Seychelles Basics

Print this Guide Print this Guide | Email this Guide Email this Guide

The Basics

Time: Local time is GMT +4.

Electricity: Electrical current is 220-240 volts, 50Hz. Plugs are of the British type, with three flat pins.

Money: The Seychelles currency is the Rupee (SCR), divided into 100 cents. Visitors can now pay in SCR and are no longer obligated to pay for all services in major foreign currency notes, but are entitled to use their preferred major foreign currency as well (Euros are the most widely used), or to pay by credit card. Credit cards are widely welcomed throughout the Seychelles. Money can be exchanged at banks and the airport on Mahé, or at hotels. ATMs are available at major banks in Victoria and Praslin.

Currency Exchange Rates

SCR1.00 = USD 0.08GBP 0.06CAD 0.10AUD 0.11ZAR 1.13EUR 0.07NZD 0.12
Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: Creole, English and French are all spoken in the Seychelles.

Entry requirements for Americans: United States citizens require a passport valid for at least the length of their stay and will be issued with a visitor's permit on arrival, valid for three months. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: British citizens need a passport valid for the duration of their stay, and will be issued with a visitor's permit on arrival, valid for three months. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadians require a passport valid for at least the length of their stay and will be issued with a visitor's permit on arrival, valid for three months. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for Australians: Australians need a passport valid for the length of their stay and will be issued with a visitor's permit on arrival, valid for three months. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for South Africans: South Africans must have a passport valid for the duration of their stay and will be issued with a visitor's permit on arrival, valid for three months. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealand citizens require a passport valid for the length of their stay and will be issued with a visitor's permit on arrival, valid for three months. A visa is required.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish citizens require a passport valid for the length of their stay and will be issued with a visitor's permit on arrival, valid for three months. A visa is required.

Passport/Visa Note: No foreigners require a visa to enter Seychelles. A visitor's permit, valid for a maximum of three month, is issued on arrival and may be extended on application for up to three months. All visitors do, however, require a passport valid for the duration of their visit, a return or onward ticket, sufficient funds to cover their stay (a minimum of USD 150 per day), and proof of accommodation. Extensions are possible if applied for at least a week before expiry of visitor's permit. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from the travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Travel Health: Health regulations in the Seychelles require that travellers from areas infected by yellow fever have a vaccination certificate. Immunisation against hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid are recommended. Visitors are advised to bring their own medication to avert the risk of travellers' diarrhoea, as well as sun block and insect repellent, as local supplies can be erratic and costly. During the rainy season in particular, visitors should take precautions against mosquito bites due to the risk of dengue fever and the chikungunya virus (although these diseases are rare in Seychelles). Tap water meets WHO standards, but most visitors prefer to drink bottled water, which is widely available. Medical facilities on the more remote islands are limited or non-existent, but visitors will find a government hospital and several private clinics in Victoria. Medical insurance with full evacuation cover is necessary.

Tipping: Tipping generally isn't practiced and is never expected in the Seychelles, though top-end hotels or restaurants will sometimes add a service charge of 10 to 15 percent to the bill.

Safety Information: Safety is not generally an issue in the Seychelles; violent crime is unlikely and most visits are trouble free. There have been some incidents of theft and assault, but these are targeted mainly at residents. Visitors should be vigilant, particularly after dark in Victoria and in isolated areas, and should avoid taking valuables to the beach, where petty thieves might pilfer them. Women should avoid walking alone on isolated beaches.

Local Customs: Nudism is unacceptable, and topless bathing is not tolerated on many, but not all, beaches. Punishments for drug offences can be severe.

Business: In the Seychelles, business is conducted relatively informally. Men and women are not required to wear formal suits, although a smart appearance is advised. Business is usually conducted in English or French. Business hours are generally 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Communications: The international dialling code for Seychelles is +248. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Visitors can purchase local SIM cards for their mobile phones and many midrange and all top-end hotels offer wifi, as do some cafes and restaurants. Connections remain fairly slow by Western standards.

Duty Free: Travellers to the Seychelles over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes, or 250g of tobacco; two litres of spirits and two litres of wine; 200ml of perfume or eau de toilette. Prohibited items include drugs, narcotics, firearms, spear-fishing equipment, and camouflage clothing. It is forbidden to export unprocessed coco de mer, shells, fish and live tortoises. A permit is required for processed coco de mer.