Seychelles

Seychelles: Luxury & Private Safaris

Unspoiled and beautiful, the Seychelles is a country of endless private beaches and crystal waters, the ideal beach getaway. Featuring ancient forests of supersized ferns, exotic birds, unique endemic plants and robust tropical reefs, this island country is a truly unique and exclusive destination.

These sun-kissed islands invite peaceful days spent relaxing or actively exploring. A bohemian mix of Creole, English and French, Seychelles is a little beach-rustic, a bit colonial and a little cosmopolitan. As you dine on Creole meals flavored to match the unique islands, bare toes in the sugar white sand, you reflect over another memorable day.

The Seychelles archipelago consists of 115 islands, many of which are unpopulated. The three main islands are granite based with thick tropical foliage, while the numerous outlaying islands are low-lying coral. All abound with fauna and flora and are surrounded by pristine beaches and seas teaming with marine life. Some of the most incredible private beaches in the world are found in the Seychelles – and it is easy to picture pirates of old gleefully digging hiding places for their buried treasure (which they truly did!).

All travelers arrive into the international airport on Mahe, but from here may choose to stay on Mahe, or move by ferry or short flight to Praslin, La Digue or the outlying private islands, which opens up a range of opportunities to island hop on day trips or part of an extended stay.

Seychelles is a world class beach extension which can be added on to an East or Southern Africa safari itinerary via a direct flight from Nairobi or Johannesburg, and is also easy to link to Europe by air. For the true beachcomber, consider a jaunt through the spice islands from Madagascar to Mauritius and up to the Seychelles.

Secrets and Tips from our Experts

  • Trade winds can bring rough seas and seaweed to certain sides of the islands at various times of the year, thus it’s best to choose resort locations carefully based on the season.
  • Explore charming La Digue on a bicycle.
  • Spend at least four nights here – more time is better.
  • Rent a car on Mahe and find your own private beach!
  • Here’s your chance to stay on a private island.

Is Seychelles the right destination for you?

The Seychelles is ideal for those looking for an active beach destination in a polished, yet laid-back environment. It offers some of the world’s most beautiful natural beaches, lush jungle forests for hiking and waters teaming with fascinating marine life. Active travelers will find lots to do ranging from diving and snorkeling, fishing, sailing, island hopping, hikes and bike rides.

The Seychelles is also ideal for those looking for a refined, luxurious beach destination. The 5-star properties on Mahe and Praslin are excellent, and the private island properties such as North Island and Desroches, are some of the most remote and luxurious anywhere in the world. For serious divers and fly-fishing enthusiasts, Alphonse Island and it’s outlying atolls is heaven on Earth!

The country is sparsely populated and the remoteness of some of the islands will have great appeal for those looking for an intimate vacation – especially visitors wanting the exclusivity of a private island. It’s also great for those who want to island hop – just for the day, or to stay a few nights on a different island. We find Seychelles is particularly good for honeymooners; it is a truly romantic getaway with uncrowded beaches and exquisite scenery.

Bird lovers will find the Seychelles’ many endemic species fascinating, and the large tortoises and turtle breeding programs are a highlight for eco-tourists.

Culturally, Seychelles is a mix of French, English and Creole and this is evident in the cuisine and traditions. Dining is of a high standard and the local people are warm and hospitable. You will feel relaxed and safe in the Seychelles.

When to visit Seychelles?

The good news is that the Seychelles are a year round beach destination. It’s advisable to be mindful regarding accommodation locations at certain times of the year, as the trade winds affect different sides of the islands in different months, bringing seaweed and rougher seas. If diving or fishing are a priority, rougher seas and stronger winds limit these activities somewhat between July and September.

  • May to September: SE trade winds bring lower humidity with drier and cooler temperatures (stay on Northern side to avoid winds and seaweed). April marks the change of season.
  • October to April: NW trade winds usher in more humidity with warm tropical weather (stay on the Southern side of the islands to avoid wind and seaweed). November marks the change of season.
  • Mid-December to February brings more tropical rainfall.
  • The best months to visit the Seychelles are April, May, October and November. These are transition times between the hot and humid Northwest trade winds (November-March) and the cooler Southeast trade winds (April-October) which mean calm water and warm sunny days
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How much should I budget for a trip to Seychelles?

$ $ $ $ $

Seychelles: Luxury & Private Safaris

As an overall destination, Seychelles offers exclusive luxury in remote areas. Naturally, this exclusivity and luxury comes at a premium. Seychelles is an expensive beach option and not easy for budget-conscious travelers. For those who make the investment to visit, you’ll find a world class, stunningly beautiful and exclusive country.

