Seychelles – Things to know & travel tips (Mahé, Praslin & La Digue)

Categories: Travel reports, Africa, Seychelles

White dream beaches, crystal clear waters, sun and palm trees: The Seychelles is the epitome of an island paradise ❤ For 2 weeks we have explored the main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and explored the most beautiful sights: from beautiful beaches, fascinating natural parks to hidden photo spots, animals and beautiful viewpoints. We will be happy to provide you with all the information you need for a holiday in the Seychelles in the following post.

Seychelles

Geography of Seychelles

The Seychelles is a group of islands inthe Indian Ocean that belong to Africa topographically and are spread up to 1,600 km from the African continent on a sea area of about 450,000 km2. About 10 of them (455 km2) occupy the islands. The Seychelles region consists of a total of 115 islands (42 granite islands and 73 coral islands), which are divided into the two main groups Inner Islands and Outer Islands.

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The Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean

Things to know about Seychelles

Here are some interesting facts about the Seychelles:

– The Seychelles has about 95,000 inhabitants
– The capital is Victoria
– The official languages are Seychellescreol, English and French
– The archipelago belongs to Africa topographically
– The Seychelles consists of 115 islands, according to the geology there are 42 granite islands and 73 coral islands
– The Seychelles has been independent of great Britain since 1976
– Left-hand traffic in the Seychelles is considered a remnant of the British colonial period
– The currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR) – 1 EUR is about 15 SCR
– The Seychelles has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Vallée de Mai on Praslin and the Aldabra Atoll
– In the Seychelles there is a rich endemic flora and fauna, only three species of giant tortoises
– The World’s largest colony of giant tortoises is found on Aldabra Atoll with 150,000 Aldabra giant tortoises
– The Seychelles is the first country in the world to include nature conservation in its constitution
– 90 of today’s population are descendants of the settlers who immigrated from various French colonial territories and their African labour slaves
– The population is 82.3 Catholic, about 7.7 are Protestants or Anglicans
– The Seychelles palm (Coco de Mer) is an endemic species of palm found exclusively in the Seychelles. The seeds of Coco de Mer are the largest seeds of the plant kingdom, weighing up to 30 to 40 kg.

Flights from Germany to the Seychelles

The Seychelles is served by many different airlines. The only direct flight from Germany is offered by the airline Condor. Within 9 to 10 hours you can get directly to the Seychelles from Frankfurt – it can’t be more comfortable and easier. Depending on the time of travel, tickets vary between 500 and over 1,000 euros. Other alternatives include stops in Abu Dhabi (Etihad), Addis Ababa (Ethiopian), Doha (Qatar), Dubai (Emirates), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines). There are also direct flights from Vienna, Zurich, London, Johannesburg or Paris.

We decided to fly directly with Condor from Frankfurt because we wanted a direct flight without annoying changeovers and waiting time at the transfer airport. We were relatively flexible from the travel time, but wanted to escape the cold winter months of January/February, so we asked on the Condor page about the airfares during this travel period. And behold: For February we had found an unbeatably cheap offer for a whopping 500 EUR including luggage and great flight times. We didn’t really have to think long and the click on the booking button was done within a few minutes 🙂

Entry and visa requirements

German nationals do not need a visato enter the Seychelles. A residence permit will be issued upon arrival at the border. On our passport stamp we had seen that we had been granted a stay of 3 months. For entry, passport, return or onward travel ticket, hotel booking and sufficient financial resources are required (approx. 150 USD per day). We did not carry out any checks on hotel bookings or financial resources upon entry.

On the plane, we received two entry, customs and health forms from the crew shortly before landing, which we filled out on the plane and submitted upon arrival. It should be noted that imports of plants and parts of plants as well as animals and animal products are prohibited. More information can be found on the website of the Foreign Office.

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Immigration at Mahé Airport

The main islands of the Seychelles

The Seychelles region consists of a total of 115 islands (42 granite islands and 73 coral islands), which are divided into the two main groups Inner Islands and Outer Islands. Here we introduce you to the 6 islands that we visited and discovered on our Seychelles trip.

Mahé

We spent a total of 6 days on the main island of Mahé and therefore had enough time to explore the most beautiful sights of the largest island of the Seychelles with our rental car. And Mahé really has a lot to offer: from dreamy beaches, a small capital to hidden photo spots and beautiful viewpoints.

All travel reports from the island of Mahé can be found here.

