Seychelles

Made up of over 100 islands, the Seychelles archipelago is truly breathtaking. With most of these islands being completely uninhabited, nature takes priority with many of the islands being entire nature reserves (or, in the case of the inhabited islands, having a large area of land protected). With a population of approximately 82,000 people, this is the smallest of any sovereign state in Africa. The majority of Seychellois live on the principal islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue making these three inner islands the center of everyday cultural and economic activity as well as a great holiday destination. As with several other Indian Ocean islands the culture here has been created by years of migration and now consists of mélange of people of mostly French, African, Indian and Chinese descent.

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What to Expect

Spectacular white sand beaches, steep forested mountains and turquoise waters, the Seychelles truly are as idyllic in real life as they appear in photos.

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The three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Dique offer a wide variety of accommodations, activities and day trips to suit most visitors however for those looking to splurge, the Seychelles are known for some of their exclusive, private-use islands. Activities available at some of the resorts include snorkeling and SCUBA diving, bicycle rides, ziplining through tropical rainforests, nightclubs, boat trips to deserted islands, dolphin watching… and this is just scratching the surface. Our expert travel designers will help you sift through your dizzying amount of choices!

Don't Miss Out

The Essence of Seychelles — The magic of the Seychelles might be encapsulated in the four coral islands that create the Aldabra Atoll.

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Located on the Western side of the archipelago, closer to mainland Africa, this atoll has essentially remained untouched by humans since 1511 when early explorers first glimpsed the islands. Only accessible by boat, Aldabra is one of the most remote ecosystems in the world. Home to over 400 endemic species and subspecies that include vertebrates, invertebrates and plants, including the last refuge for the largest population of giant tortoises in the world. The atoll is also an important breeding ground for endangered green turtles and critically endangered hawksbill turtles as well as several bird species. Visitors to Aldabra must obtain advance permission from the Seychelles Islands Foundation.

Carnival & Creole Culture – Carnival in Seychelles is an extremely popular event, not just locally but worldwide. Held for three days in October in the capital of Victoria, the carnival celebrates unity, togetherness, and equality in line with the month-long Creole Festival. Participants come from all over the world and displays joyful ambiance of respecting cultures and heritage of different nations. There is always a fantastic party atmosphere and at the same time it’s a wonderful way to learn about the ‘melting pot’ that is Seychelles culture and history. In addition to Carnival, the annual Creole Festival is an intoxicating combination of mix Creole music, culture, cuisine, dance and art. Visitors and locals alike are welcome to revel in the exuberant Creole lifestyle.

Island Hopping – an ideal way to experience all the subtle differences between islands is to board a private yacht, sailboat, or catamaran for a few days and sail into the sunset. Multi-day island hopping cruises combine nicely as a post-safari option because they offer different destinations in Seychelles without having to unpack and repack at each stop! Shore excursions and activities include beach picnics, mangrove exploration, snorkeling, hiking among the boulders and diverse terrain, and visits to bird sanctuaries. Our expert staff will help you select the best itinerary to suit your interests and style.

Hidden gem— One of the best things about travel is a joyful experience when you least expect it.  On the tiny island of La Digue you can rent a bicycle to explore the island. While many visit the stunning beach of Anse de Source d’Argent, few know that just a short walk away lies an unforgettable Seychellois experience. Studded with enormous granite boulders and giant tortoises is a footpath that runs along the beach. As you stroll along, the boulders break the beach into different sections, and with each turn a new incredible vista lay before you. Far from the tourist crowds, roads and electricity amidst these idyllic beaches is a refreshing treat waiting to be discovered…but we will leave you in suspense for now so you may uncover it for yourself on your adventure to the Seychelles!

Need to know

Direct flights into the Seychelles are available from South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, much of Europe and the Middle East. All airlines fly into Seychelles International Airport on the island of Mahé near the capital city of Victoria. You will then be transferred by road, boat or helicopter to your accommodation.

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  • We advise spending 4 -7 days on the islands. They are easily combined with safaris in South or East Africa, a city break in the Middle East, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, or another Indian Ocean island destination such as Madagascar.
  • We recommend the Seychelles to all types of travelers. With such a wide variety of islands and resorts to choose from it can be tailored for honeymooners just as much as family getaways.
  • Visas are not required for most visitors. Inoculations may be recommended; we suggest you see a travel medicine specialist for advice.
  • Transport on the islands is by road however if transferring between islands it will be by boat or air.
  • English, French and Creole are the official languages with English being widely spoken at all accommodations allowing for easy communication.
  • Food is high quality and of international standards within the resorts – as with other Indian Ocean destinations the local fare is a fabulous flavor combination reminiscent of Creole culture.

When to go

Seychelles has classic tropical climate with warm weather year-round and two main seasons that are determined by the trade winds. The temperature is always consistently 75°F to 90°F (24°C to 32°C) with some humidity.

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May – September: the Southeast trade winds bring drier weather and steady winds, which are important to keep in mind when choosing your accommodation. If visiting Mahé or Praslin some of the beaches on the Southwest of the island can be too rough for swimming while the North and East coasts are fine. Additionally, the winds make for rougher seas and boat crossings between the islands so one may choose to fly at this time.  Naturally, this is the best time of year if interested in sailing, windsurfing or surfing.

October – April: the winds come from the Northwest and are typically gentler. However, there is a greater volume of rain over this period, particularly between November and January. This said, as with anywhere in the tropics, rain showers tend to be short, lasting just a few hours rather than days at a time, so this needn’t be a great factor in your decision.

Snorkeling and SCUBA diving are great all year round, and dive operators will know the best sites for visibility at any one time of the year. The best all-round underwater conditions can be found during April-May and October-November, when visibility can top nearly 100 feet (30 m) and the water temperature can be as high as 84°F (29°C).

Accommodation

Mahe is the largest island and offers the most choice in terms of accommodation. Here you will find grand resorts, small hotels, Creole guest houses and for true exclusivity, private islands.

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The determining factor in choosing where to stay will be what you want to do, as each location on Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue offers various activities. Overall, you will find a laid-back island vibe with local charm and gracious owners who add little touches to help you enjoy your stay. On small islands, the beach is never far and you can explore on foot, by bike, and even by ox-cart if you wish!

What our travelers say

Amy Lundberg

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

Betsy Robertson

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

Dawn Jacobs

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

George Kowalski

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

Jackie Smith

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

Jamie Scarlett

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Joe Moravec

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Kim Mather

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Lisa Anderson

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (and family)

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.