The Seychelles lies off the coast of East Africa, northeast of Madagascar, and is comprised of over 100 (mostly uninhabited) islands. Granite-backed hills rise out of the ocean, covered in thick, tropical forest surrounded by talcum-powdered beaches and cerulean waters. In short—it is the very embodiment of an island paradise.
For travellers wanting to connect to Seychellois culture and do some sightseeing, a stint on Mahé is a good start, while those seeking nothing but sun and sand might hop on a ferry to Praslin to amble along one of the world’s top 10 beaches. Nothing says ‘worldly escape’ more than the island that time forgot, La Digue, with less than 2,000 inhabitants and only a handful of road vehicles. When pure luxury is an absolute must, hop into a helicopter and make your way to any one of the most exclusive resorts, each found on their own private island.
With more than 5 airlines connecting to Victoria on Mahé, getting some sand between your toes is quick and easy. The crystal clear, shallow waters of the islands make activities such as diving, snorkelling and glass-bottom boats quite common, while a rich history provides a handful of cultural excursions, should you find yourself able to leave the magnificent shore.
- Easy to connect to with flights on Emirates, South African Airways, and Air Seychelles
- Travellers can choose their experience, each island offering something different—Mahé is the activity capital
- There are hundreds of excellent diving spots scattered around the islands
- Getting around the islands is convenient and cheap using a bus system
- Home to a number of endangered species and unique flora found only in the Seychelles
- Ferries make it easy to get from place to place letting visitors move around to explore
Facts and Information
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. It is directly north of Madagascar and 1600km east of Kenya. It is essentially a country of immigrants and there have only been settlements on the island for the last 250 years. But its short history is turbulent and fascinating. The archipelago was seen as a strategic stopover on trading routes and as such there was much conflict among the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, French and British for these islands.
The French were the first to arrive in 1770 with African slaves and they were followed by merchants and workers from China and the Indian subcontinent. They ruled Seychelles for almost 50 years until 1814 when the colony fell under the rule of the British. Despite conflict with Arab traders and Portuguese and Dutch seafarers, the British remained in control until 1976 when Seychelles gained its independence. It was ruled by the dictatorial Albert René and only became fully democratic in 1993, though René remained in power until 2004. This history of conquest and conflict has led to the Seychelles becoming a colourful, diverse and multicultural community where different people and practices co-exist in peace.
Situated just south of the equator, weather in the Seychelles is great! It experiences average temperatures of between 26°C and 28°C - perfect for catching a tan and swimming without being turned red! And it lies outside the cyclone belt so need to worry about tropical storms or hurricanes. Quite simply, it is a perfect all-year round destination with sunshine 365 days of the year. November to January is warm and wet while May to October is drier and cooler. Plus it is malaria free so no need to worry about any medication.
Religion: 83% Roman Catholic with Anglican, Seventh Day Adventist, Muslim, Baha’i and other minorities.
Exchange Rate: 1 US Dollar = 12.96 Seychelles Rupee (March 2011)
Languages: Creole, English and French
Geography: The Seychelles Archipelago occupies 400,000 sq km (150,000 sq miles) of the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar and contains 115 islands and islets. These fall into two groups of markedly different appearance, stemming from their distinct geologies.
Travelling to Seychelles
The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa some 1600km east of Kenya. The only international gateway to the Seychelles is the International Airport, near Victoria, the capital of Mahé, the main island. Air Seychelles operates scheduled flights from London (Heathrow), Paris (codeshare with Air France), Rome, Milan, Frankfurt (in partnership with Condor), Mauritius, Johannesburg and Bangkok. Qatar Airways and Emirates fly to and from the Seychelles with connecting flights to various worldwide sectors through Dubai and Doha. Other airlines include Air France, Kenya Airways, Condor (Germany), Air Austral (to and from La Reunion) and Air Mauritius.
Once you arrive on Mahé, it really depends where you want to go. The capital city of Victoria and the beach resorts on the island are easily accesible by car. There are numerous daily flights to the smaller islands with Air Seychelles, such as the shuttle service to Praslin. Helicopter Seychelles, a charter company, also operates island transfers, especially to La Digue.
You can travel to the islands by ferry (motorized or wind-assisted) or boat, or even join a sailing trip! Getting around the actual islands is not too difficult since they are all pretty small and can be explored by car, bus, taxi, bicycle, traditional ox-cart or on foot! You can also hire a car or boat and explore everything at your own pace...
NB: We can organise everything from your international flights to your domestic charters or road transfers. Don't stress out about planning your journey - leave it to us and we will make it a pleasure. Don't delay - contact us to plan your tailormade trip!