With Dr Felicity Nicholson
The islands of the Seychelles pose no great health threats, and probably the worst thing that could happen is sunburn or dehydration. The standard of living is generally high and there are no awful unsanitary conditions.
The only absolute requirement for the Seychelles is proof of vaccination against yellow fever when travelling from an infected area (eg: sub-Saharan Africa); it is a good idea to secure the international certificate inside your passport. If you are unable to take the yellow fever vaccine and are travelling from an endemic area, then you should carry an Exemption Certificate instead of proof of vaccination. These may be available from your GP but, if not, then from a travel clinic. However, travellers here, as elsewhere, are wise to be up to date with routine immunisations such as tetanus, diphtheria and polio (now given as the all-in-one vaccine Revaxis, which lasts for ten years) and hepatitis A. One dose of hepatitis A vaccine protects for about one year, and a booster dose at around this time will extend cover in adults for about 25 years.
Special circumstances may dictate that other vaccines are advised. For trips of a month or more typhoid vaccine should be considered. If you are intending to work in a hospital/medical setting or closely with children then hepatitis B vaccine is recommended. A full list of current travel clinic websites worldwide is available on www.istm.org. For other journey preparation information, consult www.tripprep.com. Information about various medications may be found on www.emedicine.com/wild/topiclist.htm.
The Seychelles is not a crime-ridden part of the world. However, most of the larger hotels have safety deposit boxes for your valuables like tickets, cash and travellers’ cheques. When out and about, use your common sense. For example, it is not wise to leave fancy, expensive camera equipment lying on the back seat of an unattended open vehicle. Neither is it a good idea to leave a handbag on the beach while you go swimming or snorkelling.
It is generally safe for women to be out on their own, and travelling on the buses is absolutely fine. Take care not to offend the local people by wearing ultra-skimpy clothes that could be misinterpreted as provocative.
There is no problem with gay and lesbian travellers, but it is always wise to be discreet. Homosexuality is actually illegal in the Seychelles, although there are moves in the legislature to decriminalise it. Same-sex relationships between women are legal.