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Seychelles Travel Guide

Essentials

Health and Safety

Free of malaria, venomous snakes and spiders, and other nasties, the worst you're likely to deal with in Seychelles is a sunburn or sprained ankle. The public health system in Seychelles is good by African standards, and small clinics with nurses available are dotted around Mahé. Tourists are advised to go to the hospital in Victoria for anything serious. The hospital's pharmacy can also dispense prescriptions, though it's best to bring any needed prescription medications with you. Praslin also has a small hospital at Bay St. Anne, and a clinic at Grand Anse. There's a small hospital on La Digue. There are only two decompression chambers in Seychelles, one at the Mahé hospital, and the other on Silhouette Island. Other than Silhouette, the outlying islands have little in the way of medical resources. Tap water on the main islands is safe to drink, but most people stick to bottled water or water treated by the resort. Food is well prepared and clean, though sometimes the Creole spices can affect sensitive stomachs. Most important for those traveling from a yellow-fever country—i.e., much of Africa—you absolutely must have proof of vaccination before entering Seychelles. Health insurance with an evacuation policy is advised, as should anything serious happen, you'd want to be evacuated to South Africa or beyond.

Generally speaking, Seychelles is a safe place. However, most hotels provide a safe in your room or at reception, and it's wise to use it. When out and about, use common sense: don't leave valuables visible in a car in remote or quiet places, and if you go hiking alone or in just a pair, be alert to strangers. That said, violent crime is practically unheard of.

Emergency Contacts

Emergency Fire, Police, Ambulance (999.)

Money Matters

The currency in use is the Seychelles rupee (Rs). The exchange rate was US$1 to Rs12.97 at the time of writing. The days when tourists were strictly obliged to use foreign exchange are blessedly over. Although tourist prices are often quoted in euros, you can always pay in rupees at the current exchange rate, and increasingly in U.S. dollars. ATMs (which accept foreign cards) are available at the airports, in Victoria, and scattered around the larger towns on all three main islands. The most reliable bank for foreign cards is MCB (Barclays also has ATMs, but some don't accept foreign cards). Foreign exchange offices are fairly plentiful on Mahé, and exist on Praslin and La Digue in the touristy areas. Almost all hotels, restaurants, shops, and even small curio stalls take major credit cards, with a preference for Visa and MasterCard. Banks are open Monday to Friday 8:30–2 and Saturday 9–11; they don't close for lunch.

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