Mid-level accommodation on Mahe and Praslin can costs in the range of $500 per night, but dinner could easily add $125-$200 per person per night to the bill. By law, food and drinks consumed by tourists can’t come from the island’s limited agricultural sources which equates to high costs for imported supplies. Travelers looking for a 5-star or private island option should expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $2500 per person per night.

Our favorite areas in the Seychelles

The Seychelles are an enormous area to explore and most visitors will pick just a few key spots. The two largest islands are Mahe and Praslin and these two islands are where many people choose to stay. There are beautiful beaches, such as Beau Vallon and Anse Lazio, with plenty to do and a wide range of accommodations.

From both Mahe and Praslin you can easily spend a day exploring a few smaller islands. La Digue offers a more remote and rural experience (there are only 2,000 people and a handful of cars on the whole island!) but also boasts the sensational Anse Source d’Argent beach. There are also a number of private islands including North Island, Felicite, Denis, Alphonse, Desroches and Fregate. Private islands offer a more exclusive and luxurious experience, and have the price tag to match.

What else should I know before planning a trip to Seychelles?

  • Seychelles: Not for Budget Travelers: Seychelles is a comparatively expensive destination and not supportive of budget conscious travelers.
  • Seychelles: Activities: Although there is hiking and biking to be done, the Seychelles are predominantly a beach and ocean destination, so suitable for those seeking water-oriented experiences.
  • Seychelles: Travel Logistics: Dining at the resorts is of a high quality and a high cost – the logistics of moving around the islands don’t lend themselves to eating at different locations/ restaurants off property very easily.
  • Seychelles: Luxury & Private Safaris: In some aspects, the Seychelles offer a similar high-end beach experience to parts of the Caribbean, which might be off-putting to travelers who are expecting something drastically different.
  • Seychelles: Travel Warnings: In order to travel around the islands, you are obliged to fly, ferry or transfer by boat, which may not suit those who are uncomfortable on boats, or in small planes and helicopters.

Ways to experience Seychelles

Seychelles is a tropical beach destination with plenty of activities and ways to experience the country both on land and in the water.

For the guests choose to stay on Mahe or Praslin, island hopping on day tours is a fantastic way to discover the true untouched beauty of the Seychelles and to get out to remote, pristine, snorkeling and diving spots. If you stay on one of the private islands, you may have a night or two in Mahe to begin or end your travels.

We recommend exploring the islands on bikes and there are a number of hiking trails available on Mahe, and the stunning jungle regions of Vallee de Mai on Praslin, home to both the endemic black parrot and storied Coco de Mer nut.

Diving is superb and suitable for all levels of experience on the reefs of the Seychelles, noting the best visibility is during April/May and October/November. Dive centers are located throughout the Seychelles, usually at the resort hotels, and water activities including sailing and excellent snorkeling are available throughout the islands.

Deep-sea fishing is an option throughout the year, while fly-fishing is best between November and May. There is a good golf course on Praslin and surf instruction is possible at a few resorts as well.

Markets, historic sites, national parks and marine parks provide a range of interesting places to discover. If you have an interest in history, take a try at a Seychelles Treasure Hunt, a fun guided experience that will bring you to off the beaten path locations while bringing local pirate history to life.

The Seychelles are safe and relatively easy to explore on your own. For guests staying on Mahe, you could rent a car for day and drive around the island, you may very well find your own empty stretch of pristine beach!

Wildlife you will see

While not a typical African wildlife destination, the Seychelles are home to an enormous array of unique flora and fauna and holds special appeal for bird lovers, due to the islands’ rare and endemic species.

In addition to being home to the Scop’s Owl, which was believed to be extinct until it was spotted again in 1959, it is home to the Indian Ocean’s only flightless bird, the white throated rail, greater flamingoes and the Magpie Robin and the Seychelles Brush Warbler, two of the rarest birds in the world.

The Seychelles are home to both the world’s smallest frog and the some of the world’s largest tortoises, and it’s a must to visit these gentle giants. Thanks to turtle breeding programs, green and hawksbill turtles are prevalent in the archipelago.

The marine life in the Seychelles, especially around the more remote coral islands is spectacular, more than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded. Divers have the best chance of seeing whale sharks between August and October and mantas from October-January, but fish life is prolific year round and the snorkeling is spectacular.

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lara_4 Lara Ray