Fast Facts - Seychelles
Seychelles consists of 115 granitic and coralline islands spread across more than a million square kilometres of the Indian Ocean. The remoteness of the archipelago has ensured the preservation of many species of flora and fauna not found anywhere else on earth. Only 21 of the islands are inhabited.
The latitude of the islands varies between 4 degrees and 10 degrees south of the Equator.
Some islands are closer to the coast of Africa than they are to the main island of Mahe.
Mahe is 1 600 kilometres east of Mombasa in Kenya. The islands are divided into two categories, the ‘inner islands' which are near to Mahe, and the ‘outer islands' which are the most distant.
The population of Seychelles totals a mere 89 000 people, many of whom are descended from slaves brought by settlers from Africa to work the land. After slavery was abolished, many of these Creole Seychellois were liberated in Seychelles, and today make up the bulk of the population. Education up to the age of 16 is free and technical skills are taught locally. The dominant religion is Roman Catholic.
There are three national languages - Creole, English and French - although many Seychellois speak other European languages such as Italian and German.
enjoys a pleasant tropical climate year round. The islands lie outside the cyclone belt and there are no extremes of weather. The temperature seldom drops below 24 degrees or rises above 33 degrees. During the north-east trade winds which blow from October to March, the sea conditions are calm and the weather is humid. When the south-east trade winds blow from May to September, the weather is cooler and the sea is rougher, particularly on the south-eastern coasts.[top]
Visa and Health Requirements
South African passport holders do not require visas and no inoculations are required.
The local currency is the Seychelles rupee and the rate of exchange to the South African rand is subject to currency fluctuation. It is important for visitors to note that all costs in hotels must be settled in foreign currency, either in cash or by credit card. This applies to meals or drinks at any hotel and not only in the hotel of residence. Travellers' cheques in foreign currencies cannot be exchanged for foreign cash, and visitors receive their cash in Seychelles rupees. Local currency may be used for purchases in shops or markets, or for meals purchased from small independent beach restaurants and cafes. Change for purchases in foreign currency is given in Seychelles rupees. It is recommended that visitors take cash in US dollars for incidental expenses.
An ideal geographical location virtually in the centre of the Southern Indian Ocean (GMT +4) reduces the time difference between its main markets.
Shopping hours | Official banking hours
Victoria and other villages:
Monday to Friday 09h00 to 17h00
Saturday 09h00 to 12h00
Official Banking Hours:
Monday to Friday 08h30 to 14h00
Saturday 09h30 to 11h00
A service charge is included in hotel and restaurant bills. Tipping is not compulsory and is therefore left to the discretion of the guest to show appreciation for good service.
It is essential that travel insurance is purchased prior to departure in case of accident or illness. Your travel agent will recommend the best insurance for your requirements, taking into account that medical services in the Seychelles are adequate for general medical complaints, but critical conditions will require international medical attention.
Once full payment has been received by Beachcomber Tours, the price of the package is guaranteed.