Geography: Seychelles’ 115 granite and coral islands extend from between 4 and 10 degrees south of the equator and lie between 480km and 1,600km from the east coast of Africa in the western Indian Ocean. Of these 115 islands, 41 Inner Islands constitute the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on earth while a further 74 form the 5 groups of low-lying coral atolls and reef islets that are the Outer Islands.
Time Zone: GMT +4
Climate: During the north-west trade winds that visit between the months of October and March, the sea is generally calm and the weather warm and humid, with average winds of 8-12 knots. In January and February the islands receive their life-giving rains, rejuvenating the rivers and streams and teasing the vibrant foliage into rainbows of colour.The months between May and September bring drier, cooler weather, and livelier seas - particularly on south-eastern coasts – and winds of 10-20 knots.
Population: 84,000 (2009)
Culture: The cosmopolitan Seychellois are a colorful blend of peoples of different races, cultures and religions. At different times in its history, people of African, European and Asian origin have come to Seychelles, bringing with them their distinct traditions and customs and contributing to the way of life and to the vibrant Seychellois culture.
The traditional moutya is an erotic dance derived from the days of slavery and still features today, together with the sega with its colorful lyrics; the kanmtole, reminiscent of a country reel, and the Kontredanse, an import from the French court.
Languages: Creole, English and French. Many Seychellois also speak fluent Italian or German.
Media: Local and international telecommunications lines are operated by Wireless. The main daily newspaper is the Seychelles Nation, dedicated to the local government views and current affairs and topics. Other political parties operate other papers such as Regar. In the Seychelles, the main television and radio network is operated by the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation and there is one cable TV channel.
Politics: Multi-party political system with an executive President as head of state and government. The President heads a Cabinet of 10 ministers which includes the Vice-President.
Economy: Fishing, tourism, coconut & vanilla processing, copra, boat building. Trading Partners are from China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Japan, France, South Africa, UK, Germany
Entry requirements: Irrespective of the nationality of the visitor and his or her family members, there are NO VISA requirements to enter Seychelles. A passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles, Return or onward ticket ,Proof of accommodation; including contact details ,Sufficient funds for the duration of the stay must be shown in order to obtain immigration clearance.
Customs: The duty free allowance for all liquors (including wine, beer, stout, ale and port) perfumes and tobacco ,200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco ,2 litres of Spirits and 2 litres of wine 200ml of Perfume or Eau de Toilette.
Health: There is NO risk of contracting malaria, yellow fever, cholera or other common tropical diseases in Seychelles. No vaccinations are required except in the case of yellow fever where a vaccination is required for travelers over 1 year of age who have come from, or passed through a partly or wholly infected area within the preceding 6 days. Infected areas include certain parts of northern and central South America and central Africa. South Africa is not considered an infected area. Persons traveling to Seychelles via Nairobi, Kenya and who remain in transit in Kenya do not require a vaccination against yellow fever.
Currency: The Seychelles Rupee (SCR) is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in 5, 10, 25 cents, and 1 and 5 Rupee denominations. Notes come in 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 Rupee denominations. All banks process traveler’s cheques and foreign exchange transactions. Passports are required for visitors’ transactions and nominal commissions may be charged. ATM facilities exist at major banks on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue and at the airport on Mahé and Praslin and provide cash in local currency.
Transport: There are 4 main forms of transportation within the islands of Seychelles, buses, car hires, domestic flights and ferries. Bus services is available on all three main islands, independently operated taxis are available on Mahé and Praslin, and a handful on La Digue
Shopping: Some galleries , boutiques and shopping centers cluster together in Victoria, and many parts of the islands ,selling varieties of jewelleries, ship models,paintings,handcrafted and glasswork products,sculptures and crafts.Most shops are open from Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 17:00 (most close for lunch from 12:00 - 13:00), and on Saturday from 08:00 to 12:00.
Food: Creole cuisine features the subtleties and nuances of French cooking, the exoticism of Indian dishes and the piquant flavors of the Orient. Grilled fish or octopus basted with a sauce of crushed chilies, ginger and garlic are national favorites as are a variety of delicious curries lovingly prepared with coconut milk and innovative chatinis made from local fruits such as papaya and golden apple.
Places of interest
Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market
A visit to Mahé’s busy and colorful market is the way to get a feel for the Seychellois and their way of life. Built in 1840 and renovated in 1999, it remains the bustling heart of the capital and definitely the best place to buy fresh fruits, fish, vegetables and spices. An attractive array of boutiques and shops selling a variety of souvenirs, clothing and local works of art further complement the lively atmosphere that is especially vibrant on Saturday mornings.
