Dreaming of pristine beaches, lush jungles, and a taste of paradise? Look no further than the Seychelles. In this comprehensive Seychelles travel guide, we’ll answer key questions and provide essential tips for your unforgettable Seychelles trip.
What to know before going to the Seychelles?
Before you set off on your journey to the Seychelles, there are a few crucial things to know. First and foremost, make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. Visitors from South Africa can stay in Seychelles for up to 30 days without a visa, but be prepared to show proof of accommodation and sufficient funds for your stay. Additionally, checking for any travel advisories or health precautions related to your trip is wise.
What to pack for the Seychelles?
Packing for the Seychelles requires a mix of essentials and tropical attire. Here’s a checklist to ensure you’re well-prepared:
- Lightweight clothing, including swimwear and cover-ups. While swimwear is fine on the beach and around resorts, we recommend wearing clothing in the towns and villages.
- Sunscreen with high SPF, as the sun in Seychelles can be intense. And don’t forget the after-sun lotion for those inevitable sun-kissed shoulders!
- Mosquito repellent and after-bite cream for outdoor adventures. Most resorts will have mosquito nets, but any time you’re outside after dark, you’re likely to come in touch with these flying pests.
- Snorkelling gear if you plan to explore the underwater beauty. Some resorts do supply this, so find out in advance if yours does to save packing space.
- A power adapter, as Seychelles uses the British-style Type G plug.
- Comfortable, breathable walking shoes for exploring the islands.
What to see in the Seychelles?
The Seychelles offers so much in the way of natural wonders and cultural attractions. A few of our top places to visit include:
- Anse Lazio: This stunning beach on Praslin Island is known for its powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. It’s perfect for sunbathing and swimming.
- Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve: Explore the UNESCO-listed reserve on Praslin, home to the unique Coco de Mer palm and lush rainforests.
- Aldabra Atoll: This remote atoll is a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to giant tortoises, rare birds, and pristine coral reefs.
- Victoria: Seychelles’ capital city offers a taste of local culture with its colourful markets, botanical gardens, and historical landmarks.
- Curieuse Island: Visit this island to see giant Aldabra tortoises and take scenic hikes through mangrove forests.
Can you fly from South Africa to Seychelles?
Wondering how to get to the Seychelles from South Africa? There are several flight options available. You can book direct flights from Johannesburg to Seychelles International Airport on airlines like Air Seychelles and South African Airways. These flights typically take around 5 hours, making it a convenient choice.
Alternatively, you can find connecting flights through major international airports, which may offer more flexibility regarding dates and airlines. Be sure to compare prices and flight durations to choose the option that suits you best.
When is the best time of year to visit the Seychelles?
The best time to visit the Seychelles depends on your preferences and what you want to experience during your trip. The Seychelles generally has a pleasant tropical climate year-round, but there are two main seasons to consider:
Dry Season (May to October)
This is considered the best time to visit Seychelles for most travellers. The weather is cooler and drier during this period, with lower humidity. This is the ideal time for outdoor activities, including hiking, snorkelling, and diving. The sea is generally calmer during this season, making it great for water sports and boat trips. However, keep in mind that this is the peak tourist season, so accommodations may be pricier, and popular attractions can be crowded.
Wet Season (November to April)
This is the warm and humid season in the Seychelles. While rain showers are frequent, they are often short and followed by sunny periods. The wet season is also the time when the islands are at their most lush and green, making it a great time for nature enthusiasts. Hotel prices tend to be lower during this season, and you’ll find fewer tourists, which can be appealing if you prefer a quieter experience. However, some outdoor activities may be limited due to the weather.
The Nitty Gritty
- Visa Requirements: South African passport holders can visit the Seychelles for up to 30 days without a visa for tourism purposes. However, you will need to ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date, and have proof of accommodation and sufficient funds for your stay ready for immigration checks.
- Currency: The currency used in the Seychelles is the Seychellois Rupee (SCR). Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger shops. It’s a good idea to exchange some currency upon arrival, and carry some cash, especially when visiting smaller local markets.
- Language: The official languages of the Seychelles are Seychellois Creole, English, and French. English is commonly spoken, especially in tourist areas, so language should not be a significant barrier to most visitors.
- Health Precautions: Ensure you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations before your trip. Additionally, it’s advisable to consult a travel clinic for advice on specific vaccines and health precautions for the Seychelles. Mosquito repellent is essential, as there is a risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
- Water and Food Safety: Tap water in the Seychelles is generally safe to drink, but many tourists prefer bottled water, which is readily available. Regarding food, the Seychelles offers a diverse culinary scene with fresh seafood and Creole dishes. Try local restaurants for an authentic experience, and be reassured that they usually maintain high hygiene standards.
- Transport: Getting around the Seychelles is relatively easy. You can use taxis, rental cars, or public buses on the main islands. However, if you plan to explore remote areas or smaller islands, consider booking organised tours or boat transfers in advance.
- Activities: Plan your activities and excursions ahead of time, especially if there are specific tours or experiences you don’t want to miss. Popular activities include snorkelling, diving, hiking, and exploring the unique nature reserves.
- Respect for Nature: The Seychelles is known for its pristine natural beauty, so it’s crucial to respect the environment. Avoid littering, stay on designated trails when hiking, and practice responsible snorkelling and diving to protect coral reefs.
- Time Zone: The Seychelles is 2 hours ahead of South Africa during South Africa’s Standard Time (SAST). Make sure to adjust your watches and schedules accordingly.
- Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing comprehensive travel insurance that covers health emergencies, trip cancellations, and delays to ensure peace of mind during your journey.
Let’s Get You To Paradise
Seychelles offers a tropical paradise that’s closer than you think. Whether you’re lounging on pristine beaches, exploring lush jungles, or immersing yourself in local culture, the Seychelles has something for every traveller. Use this Seychelles travel guide to plan your unforgettable adventure to this idyllic destination. And when you’re ready, get in touch with one of our Pentravel advisors to book your Seychelles holiday package. There’s no time like the present to experience paradise for yourself.