Praslin

Praslin is located by ferry about an hour from Mahé and with a total area of 37.58 km2 is the second largest island of the Inner Seychelles. The island, which is 12 km long and 5 km wide, has a population of about 9,000. The vallée de Mai nature reserve, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, is located in the interior of the island. Here is the endemic palm species Coco de Mer (Seychelles palm), which occurs exclusively in the Seychelles. In addition to numerous, dreamlike beaches, there is another nature reserve on the island: Fond Ferdinand. Near Praslin are other islands such as Curieuse, Silhouette, Cousin, Ile Ronde, La Digue and Ile St. Pierre.

All travel reports from the island of Praslin can be found here.

La Digue

La Digue is the smallest of the three main islands of the Seychelleswith its size of just under 10 km2. It is located about 50 km northeast of Mahé and about 6 km east of Praslin. The 5 km long and 3 km wide island has a population of just 2,200. The majority of the inhabitants live in the west of the island, as here, with the port and the main town of La Passe, the largest settlement with infrastructure is located on the island. On the other hand, the south and east of the island are largely uninhabited.

The beach Anse Source d’Argent with its extraordinary granite formations is considered a dream beach and is regularly listed among the top 10 beaches worldwide. Therefore, La Digue is a very popular tourist destination overall, especially for day trippers from other islands and cruise guests. On the small island it can get quite crowded during the day.

All travel reports from the island of La Digue can be found here.

Curieuse Island

The island of Curieuse is only about one kilometer from Praslin and is therefore perfectly accessible with a small boat trip as part of a day trip. Like all granite islands in the Seychelles, Curieuse belongs to the Inner Seychelles. The island is only 3 km2 in size, has no notable infrastructure and is inhabited by very few people. Curieuse served in the 19th century as a leper’s camp for leprosy sufferers. Today there is a research station for water turtles, a lot of endemic flora and fauna as well as a colony of Seychelles giant turtles. And that is exactly why the island is visited by many tourists every day.

Curieuse Island is open to visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entering the island, an entrance fee of 200 SCR per person (approximately 13 EUR) is due, which is to be paid in a small kiosk not far from the main beach.

You can read more about our day trip to Curieuse Island here.

Cerf Island

Cerf Island is located about 4 kilometres off the northeast coast of the main island of Mahé. The 1.27 km2 island is privately owned and has several accommodations: from simple guest houses to high-priced hotels. It is also covered with a tropical rainforest and offers several beaches. There is no real village on the island, but it has about 100 inhabitants, most of whom commute to Mahé by boat every day.

The highlight of the island for us was the small colony of giant tortoises,which found their home here on Cerf Island. We were able to claw the turtles, pet them and give them a few leaves to eat. A great experience!

You can read more about our day trip to Sainte Anne Marine Park and Cerf Island here.

Félicité Island

The Island of Bliss is the fifth largest island in the Seychelles and measures 2.68 km2. Until the 1970s, today’s private island was a coconut plantation with a population of just 50 people. In the late 19th century, Félicité was the home of Sultan Abdullah of Perak, who was accused of murder and exiled by the British on Félicité Island – only years later he was released. In 2007, the Seychelles government granted a 99-year lease for the then uninhabited island, which was taken over by a Singapore-based real estate developer in 2013. The Six Senses Zil Pasyon Resort was built here within three years.

Félicité Island is one of the so-called “satellite islands” of La Digue, with its neighbouring islands of Ile Cocos, Les Soeurs and Marianne. Only 1 km from Félicité, the dream island of Ile Cocos and the surrounding sea area (“Ile Cocos Marine National Park”) have been protected since 1996 and are among the most beautiful snorkeling and diving spots in the Inner Seychelles.

You can read more about our day trip to the luxury resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon on Félicité Island here.

Connections & transfer between the islands

Between the three most visited islands Mahé, Praslin and La Digue there are two ferry companies that connect the three islands. The Cat Cocos ferry runs 3 times a day between Mahé and Praslin and 1-3 times a day between Mahé and La Digue. There are 3 different booking classes:

» Main deck (50 EUR)
» Upper deck (55 EUR)
» Business class “Lazio Lounge” (70 EUR)


We had decided for the ticket on the upper deck, because here you have a really great view of the island world of the Seychelles. The journey time is about one hour, between Mahé and La Digue about 90 minutes. The second ferry company, Cat Rose, connects Praslin and La Digue daily with 5 to 8 departures. The journey time between the two islands is about 15 minutes. We had bought our ferry tickets through SeyFerry.com. After the purchase process, you will receive the vouchers for the journeys by e-mail, which you then have to exchange for “real” tickets at the ferry terminal. Right next door you can drop off your suitcases, which are then conveniently loaded onto the ferry.

