun.

These slight climate changes barely affect the temperature which remains at a steady 28°- 30°C (82°-86°F) and the level of humidity which is close to 80% year around. In the Seychelles, weather is constantly changing.

The entire Seychelles area is subject to currents that develop with the monsoon. The NW monsoon gives rise to a current to the East from December to April. Its average speed is 1.5 Knots, though speeds of 4 knots have been recorded locally. In April the current reverses. From June to September, currents flow westwards at a regular rate of 1.2 Knots but passages through flats can increase the speed to approximately 4 Knots. The return to currents flowing east takes place in December.

Tides

Tides are 6 hours between high tide and low tide. The tidal range is as low as 1.80m at spring tides and 1.40m at neap tides. Tides give rise to currents which can be quite strong in the straits between the Islands or in the channel leading to lagoons, which may empty completely at low tide. There can be quite considerable differences in height between the two daily high tides.

Weather Forecast

SBC, Seychelles Boarding Corporation, the public radio of Seychelles on medium wave 1368 KHz broadcasts a weather report in Creole between 7.30am and 8.15am. The same weather bulletin is broadcast in English between 8.30am and 8.45am. Seychelles Radio can provide a forecast on request on VHF channel 16. Clearance on channel 26 or 27. The weather station on Mahe (37 33 37) issues a detailed bulletin covering the remote islands.


Average Conditions - Seychelles


  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

High Temperature (c)

28

29

29

30

29

28

27

27

28

28

29

28

Low Temperature (c)

24

24

25

25

25

25

24

24

24

24

24

24

Precipitation (mm)

386

267

234

183

170

102

84

69

130

155

231

340

Average Sunshine Hours

6

7

7

8

9

8

8

9

7

8

8

6


Current Forecast:

Victoria
Day Temp Wind Wave Vis Weather
Thu
21st
31°C
SSE

16 kts

6.4 ft 5 miles
Fri
22nd
32°C
SE

14 kts

6.0 ft 4 miles
Sat
23rd
31°C
SE

13 kts

5.1 ft 4 miles
Sun
24th
30°C
SE

13 kts

4.8 ft 4 miles
Mon
25th
31°C
SE

14 kts

5.1 ft 4 miles

General Information

Arrival & Departure

There are two seperate bases - Praslin and Mahe.

Servicing Airlines:
Air Seychelles
Aeroflot Soviet Airlines
Air Austral
Air France
Air Mauritius
Kenya Airways
Lufthansa German Airlines
Emirates Airlines
Qatar Airlines

Customs & Immigration
Entry Formalities: 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 and 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.

Customs Formalities: The duty free allowance for all liquors (including wine, beer, stout, ale and port) perfumes and tobacco is: 400 cigarettes or 500g of tobacco, 2 litres of Spirits or 2 litres of wine, 200ml of Perfume or Eau de Toilette.

Airport
Seychelles International Airport: Mahe Airport Enquiries - 248 38 42 40

Taxes / Departure Tax
Everyone must pay a US$40 departure tax when leaving the country.

Car Rental 
Avis, Europcar, Hertz and other companies are located at the airport. The average price is from 55 to 90€ per day with insurance.

Ferry Services
Commute between islands using the ferry companies listed below:

Inter Island Ferry Service: www.seychelles.net/iif
Cat Cocos: www.catcocos.com

General Information
Area: 455 sq km (approx. 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC) 
Population: 87,476 
People: The Seychellois are extremely hospitable people and, for the most part, they live simple island lives. Nearly 90% of this mixed nation dwells on the main island, Mahé, with the remaining few scattered across the smaller islands. 
Capital: Victoria 
Time: GMT + 4. Four hours ahead of London. Nine hours ahead of New York (EST). Daylight savings time is not observed. 
Language: Creole, English and French are spoken widely. Any of these will suffice at the major hotels, attractions, shops, banks, etc. Some members of the travel industry speak German and Italian.  Translation services when in the country are available. 
Religions: Roman Catholic (82.3%), Anglican, Seventh Day Adventist, other Christian, Hindu, Muslim, other non-Christian. 
Currency: The Seychelles Rupee (SCR) 
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. 
Tipping: Most charges (restaurant, hotel, taxis, porters, etc) already include a 5% to 10% service charge or "tip." Additional tipping is not expected but some people round up to the next convenient amount, especially when paying by cash. 

Hotels 
Le Relax Hotel & Restaurant - Mahe 
The Wharf - Mahe 
Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort & Casino*** - Mahe 
Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove***** - Mahe 
Le Méridien Barbarons - Mahe 
Coral Strand Hotel*** - Mahe

Restaurants
The Wharf - Creole and international cooking, Breakfast and bar. 
Pirate Arms Restaurant & Bar - Creole & International food. 
Marie Antoinette Restaurant - Creole food 
Boat House Restaurant - Creole buffet and BBQ 
La Scala Restaurant - Creole & Gastronomic fish menu. 
Tante Mimi Restaurant – Casino des Iles - Chef ’s exotic dishes. 
Patatran Restaurant - Creole menu.

