Travel and visas – the Seychelles

Visas

On arrival, it is necessary to have a return ticket and a current passport that is valid for six months after the scheduled date of departure from the Seychelles. Proof of accommodation is also necessary and, if you have not made a booking, an official at the airport will take you aside and organise your accommodation there and then, even if it is late at night.

A one-month entry permit will be issued on arrival, and this may be extended for a further two months provided you have proof of funds to cover your stay. Extensions may be obtained from the Department of Immigration.

Consult the official Seychelles government travel advisories for the latest requirements with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have been in a yellow fever country within the past six days a yellow fever vaccination certificate is needed.

Getting there and away

As the Seychelles islands are in the middle of the ocean, almost 1,000 miles from anywhere, there are only two ways to get there – by air or by sea.

By air

Regular flights link the Seychelles with Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Air Seychelles, with its bright red, green, blue and white livery and the white fairy tern logo, is the national carrier. It originally only provided a service from Mahé to Praslin and Frégate with foreign airlines bringing in the tourists. However, in 1983, Air Seychelles launched its first international flight from Gatwick, London, using a DC10 aircraft.

Recently, Air Seychelles has been restructured, is code sharing with Etihad Airways, South African Airways, Air India and several other airlines and is presently flying between Mahé, Johannesburg, Mauritius, Antananarivo, Dar es Salaam and Mumbai.

Several other airlines fly to the Seychelles: these are Air FranceBritish AirwaysEmirates AirlinesEthiopian AirlinesEtihad AirwaysKenya AirwaysQatar AirwaysSri Lankan Airlines; and Turkish Airlines. Flight schedules vary so check websites for details.

The busy Seychelles International Airport is located on Mahé, right on the edge of the ocean, just 9km south of Victoria. Constructed in 1971, on land reclaimed from the sea, the international airport terminal buildings have undergone major renovations and there is now a separate domestic terminal.

By sea

Cruise and expedition ships dock at the port of Victoria in Mahé, mainly from November to April when the seas are calmer. The larger cruise ships generally only visit Mahé but occasionally do anchor off Praslin and transport passengers ashore with their own boats. Smaller expedition ships often include the outer islands in their itineraries.

By yacht

Visiting by yacht must be the finest way to explore the fabulous islands of the Seychelles. All visiting yachts must obtain clearance with Customs, Immigration and Health in Victoria, Mahé. Hefty tariffs previously levied on cruising yachts visiting the Seychelles appear to have been rescinded. For further information, contact the Seychelles Port Authority.

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