Frequently Asked Questions
What is the dialing code for Seychelles?
The international dialing code for Seychelles is 248.
Can I use my mobile phone in Seychelles?
At present, there are two GSM networks in operation, Cable & Wireless and Airtel. Payphones are available in most districts on the Inner Islands.
What is the electrical current?
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.
Will I need a Visa to enter 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:
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
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
PO Box 430, Victoria
Tel: +248 429 36 36
Fax: +248 422 50 35
Will I need vaccinations?
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.
What are the usual hours of business?
Seychelles office hours are Monday to Friday 0800hrs-1600hrs.Most government offices and some private businesses close on Saturdays and remain closed on Sundays and also on public holidays.
What currency should I take?
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.
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 Mah?, Praslin and La Digue and at the airport on Mahe and Praslin. PLEASE NOTE: that these provide cash in local currency. NO foreign currency can be drawn from the Banks.
IMPORTANT FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Visitors are requested to use only foreign currency (EUR, USD, GBP) when making payments in Hotels and Restaurants. Some smaller establishments do not accept Credit cards and it is therefore recommended that all travellers have some cash in one of these currencies.
This is also applicable to the private operators of excursions and tours, many of whom do not accept Credit cards. Due to the expense of such items, it is advisable to have a larger amount in cash if you are intending to book any of the tours or excursions offered. Visitors must, by law, pay for all their excursions, board and lodging and all other services provided by hotels, guesthouses and self-catering establishments in major international currency notes, or by credit card. Other services payable in foreign exchange include: car hire, diving, boat charter, ferry or air transportation, excursions, entrance fees (to reserves, marine parks, etc.) and restaurants not forming part of a hotel. Costs for taxis may be settled using either foreign or local currency. Other incidental purchases are payable in local currency.
Exchanging foreign currency into Seychelles Rupees must only be done at banks, authorised money dealers or with the hotel cashier.
Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Seychelles. If you require Rupees, it is advisable to exchange only what you need on a daily basis.
When are the Public Holidays?
Following are the list of public holidays in Seychelles (correct as of 2010).
New Year - 1st & 2nd January
Labour Day - 1st May
Liberation Day - 5th June
Constitution Day - 18th June
Independence (National) Day - 29th June
Good Friday - 3rd April
Easter Saturday - 4th April
Corpus Christi - 4th June
Assumption Day - 15th August
All Saints' Day - 1st November
Immaculate Conception - 8th December
Christmas Day - 25th December
How do I get around?
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 Mahe 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.
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, Mahe.
Air Seychelles operates a shuttle service between Mahe and Praslin. They also operate other inter island flights, usually on the request of hotels to Bird, Denis, Desroches and Alphonse Islands.
Also part of the air network is Zil Air, which is a helicopter charter company specialising in island transfers, excursions and chartered scenic flights throughout 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 Mahe to Baie Ste. Anne Jetty on Praslin (2 hrs 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, the Baie Ste. Anne Jetty on Praslin (less than 1hour duration) and the La Digue Jetty on La Digue Island.
Can I hire a car?
Cars may be hired only on Mahe and Praslin with several companies represented at the International airport on Mahe and at the larger hotels. Hired 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.
Is the water safe to drink?
Tap water meets W.H.O. (World Health Organization) specifications and is safe to drink nation-wide.
Because tap water is chlorinated, visitors are advised to drink bottled water but there is no imperative to avoid soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and ice.
If you are in any way concerned about drinking water, several different brands of bottled water are widely available in shops, restaurants and hotel bars.
What do I 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 evening wear (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.