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Seychelles

  • [?]Language

    Creole, English and French are spoken widely. Any of these will suffice at the major hotels, attractions, shops, banks, etc. Some members of the travel industry speak German and Italian. Translation services are available.

  • [?]Health & Malaria

    Although the Seychelles are close to the equator there is no malaria, yellow fever, cholera or many other tropical diseases. Those who have travelled to or through any affected area (including Kenya ) within a week of coming to Seychelles are required to certification of yellow fever vaccination. There is a possibility of rabies in certain parts of the country (although there have been no reported cases since 1994); visitors should consult with their physician about vaccination. Although other vaccinations and preparations are generally unnecessary, visitors are advised to consult with their local Health Department.

    Victoria Hospital on Mahe is the main health facility and is well equipped with 373 beds. All doctors speak English and/or French. There are several other clinics on Mahe and on Praslin and La Digue. Visitors can get medical and dental treatment, for which there may be a charge according to the service provided. There are also small hospitals on Praslin and La Digue but all patients in need of immediate medical attention are taken to Victoria. Private Doctors are available and may be arranged through hotels. Some hotels also have a small nursing staff on duty at certain times. There are several pharmacies in Victoria, Mahe including Central Pharmacy at Victoria Hospital. On other islands, local government clinics are used.

    Because of the remote nature of Seychelles, and the even more remote location of most of the islands, we strongly recommend all visitors obtain Trip Insurance which includes Emergency Evacuation coverage. Evacuation (even to the hospital at Victoria) in the event of illness or injury is expensive and will not be provided unless a means of payment is obtained in advance.

  • [?]Water

    The public water supply is chlorinated and normally safe. However, as it is different it may cause mild gastrointestinal upset. Because the tap water is chlorinated, visitors may prefer to drink bottled water but there is no imperative to avoid soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and ice.

  • [?]Climate

    Seychelles' enviable climate is always warm and without extremes. In this tropical haven the temperature seldom drops below 24°C or rises above 32°C. All but the remotest southern islands lie comfortably outside the cyclone belt making Seychelles' a year round destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers. 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.

    Depending on the planned activities during your visit to Seychelles we recommend the following as the best times to visit:

    Scuba divers will find April, May, October and November have the highest visibility and calmest seas although conditions are excellent year round.

    Anglers will find that the southeast trade winds: from May to September are better for Big Game though the seas can sometimes be rough; from November to February the northwest trade winds bring calmer seas for bottom fishing. October and April are perhaps the most enjoyable with calm seas.

    For birdwatchers, April heralds the new breeding season and Bird Island will be found to be overrun with seabirds from May through September; migration periods are from September to December.

    Hiking and walking is best from May to September because of the dry conditions, lower temperatures and lower humidity.

  • [?]Clothing

    Light clothes are advisable because of the tropical climate. For women, light cotton dresses, slacks and shorts and pareos for the day and a long skirt or cool dress for evenings. Men are most comfortable in light weight slacks and shorts and open neck shirts. For business, safari suits are acceptable and ties are not worn except to church. Sandals or light canvas shoes are adequate. Swimwear is not worn except on the beaches.

  • [?]Currency

    The unit of currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SR) which is divided into 100 cents. Paper notes are in denominations of 10, 25, 50 and 100 SR. Coins are 1 and 5 SR as well as 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents. Banks and most hotels will exchange currency. Several banks are located outside the arrivals area at the International Airport and are open to meet all incoming and departing flights. There are no restrictions on the import or export of foreign currency. A maximum of 1000 Seychelles rupees may be exported. Foreign currency and rupees can be freely exchanged at hotels and banks. Rupees cannot be used by visitors for business transactions such as car rental, restaurants, and excursions; all such must be paid for in hard currency such as dollars, pounds, and euro. We recommend exchanging a moderate amount of money at the airport upon arrival.

    Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted except in some of the smaller lodging establishments. American Express, Diners Club and several other minor cards are accepted in fewer places. Traveller’s cheques are also widely accepted, particularly at hotels, shops and restaurants. Cheques issued in US dollars and British pounds are preferred and less likely to incur additional exchange fees.

  • [?]Visa Requirements

    Everyone traveling to the Seychelles must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of travel. Visas are not required but a Visitor's Permit, good for 4 weeks, is issued upon arrival at the airport. Travellers must have a return (or onward) air ticket, pre-booked accommodations and sufficient money for their stay. The Permit may be renewed for 3 months at no cost and for 3 additional 3 month periods at a fee of 200 Seychelles rupees.

Mauritius

  • [?]Language

    The constitution of Mauritius makes no mention of a national language, but most inhabitants speak Mauritian Creole, English and French. In Parliament English is the official language and generally English is accepted as the national language. A number of locals also speak Far eastern languages, like Hindi, Urdu or Chinese.

  • [?]Health & Malaria

    Good private healthcare in Mauritius is available, although this can be costly if you are not insured. More complex cases could require evacuation to Reunion or South Africa. Chikungunya (a mosquito borne viral disease) periodically occurs in Mauritius, particularly in the warmer months (October-May).

    Although there are no malarial mosquitos in Mauritius, on arrival at the airport an officer from the Ministry of Health may ask you for a blood sample (or contact you later for such a sample at some point during your stay) if you have travelled from a country where malaria is common.

    Stonefish stings are uncommon but can in some cases be fatal. You should obtain urgent medical attention if stung. Many hotels stock anti-venom serum.

  • [?]Water

    The local water is relatively clean and the locals drink it. You need therefore have no fear if you use it for cleaning your teeth etc. However, it is better you boil the water before drinking it or buy bottled water which is freely available in the local shops.

  • [?]Climate

    The hottest time of the year on Mauritius is December / March when you can expect temperatures of 30 degrees C but with less humidity. There is always a breeze from the ocean however so that most people will find it pleasant. Cyclones (tropical storms) can also occur during this period.

    For those people who do not enjoy warm weather or want a more active holiday, we recommend going in July/August when the temperature is 24-26 C. On the coast the temperature can go down to 16-18 C during the night so that we recommend taking a pullover.

    As you can see the variation of temperature on Mauritius is small such that enjoyable holidays can be spent there at any time of the year. Although the weather is normally sunny it does rain. The rain showers are normally short and are a pleasant change from the sun.

  • [?]Clothing

    Light clothes are advisable because of the tropical climate. For women, light cotton dresses, slacks and shorts for the day and a long skirt or cool dress for evenings. Men are most comfortable in light weight slacks and shorts and open neck shirts.

    One thing that you respect are, religious places, there some places as Indian temples where you should remove your leather belts and shoes before entering.

    If you are staying along the coastal area it is really almost the year but if you are in the central part of the island the temperature may be a little cooler that’s why you may need some light woolen clothes

  • [?]Currency

    The monetary unit is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs.) which is divided into 100 cents (cs). Credit cards are normally accepted by banks and most hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.

  • [?]Visa Requirements

    A visitor must be in possession of a valid passport and a return or onward ticket. A visitor’s visa is normally granted for a period of two weeks to one month upon arrival. Visitors are strongly recommended to contact the Passport and Immigration Office in Mauritius or the nearest Mauritian Embassy or Consulate. The visa can be extended upon request at the Passport and Immigration Office.

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