Established in 1962, this unit is responsible for growing and manufacturing tea in the Seychelles. The Tea Factory enjoys a splendid panoramic view of the western slopes of Mahé and is undoubtedly one of the finest viewing points on the island.
The Victoria Clocktower or Lorloz as it is better known in Creole, is the most prominent feature of Seychelles’ small capital, and has acted as a focal point for nearly 100 years. While all around massive transformation has taken place in the town centre, with modern buildings of concrete and glass springing up, the Clocktower has remained virtually unchanged.
Seychelles National botanical Garden
The garden is home to a wide variety of spice and fruit trees most of which can only be seen in this garden. An added attraction is the population of giant tortoises from Aldabra, some of which are over 150 years old. Fruit bat colonies can be found feeding or roosting in the taller trees overhead and the latest feature is an orchid house which holds a collection of brightly colored orchids including Seychelles’ own native orchids.
La Marine invites you to discover its workshop where you will find exquisite model boats to grace your home or office, together with a collection of marine artifacts.
Le Jardin Du Roi
Le Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden is in keeping with the original French tradition of the 18th century spice trade. From its location atop hills and across valleys, the garden boasts rows of vanilla vines, citronelle, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and other spices, as well as medicinal and endemic plants
Michael Adams Studio
Michael Adams is one of Seychelles' most famous painters whose work enjoys considerable popularity both at home and abroad. His style is hieroglyphic realism focusing on people in landscape and using eclectic sigils in the details to stir the subconscious memory of Eden. His Art Gallery is situated at his residence at Anse aux Poules Bleues and is filled with colorful silk-screens, watercolor paintings, postcards, line blocks and calendars.
Morne Seychellois National Park
The Morne Seychellois Park is the largest in Seychelles and was created in 1979. It covers a total surface area of 3,045ha, more than 20% of the area of Mahé. It is 10km in length and between 2km and 4km wide and equipped with an extensively trail network covering more than 15km. A total of 12 different trails can be explored either by half or full day excursions.
National History Museum
The National Museum of History was established in 1964. The museum is charged with the acquisition, preservation and exhibition of historical artifacts for the public benefit.
Exhibits illustrating the history of Seychelles include such items as the oldest map drawn in 1517, the Stone of Possession, the world’s smallest statuette of Queen Victoria, and objects of ethnographical interest that exemplify the traditions and modes of life in times gone past.
Seychelles National archives
The National Archives of Seychelles is charged with preserving the wealth of Seychelles’ history and, specifically, is concerned with the storing and showcasing of valuable government records. The collection of Archives goes back as far as the early 1770’s when man first came to Seychelles. A vast collection of photographs of times gone by are also housed here.
The Kreole Institute, established to promote Creole culture and tradition, was designed by a German architect, Leit, and constructed in 1920 by France Jumeau, a plantation owner at that time. Its former name was Maison St. Joseph. A large colonial house built in the French style; it reflects the opulence of the grand property owners of that era. Activities that take place at the Kreole Institute include formal, traditional balls, traditional French song recitals, cultural exhibitions, language and literature workshops. It also houses a documentation centre.
Zonm Lib Monument
The "Zonm Lib" Liberation Monument represents a major political landmark in the history of Seychelles. To all Seychellois people who revolted against colonialist oppression and injustice on the 5th June 1977, it is a powerful symbol of La Liberté. Standing behind the People’s Stadium and facing the 5th June Avenue, the "Zonm Lib" is a metal statue in the form of a robust masculine figure with both arms raised high, its clenched fists freed from chains, demonstrating triumphant defiance and victory for a truly independent nation.
Port Launay / Baie Ternay National Park
Port Launay Marine National Park is famous for its whale shark sightings. In their season, these huge gentle giants of the sea can be seen swimming lazily around feeding on the rich plankton that accumulates in the park.
An elegant example of French colonial architecture, Kenwyn House offers visitors a chance to explore this historic national monument while browsing a world-class selection of crafted South African diamonds and other precious gems at duty-free prices, as well as an array of gifts and souvenirs.
The Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar Temple is the only Hindu temple in the Seychelles. Built in 1992, the temple was named after Lord Vinayagar, the Hindu god of safety and prosperity.
Domaine de Val des Près craft village
Domaine de Val des Près consists of five attractions highlighting Creole architecture, arts and craft, and gastronomy: the ‘Gran Kaz’ Plantation House built around 1870; 'La Kaz Rosa' a typical 20th century working class home, 12 craft workshops that host local crafts; and finally; the ‘Maison de Coco, a house built of coconut products in which you will find gifts made from all things coconut.