Post Office 
The Post Office is situated in the centre of the town of Victoria (Independence Avenue).  Open Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm and Saturday 8:00am to 12:00am.

Internet Connectivity
Double Click Maison La Rosière,Victoria Tel: + 248 61 05 90 
Digitech Internet Salamat House, La Poudrière,Victoria Tel: + 248 22 55 21 
Verimedia Cote d’Or, Praslin Tel: + 248 23 21 57
Tourist Information Centres 
Independence Avenue, Victoria - Tel: + 248 61 08 00
STB – Seychelles Tourism Board, Bel Ombre, Mahé - Tel: + 248 62 00 00

Banks & Money Exchange
Banks
Barclays Bank, Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) & Habib Bank.
Hours of Operation:  Open weekdays from 8:15 am until 2:30 pm and Saturday until 11:00 am
Cash Machines:  Victoria, Praslin and La Digue located in front of each bank (24h/24h).

Currencies / Money Exchange
Credit Cards accepted: American Express, Eurocard/MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted.
Currency: The Local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR).
Exchange Rate valid as of: 21/8/2009
£1 = 21.39 SCR
$1 = 12.97 SCR
€1 = 18.36 SCR
Important:  Visitors are required to use only foreign currency when making payments to hotels and guesthouses and when paying for other hospitality-related expenses such as hiring cars or boats, the services of tour operators or travel agents, patronage of the casino, and domestic transfers within the Seychelles. Small purchases in restaurants outside hotels, shopping and taxi fares are payable in local currency.  Foreign currency may only be exchanged at banks, authorised money dealers, at the Airport, or with a Hotel cashier. You have to ask for a receipt. 
It is illegal to change money on the black market in Seychelles.

Snorkelling & Diving 
Scuba diving: Large round shaped rocks of granite islands are to be found underwater down to the shelf 50 to 60 metres below sea level. The loveliest underwater landscapes are around Mahe and the surroundings islands. The sculptured rocks are covered with soft coral and sponges. Large numbers of fish are found almost everywhere. It is also possible to dive to some of the many wrecks.

Scuba diving is strictly regulated in Seychelles: 
Diving is only with a registered diving club and dive master. Underwater fishing is forbidden when scuba diving and with the use of spear guns. It is also forbidden to collect shells and coral.

We will be happy to arrange in advance “Rendezvous Diving” with a Dive centre or you can contact them prior to your trip:

Big Blue Divers: Mare Anglaise, Mahé. Tel: + 248 24 78 54
Le Diable des Mers: Beau Vallon, Mahé. Tel: + 248 24 71 01
Underwater Centre Dive Resorts: Mahé. Tel: + 248 24 73 57
Cote d’Or Octopus Diving: Anse Volbert, Praslin. Tel: + 248 23 23 50

Fishing
Seychelles waters are a paradise for game fishing. The flats near St. Francoise and Alphonse have recently been recognized as probably the best saltwater fly fishing area in the world.

Deep Sea Fishing 
Trolling brings in red meat fish (tuna, jackfish and dorado); bottom fishing can net giant red snapper, grouper and "Job" -- fish guidebooks are recommended. Note that spear fishing is prohibited in the Seychelles. 

Fly Fishing 
Fly fishing on the flats is exhilarating, especially with a guide who know the local waters inside and out: so much so that one would think he knew each individual fish by name. Tarpon cannot be taken in Seychelles. Guides in Seychelles are experts and inexpensive. Fishing is either by wading or by small skiff.

Fishing licence Requirements:
No fishing licence is required for recreational fishing.

Watersports
Surfing - At Grand Anse on the western coast of Mahe surfing is ideal between November and April as larger than usual waves roll in.

Windsurfing - Excellent almost everywhere! Each year there is the Mahe/Praslin Windsurfing Competition, usually in September, which starts from Victoria, Mahe and finishes at Maison des Palmes Beach on Praslin.

Other watersports - Wakeboarding and water skiing are available at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort on Mahe (the only place for those activities). Windsurfers, canoes and sailing dinghies may be hired on the more popular beaches and water skiing and paragliding are offered at the main resort areas.

Beaches - Ranking among the best in the world the silver white sands encircle the islands. Crystal clear water invites swimming in the safe, reef-protected waters. Outstanding beaches include Beau Vallon, Anse Intendance, Anse Royale and Anse Takamaka on Mahe; Cote D'Or and Anse Lazio on Praslin; and Anse La Source d'Argent, Grand Anse and Petit Anse on La Digue.

