Visa Requirements
· Visas are issued on arrival at Seychelles International Airport and normally valid for a period of one month.
· Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the Seychelles.

 


Health Considerations
· The Seychelles is free of tropical diseases such as malaria, bilharzias, typhoid, and dysentery. No vaccinations are necessary.
..However, clients arriving from Africa (with the exception of South Africa) are required to produce Yellow Fever and malaria
..vaccination certificates.
· The main hospital on Mahe is at Mont Fleuri. There are also clinics in the districts and islands of Praslin & La Digue.
· The emergency number for fire, police or ambulance services is 999.
· Please consult your nearest British Airways or Netcare Travel Clinic for more information.


Travel Insurance

· It is advisable to purchase adequate travel insurance to cover any medical and ancillary expenses, or urgent repatriation
..form the Seychelles if required.
· Travellers from South Africa can go to the IslandsOnly Travel Shop (need link) for more details of tailor made travel policies.



The independent Republic of the Seychelles is comprised of 155 islands spread over 1.3 million km² of Indian Ocean.

Location:
Located in the western Indian Ocean, 4° south of the Equator.

Geography:
· The entire archipelago covers an area of 1.3 million km², of which the islands constitute only 445 km².
· Of the 155 islands in the archipelago, about 40 Islands are granitic and lie within a 90 km radius of Mahe, the main island.
..The remaining islands are coralline, stretching over a 1,200 km radius from Île aux Vaches in the northeast to the Aldabra
..Atoll in the southwest.
· Mahé is 25 km long and no more than 8 km wide. It contains the capital and only city, Victoria, which is an excellent port.
· Victoria lies approximately 1,600 km east of Mombasa, Kenya; 2,800 km southwest of Mumbai (Bombay); 1,700 km north
..of Mauritius; and 920 km northeast of Madagascar. The only other important islands by virtue of their size and population
..are Praslin and La Digue, situated about 30 km to the northeast of Mahé.

History:
The Arabs and the Portuguese first discovered the islands in the late 1400’s. Starting in the early 1500’s many of the outer islands were named after various Portuguese explorers, including Vasco da Gama. It’s likely that pirates where the first inhabitants of the islands. It wasn’t until 1756 that the French governor took control of Mahé and surrounding islands and named them the Seychelles. After a lengthy struggle between France and Great Britain for the islands were ceded to Britain in 1814. Independence came in 1976. Socialist rule was brought to a close with a new constitution and free elections in 1993. The most recent presidential elections were held from 31 August to 2 September 2001. President RENE, who has served since 1977, was re-elected. On 14 April 2004 RENE stepped down and Vice President James MICHEL was sworn in as president.

Government:
A parliamentary democracy based on the English Westminster model. The president is head of state but the prime minister and cabinet have the constitutional authority.

Population:
80,832 people (July 2004 Estimate)

Languages:
The official languages are English and French, but Creole is the most widely spoken.

Religion:
Christianity in the form of Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism is the most widely practised.

Economy:
Growth has been led by the tourist sector, which employs about 30% of the labour force and provides more than 70% of hard currency earnings, and by tuna fishing. In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade hotels and other services. At the same time, the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing, and small-scale manufacturing.

Currency:
The Seychelles rupee is the local currency, and is divided into 100 cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 100, 50, 25 and 10 rupees. Coins are 5, 10 & 25 cents, 1 & 5 rupees. Travellers are advised to travel with USD, GBP or Euro in cash or travellers cheques, all of which are easily exchanged for rupees in the Seychelles.

Credit Cards:
All major credit cards (Diners Club, VISA, MasterCard) are accepted at most hotels, shops and restaurants.

Banks:
Banks in Victoria open between 08h30 and 14h30, Monday to Friday. Some banks open on Saturdays from 08h30 to 11h00.
Barclays Bank, Nouvobanq and Mauritius Commercial Bank also have branch offices on Praslin and La Digue. The banks at the airport are only open for flight arrival and departures.

Business Hours:
Most businesses operate between 08h00 and 16h00, Monday to Friday. Some open from 08h00 to 12h00 on Saturdays.

Shops:
Opening hours are from 08h00 to 17h00, Monday to Friday, and 08h00 to 12h00 on Saturdays.

Weights and measures:
The metric system is used (officially introduced in 1985)

Climate:
The Seychelles climate is generally warm and humid. The country is located just 4 deg south of the equator and therefore experiences a full 12 hours of daylight in a 24-hour period.

The seasons are defined by the trade winds:
· The Southeast trade winds blow from May to September, are characterised by strong, constant onshore breezes, which can
..cause slightly rough seas at times. This is generally the dry season. During this time sea grasses are deposited along the
..east and south coasts of Mahe and along the west coast of Praslin.
· The Northwest trade winds, which occur from October to April, bring calmer seas making this an ideal time for diving,
..snorkelling and other water sports activities. The rainy season is expected in December through to the beginning of March.
..Sea grasses are often found along the north and west coasts of Mahe and south and east coasts of Praslin.
· Average daily temperatures vary between 25° and 31 deg C with a relative mean humidity of 70° to 90 ° Celsius.
· The coolest months are from June to October, while the hottest months are December to April.

Clothing:
· Lightweight cotton clothes are recommended as standard year-round garb!
· Trainers or lightweight walking shoes are useful if you are planning to explore the islands.
· Hats or caps and sunglasses are strongly recommended, as the tropical sun is fierce, even when conditions are overcast.
· Shorts and t-shirts are the normal daytime apparel, but some upmarket hotels and restaurants require gentlemen to wear
..long trousers in the evening.

Car Hire:
· Car hire can be pre-booked prior to arrival in the Seychelles. However, clients are advised to assess their own needs once
..they arrive in the islands before hiring vehicles.
· We do not recommend Mini-Mokes as we deem them unsafe!
· Car hire is recommended for clients staying at Koko Villa, Xanadu, Anse Soleil Beachcomber, Eden’s Holiday Resort, Mango
..Lodge and La Vanille.

Time:
GMT + 4 hours (2 hours ahead of South Africa)

Electricity:
The electricity supply is 240 volts. Square three pin plugs are used. Most hotels provide round and two pin adaptors.

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