Seychelles

Hailed as the closest thing to paradise, Seychelles contains 115 islands and islets, with cultural influences from the Chinese, African, Creole, Indian and British. While Mahé is a bustling island it’s easy to find a secluded beach. Praslin is home to the Vallee de Mai, once believed to be the site of the Garden of Eden and the Coco-de-Mer, a palm unique to Seychelles. La Digue remains the most traditional of the main islands. Here the favoured mode of transport is the ox cart and bicycle.

When to Visit

As the Seychelles are blessed with a warm tropical climate all year round, it is always the best time to visit. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and diving are best during April to May and October to November. 

Highlights

MAHE BEACHES Surrounded by coral reefs, Mahe is the largest of the islands. The stretch of beach at Beau Vallon is one of the longest. It is also the best location for watersports with dive and sport centres along the beach.

STE ANNE MARINE NATIONAL PARK There are six islands within Ste Anne Marine National Park. Set amid dazzling turquoise waters, the snorkelling here is superb with reefs boasting corals of all shapes, sizes and colours, large areas of which attract green turtles.

ALDABRA ATOLL Aldabra is one of the world's largest coral atolls, stretching 22km and enclosing a huge tidal lagoon, which is sometimes home to tiger sharks and manta rays. Aldabra is also the original habitat of the giant land tortoise.

PRASLIN Praslin is home to fantastic beaches but is best known for the Vallée de Mai National Park which contains the famed Coco-de-Mer palm. Praslin is blessed with a beautiful coastline and is great for snorkelling and diving.

ANSE LAZIO Often considered the best beach in Seychelles, Anse Lazio is situated on the far north of Praslin. With soft white sand and smooth granite boulders, the lush palm-fringed coastline is bordered with shimmering turquoise water.

ANSE SOURCE D’ARGENT On La Digue, time appears to have stood still. The charming island is the location of Anse Source d'Argent, one of the most beautiful and photographed beaches in the world.

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Useful Information

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor on (+64) 9 373 3531. Vaccination against Hepatitis A is recommended for travellers to Seychelles. Frequent or long stay travellers to Seychelles should consider vaccination against Hepatitis B. Vaccination against Typhoid should be considered particularly if travelling to areas with poor sanitation and hygiene. As Dengue Fever occurs in Mauritius insect avoidance measures may be necessary depending on your itinerary. Regardless of destination, all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine "background" vaccinations, including a recent annual Influenza vaccination. Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. New Zealands travelling to Seychelles should ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. Medications that are legal in New Zealand may be illegal in other countries. 

Electricity

Electrical Plug type: Great Britain Voltage: 220-240 volts Modem: USA For further information, please view the Korjo adapter guide at www.korjo.com.au.

Communications

Country Code for Mauritius: Offical Travel Advice: Visit www.safetravel.govt.nz Emergency Services: Ambulance - 151 Fire - 999 Police - 999

Shopping

The best place for shopping is Victoria, the capital, and more specifically the market at the city centre. There are also a few outlets on the island, Praslin, but few shopping areas on the other islands. Larger hotels have boutiques but shopping in Seychelles is not one of the major attractions.  While visiting, be sure to buy the classic and traditional Seychelles souvenir, the coco-de-mer, or the 'nut of the sea,' a nut from trees native to the islands in the Seychelles - but this requires an export licence. Other locally made souvenirs, although not as unique, can be purchased like sea shell and pearl jewellery, textiles and straw hats, in addition to needlework & crochet, paintings by local artists and woodwork.

Tipping

Most service providers already include a service charge of 5% - 10%. Tipping is not obligatory in the Seychelles, however, any extra change is greatly appreciated.

Getting around

In the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa are 115 tropical islands called the Seychelles. They are a popular beach holiday destination, and visitors like to travel to several of the islands including the uninhabited ones. The Outer Seychelles are coralline islands and mostly uninhabited. To visit these islands, visitors must travel by private yacht or in small local planes that land on remote air strips.

Language

English, French, Creole

Visa's

Official travel advice regarding visas is available by calling 04 439 8000 or visiting their website www.safetravel.govt.nz

Customs

Seychellois are usually described as laid-back and easygoing. Dress codes are relaxed, and formal clothing is seldom worn. Interpersonal distance is somewhat greater than it is in Europe. Complimentary statements to or about other persons, especially children, are avoided because they may bring misfortune. Greetings are simple.

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