Horse Riding
Arab Horse Riding, Mahe. Adults & Children: 150 SCR/8.50GBP per hour.

Bicycle Rentals
Chalets Anse Forban: Mahe. Tel: + 248 36 61 12
Chez Michelin: La passe, La Digue. Tel: + 248 23 43 04
Paradise Bicycle Hire: Anse Volbert, Praslin. Tel: +248 51 21 37 
Cote d’Or Bicycle Hire: Cote d’Or, Praslin. Tel: + 248 23 20 71

Golf 
Lemuria Resort of Praslin: Anse Kerlan, Praslin. Tel: + 248 28 12 81

Hiking 
Seychelles' natural paradise is spectacularly appreciated at ground level. Walking tours are an excellent way to see the islands' exotic flora and fauna, " Guided tours can be arranged through hotels and Travel Services Seychelles, or you can set out on your own, for the excellent trails on Mahe, Praslin, Silhouette and Aride in particular. 

Bird Watching 
Bird watching Visitors come from all over the world to see some of the rarest birds on Earth. Eleven species are only found in the granitic Seychelles, including the Magpie Robin (now only on Fregate), the Seychelles Warbler (its refuge, Cousin Island, is now a reserve) and the only remaining Indian Ocean flightless bird, the White-throated Rail on Aldabra. Huge seabird colonies exist on Bird Island and on Aride with 10 breeding seabird species. Migrants from both Arctic and Antarctic regularly turn up and, in fact, many new Seychelles species were first spotted by birding visitors.

Nightlife 
Other than a few theatres and discos, most nightlife is in the larger hotels. The specialty is local entertainment. "Camtolet" music, originating in a mix of waltzes, polkas and quadrilles often accompanied by dancers, is performed. Moutia, an African dance form based on prayers which slaves turned into work chants, is typical drums and rhythm. And, of course, the famous Sega dance. Many hotels offer evening barbecues, dances and folk singing. Typically, the larger hotels will have more entertainment on more days while the smaller ones will have one or two person bands.  There also is the fabulous Casino des Iles on Praslin.

Electricity Information
Throughout Seychelles the voltage is 220-240 volts AC 50 Hz. Seychelles uses the British standard square three-pin, 13 amp sharp electric plug.

Mooring/Buoying
An IA system as in Europe. Red cylindrical buoys and even numbers to port ; green cones with odd numbers to starboard. The channel leading to Victoria Harbour is perfectly well marked by numerous buoys. However, in the Seychelles, buoyage is poor and limited to some scattered buoys. Do not hesitate to ask our base manager if you have any doubts.

Mooring & Park Fees
There are landing and visitor fees for certain islands. The amount per person/per cruise for one week is approximately 100€. We advise you to anticipate a small cash reserve on board to cover these fees. You will then avoid trying to find the money at the time of landing. These fees are usually paid in foreign currency to the island's custodian who will provide you with the tickets. The fees listed below are provided as a guideline. Fee can also be paid in USD.
Ste Anne Marine Park: Open daily from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. 15€ per person per day + 100 SCR for the boat for night mooring
Ile Coco Marine Park: Open daily from 8:30am to 5:00pm. 15€ per person per day 
Cousin Island: Open Monday to Friday, in the morning only.  30€ per person. Landing from 9:00 - 10:00 am for guided tours 
Big Sister Island: Open Monday to Friday 10:30 am - 3:00 pm. Closed Sunday & Public Holidays. 23€ per person - Private Island 
LA Digue Island: Disembarkation Free of charge. L’Union Estate Visit & pass to Anse Source d’Argent. Open daily, 4€ per person.
Baie Ternay Marine Park: Open daily from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. 15€ per person per day. After 5:00 pm 10€ for the boat only
Silhouette Island: Open daily with clearance. 20€ per person. Request at I.D.C. Office before departure
Aride Island: Open Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. 30€ per person. Landing before 10:00 am for guided tour 
Curieuse & Saint Pierre: Open daily 15€ per person. Curieuse Island visit and snorkelling in Saint Pierre 
Praslin Island: Disembarkation Free of charge. Vallée de Mai Visit open daily 15€ per person 
Bird Island: Open daily 40€ per person
North Island, Small Sister Island, Marianne Island, Denis Island & Fregate Island: Closed to the public - No landing- Private islands

Provisioning (Food & Drink for your boat)
Provisioning can be pre-ordered and will be on your boat when you arrive.

Supermarkets 
Supermarkets are located in Victoria. Supermarkets are generally open daily except Sunday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm. You can pay cash in Seychelles Rupees (SCR).

 

 

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