We were very lucky, because at our ferry crossings the sea was very calm. If this is too uncertain, you can also fly from Mahé to Praslin within 15 minutes,e.g. with Air Seychelles, which offer more than 170 scheduled flights per week on this route.

The best time to visit

The Seychelles is generally a year-round destination,with the year divided into a dry and rainy season. In the dry season (May to October) stronger winds blow due to the south-east monsoon, which stirs up the sea. In the rainy season (November to April) you have to expect increased rainfall but also warmer, windier temperatures. However, the rain showers are usually short and intense, i.e. often the sun shines again after half an hour. The Seychelles is located in the tropical climate zone, i.e. there is a high humidity all year round.

We were very satisfied with our travel month of February. Even though the weather forecast actually predicted 14 days of rain, we didn’t have that much rain in the end. On Mahé it had rained short and intense every day, often even at night. On praslin and La Digue, on the other hand, we had almost no rain at all. So perfect 🙂

Annual temperature Seychelles

Car rental, bus, taxis and bicycles

It quickly became clear to us that we would book a rental car for the whole time on the two islands of Mahé and Praslin, because we didn’t just want to lie in the hotel on the beach, but wanted to see a lot of the islands. Normally we book our rental cars for our holidays always via billiger-mietwagen.de. However, since we wanted to pick up our car on Mahé at the airport and drop it off at the ferry, and this combination was unfortunately not possible with billiger-mietwagen.de, we decided on a different provider. The choice has fallen to Seychelles-info.com due to the very good price-performance ratio. It is always important to us that we have an unlimited number of kilometres and that an additional driver is included free of charge. And since there is left-hand traffic in the Seychelles, it was still important for us to book a rental car with automatic. The insurance cover was basically in order, but the self-allocation of EUR 500 was relatively high. It is good if, like us, such a sum can then be covered by supplementary insurance (e.g. via credit card).

On Mahé and Praslin you can also use the public buses if you don’t want to take a rental car. These are very cheap, but there can sometimes be longer waiting times and you are simply not as flexible as with your own car.

The number 1 means of transport on La Digue are besides your own feet the countless bicyclesthat can be rented anywhere on the island for 7 to 10 euros per day. With these you can easily and easily get from A to B. Cars are only allowed on the island if they are taxis or transport vehicles. Therefore, you will find many electric club cars, which are preferably used as taxis.

SIM Cards

In order to always be online on our Seychelles journey, we wanted to buy a SIM card for the Seychelles in advance from Amazon, as we always do in the US. But since the choice wasn’t that great, we decided to just buy a SIM card on site at the airport in Mahé – and that worked fine 😊

Directly at the exit of the airport you will find two different stands of mobile operators in the arrivals hall:
A blue, round stand from Cable & Wireless
A red, angular stand by airtel

We bought our SIM card from Cable & Wireless because this provider was recommended to us in different forums. At the stand you can choose between different prepaid rates from 2 GB to 20 GB data volume. We chose a card with 4 GB of data at a price of 399 SCR (about 27 EUR). The staff at the counter also have the right tool to insert the SIM card into the mobile phone and also take over the setup of the settings.

We always had a great welcome during our whole trip – even on secluded beaches or on our boat tours in the middle of the sea.

Supermarkets & Take Aways

We have always met our daily demand for drinks and snacks in one of the many Indian supermarkets. As a rule, these are slightly cheaper than the big supermarkets. When visiting the supermarket, one should of course bear in mind that the Seychelles is a remote island state and much needs to be imported. In order to get a better overview of the costs that can be incurred, we have written down a few food prices here:

» 5 litres of water: 25 SCR
» 1.5 litres of Coca Cola: 42 SCR
» 1 litre of juice: 25 to 40 SCR
» 1 baguette: 20 to 25 SCR
» 1 pack of margarine: 20 SCR
» 1 pack of sausages: 60 to 100 SCR
» 1 pack of cheese: 30 to 60 SCR
» 1 pack of noodles (500 grams): 15 SCR
» 1 glass of Nutella (750 grams): 150 SCR
» 1 chocolate bar: 10 SCR

The conversion rate is currently about 15 SCR = 1 EUR. The largest supermarket in the Seychelles is the STC Hypermarket (Google Maps) on the island of Mahé. If you have a self-catering apartment, you can also take care of yourself relatively well. Nevertheless, we recommend to try the local cuisine from time to time. Especially recommended are, for example, the many takeaways in the Seychelles, where you can get a delicious lunch and dinner quickly and cheaply.