This is the Bicentennial monument, referred to in Creole as the Moniman trwa lezel (three–winged monument). It was erected in 1978 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the town of Victoria, which was founded as L’Établissement du Roi in 1778 by the Frenchman Charles Routier de Romainville. The monument was created by the late Italian artist Lorenzo Appiani, who lived in Seychelles.
Sainte Anne Marine National Park
This Marine National Park has one of the largest areas of sea grass of the granitic islands where green and hawksbill turtles are often found. Bottlenose Dolphins also frequent the park. There are Creole restaurants on the islands of Moyenne and Cerf with a number of excellent gourmet restaurants on Ste. Anne itself.
The Veuve Information Centre is the only environment office on La Digue. The office manages the Veuve Reserve and the environment of La Digue and has available most information on the unique flora and fauna of La Digue especially of the Paradise Flycatcher or “Veuve”. They undertake regular monitoring of Paradise Flycatcher, rare Swiflets, Sea Turtles and once a year common Land Birds.
Take a step back in time and visit L'Union Estate – see a traditional copra mill and kiln (kalorifer), watch the antics of the estate’s population of giant land tortoises or stroll around the majestic Plantation House framed by giant granite boulders in landscaped gardens, or go horse back riding.
Green gecko Gallery
The Green Gecko Gallery displays the works of Seychellois artist, Georges Camille. He specializes in hand printed silk, colorful and exotic paintings. His paintings are exhibited extensively in Seychelles since 1983 and also in London, Paris, Martinique, Mauritius and Reunion.
Plantation House La Digue
This attraction forms part of L’Union Estate and is yet another architectural gem among the few plantation houses left in Seychelles. Said to be one of the oldest, the Plantation House is the focal point of L’Union Estate, which originally belonged to the wealthy Hossen family, who came to Seychelles from Mauritius in the 19th century. It is built in French colonial style; the house was used several years ago for the shooting of the film Goodbye Emmanuelle and is one of the cherished historical souvenirs of Seychelles’ Creole heritage.
Vallee De Mai
Seychelles’ second UNESCO World Heritage Site is the legendary Vallée de Mai, administered by the Seychelles Islands Foundation. So remarkable that it was once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden, this hauntingly beautiful primeval forest is home to some 6000 Coco-de-mer trees, considered to be among the botanical wonders of the world. The Vallée boasts six endemic palm species as well as many other indigenous trees and is also the last habitat of the endangered Black Parrot.
Black Pear Seychelles Ltd
Selling a selection of beautiful high-class jewellery and other exotic creations made from locally cultivated pearls from the Seychelles ‘Black Lip Oyster’. You can choose from the array of matching rings, earrings, pendants or strands designed and hand crafted by Linneys the internationally awarded West Australian jewelers. Set in yellow or white 18-carat gold and with argyle diamonds, many of which are of a “One Off” design.
Located on Cote D’or roughly 50 meters from the Acajou Hotel. The museum, which showcases the traditions of Seychelles as well as its culture in general, also features a garden of endemic and medicinal plants of Seychelles where visitors can view fruit bats and also enjoy a glass of Citronelle tea or local fruit juice. Visitors are encouraged to participate in coconut dehusking, grilling breadfruit and other traditional activities which give a taste of the traditions of yesteryear.
Ile Cocos Marine National Park
Ile Cocos Marine National Park is set around 3 small islets in shallow turquoise sea fringed by large expanses of coral reefs that provide the most breathtaking snorkeling experience.
Silhouette National Park
Silhouette Island is known for its dramatic mountain peaks, Mont Dauban (740m), Mont-Pot-a-Eau (621m), Gratte Fesse (515m) Mont Corgat (502m), Mont Cocos Marrons (500m) and for being one of the richest biodiversity hot-spots in the western Indian Ocean. It is home to many endemic and threatened plant and animal species and has large areas of primeval forest, mist forests as well as breathtaking viewpoints. It is also home to last known Seychelles sheath-tailed bats.
Cousine Island Nature Reserve
Cousin is an island totally reserved for conservation and the only granitic island in Seychelles totally rehabilitated with natural vegetation. It is one of the best protected sites for nesting Hawksbill turtles in the world and boasts the highest density of lizards per hectare in the world.
Cousin is visited by 300,000 nesting seabirds each year and is home to five endemic land birds. It also has the best protected and most diverse fish population of any reserve in the granitic islands.
Curieuse Marine National Park
Most visitors disembark at Baie Laraie to the sight of multitudes of giant hump head parrotfish and giant tortoises lazing near the rangers’ headquarters. The trail from Baie Laraie to Anse José passes through thick mangrove forest and is one of the most breathtaking sites on the island. On the way can be found the ruins of the leper colony, now well blended into the landscape.
Aride Island Nature Reserve
Aride is home to one million breeding seabirds of ten species, endemic birds such as Magpie Robins, Fodies, Brush Warblers and Blue Pigeon, Endemic Plants like wrights Gardenia and Turtle beaches and rich marine life. No vessels other than those of the reserve are allowed to land on Aride Island.
Silhouette Marine National Park
At a height of 740m, Silhouette Island has managed to escape the ravages of deforestation, which has sadly affected some islands, designated as a Marine Park on 26th October 1987, it is the only “paper park” left in Seychelles and efforts are being sought to establish funds to effectively protect and manage the area.
Public Holidays and Festival
Official Public Holidays
- New Year - 1st & 2nd January
- Labour Day - 1st May
- Liberation Day - 5th June
- National Day - 18th June
- Independence Day - 29th June
Religious public Holiday
- Good Friday - 02nd April
- Easter Sunday - 04th April
- Corpus Christi - 03rd June
- Assumption Day - 15th August
- All Saints' Day - 1st November
- Immaculate Conception - 8th December
- Christmas Day - 25th December
Festival Kreol is the biggest and most important event of the Seychelles cultural calendar. It offers the visitor a fascinating week full of the colors, sounds, flavors and fragrances of one corner of the Creole world that treasures its traditions while embracing the opportunities of the present, this week-long festival is an explosion of Creole cuisine, fashion, art, music and dance. Creole artists from all over the world descend on the Seychelles for this celebration.
Deepavali celebrated in October signifies the advent of joy and happiness. It is also believed that goddess Lakshmi graces the shops and houses on this day and showers her blessings and bestows good fortune upon her worshippers.
SUBIOS is an annual underwater film and image festival combining a range of daytime diving and snorkeling activities with free evening programmes of films, video and slide presentations by acclaimed guest speakers from around the world as well as local ones.
Cultural Bazar is an event with a selection of unique locales where you can meet the Seychellois people and experience a taste of island style way of living, accompanied by a serenade of Creole music.
Bazar Labrinn is one of the legendary Bazar where shoppers come to stock up on their supply of vegetables, fruits, and local delicacies and where visitors to our islands can enjoy a unique opportunity to shop for souvenirs and sample traditional snacks and beverages – all within an authentic Seychellois Creole ambiance.
Bazar Ovan provides another excellent opportunity for locals and visitors to mingle and participate in a true celebration of the vibrant Seychellois Creole culture to the rhythms of Creole music which takes place in the pastoral south of the island.
Victoria Bazar is an Authentic and lively ambiance that is reflective of the Seychellois Creole way of life where vendors sell a variety of goods ranging from arts and crafts to exotic culinary delicacies and beverages to the accompaniment of local musicians in an atmosphere that’s strictly Creole.
Marine Charter Marlin Tournament, a One day Trolling only tournament. The tournament hours usually run from 0300hrs-1700hrs, prizes are offered for each fish category plus prizes for the Best Team and the Best Runners-Up.
The Kavadi Festival is an annual event which is celebrated by the Hindu community and is attributed to Lord Murugan, the warrior deity of the hills. The concept of the Kavadi is to carry milk in small pots and finally offer it to Lord Murugan amid prayers in return for his blessings.
Eco-Healing Seychelles Marathon is due to commence on 27th, Feb, 2011 at 7 am at Beau Vallon Bay, Mahé. This marathon will feature 10km, 21km (full course marathon 42.195km) and a new 10km walking event.
Fête de la Francophonie" usually held on the 20th March, features various activities which include film shows, a craft bazaar, and exhibitions.
The Seychelles International Carnival of Victoria will be held over a three-day period in March 2011, when it will become a focal point for representatives from the world’s most famous carnivals who will be invited to the islands to take part in this exciting international event.
FetAfrik is a multi-artistic festival, a colorful expression of African and Kreol culture and also the Seychellois way of celebrating Africa Day, on the 25th May.
The Seychelles Regatta is an exclusive, semi-professional competition bringing together 20 companies that will sail the magnificent sites of the Seychelles Islands over eight days. The fleet will consist of 40 to 70-footers catamarans and crews of 4 to 8 people, mainly from Europe and South Africa.
The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is dedicated to the church of La Digue and is very popular with Seychellois from all islands who flock to the island for the occasion.
|ICQ||615758814||Tel||(+230) 263 41 54|
|Skype||hotel.mru2||Mobile||(+230) 251 44 09|