Backpacking the Seychelles
While island hopping can be more comfortable with a backpack than with a suitcase the typical things back packers enjoy are limited on the islands: cheap eats, cheap accomodation, nightlife. There are hardly any solo travelers and thus no hostels and people to easily bond with. The Seychelles spezialize in luxury tourism to limit the number of tourists so that their biggest treasure – nature and beaches – will be protected.
We chose to visit the three main islands: Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Our favourite was La Digue as its (almost) bike-only policy gives you this relaxed small tropical island feeling. Our plan was to discover the most we could of the islands and especially stop at some of the most beautiful beaches.
Safety in the Seychelles
I was asked if it was safe to travel alone as a female in the Seychelles. As the Seychelles are the most developed country in Africa it feels safe. Actually I felt more safe than I do in Europe because there are so few inhabitants on the island that social control is exercised. For example we didn’t have to lock our bikes on La Digue because everybody knows who those bikes belong to. The official travel advice is to not walk alone at night but actually I didn’t have those concerns (you might not want to walk at night because there’s nothing going on anymore but that’s a different story). Just make sure to not get run over by a car when crossing the street as they drive on the left (aka the wrong one) side of the road.
Health in the Seychelles
From a medical point of view, the embassy’s list of sicknesses you could potentially get is pretty long; however malaria is not on there! 🙂 (my doctor only gets to see me for malaria prescriptions and keeping my vaccinations up to date).
The risk of catching Dengue fever and some other mosquito born sicknesses is present, so make sure you’re always covered with mosquito spray.
Always put some sunscreen (30+) on and take your emergency meds. My emergency meds kid includes anything against food poisoning, having a cold, sore throat, desinfection liquid; just typical travel health issues.
However I didn’t need to use any of those and they were also lots of pharmacies around where you could get those if you need. On every island we saw hospitals too.
Getting robbed in the Seychelles
The only uncomfortable situation I had on our arrival day was when I left the security guard alone in the room for one second. I caught him opening my portmonnaie, so I immediately said “what the fuck are you doing”. He made up some excuses but I noticed how he stressed, so I made him open all his pockets and show me everything.p: “Now that pocket”.
I caught him right in the moment so he hadn’t taken anything yet. The situation was awkward for all of us.
Esther said she’d never seen me as strict and determined like that before.
My point is: pay tension to your belongings all the time, don’t give any opportunity and you’ll be fine. Especially your passport and your credit card need to be in a safe place. All the rest can be replaced. Except for that I didn’t have any concerns leaving things unlocked in our room.
Driving in the Seychelles
I recommend getting a rental car on the islands Mahé and Praslin because they’re quite hilly and too big to discover by bike.
The cheaper alternative would be to go by bus. But you might have to wait half an hour here and there. Rental cars cost €50 per day with third-party liability insurance included. If you take a car for 10 or more days the price may go down to 35€ per day.
In the Seychelles one does not drive on the right side of the road. As long as you get an automatic car that shouldn’t be an issue; just make sure you don’t drive too far on the left. Or on the right like I did in the jungle. For the rest of the holiday I was hoping to get my deposit back…
Rental car providers can be found at the airport and in the main towns – sometimes even in your accommodation. One travel hack if you’re island hopping is to return the car at the ferry terminal or airport. Best is to rent the car the day before you change islands and you don’t have to worry about the transport with your luggage to the ferry terminal from your accommodation. From the ferry terminal in Mahé there’s actually an airport transfer for 10 €.
Diving in the Seychelles
We went diving and snorkeling three times, that is on every island we visited.
Unexpectedly diving in Praslin was the highlight. At Bobby point ( Bobby not Boobie) we saw a whale shark and at Red Point on Curieuse island I was swimming with dolphins. Fish swarms, turtles and small sharks can be found almost everywhere.
On Mahé there were high waves, visibility was bad and nine out of 12 people left after the first dive/ snorkel.
On La Digue you’ll find underwater rocks and labyrinths.
Cheap eats in the Seychelles
The Seychelles is not an affordable country as it is 1000 km from the mainland and everything has to be imported. Restaurants charge at least €10 per dish and starting from four euros for soft drinks.
Hotels usually come with accommodation only – hardly ever with breakfast, lunch or dinner or all inclusive.
Unless you want to spend big amounts for food, I recommend having a light breakfast with fruit, samosas from a supermarket for the equivalent of $.30 for lunch and for dinner I would recommend Takeaway for three to 5 euros euros.
The best takeaway we found is Mi Mum’s Takeaway on La Digue island close to the ferry terminal. In fact the food was better than at any restaurant we were eating at.
I got a funny interpretation of a vegetable pizza that had a mix of frozen vegetables on it. Beans, peas and carrots are not the typical kind of veggies you’d expect on a pizza; but this veggie mix haunted me all over the islands since they were hardly any fresh vegetables in the supermarkets and markets.
For European food you might actually want to spend more just to get the quality of ingredients right.
For the best value for money eat local specialities such as fish curries, vegetable curries or meat curries.
Which airlines fly to the Seychelles
Emirates, Etihad, Turkish, Ethiopian, Qatar, Air Seychelles,…
Nice options to combine with a stopover like we did in Dubai on the way to Vietnam in 2015.
We took a direct flight over night with Condor from Frankfurt ( cheapest option). Service on board was disappointing.
Money in the Seychelles
Get Seychelles Rupies from the ATM upon arrival for smaller expenses. Bigger expenses can be paid by credit card and in Euros.
How much is it to travel the Seychelles on a budget?
Direct round trip Flight FRA-SEZ over night 700€ (starting from 500€)
Bus 0,50€ per person without changing the bus
Rental car 50€ with third party insurance
Airbnb from 60€ per night ( that is 30€ per person per night 🙂 ) we even got whole apartments with kitchen for that price. Way better value for money than hotels.
Cheapest hotel at the beach with pool (Berjaya Beau Vallon) with semi pension 240€ per night but not worth the money. 1 week packaged holiday incl flight there costs from 1400€.
Four Seasons ( that is where fancy instagrammers stay if the hotel invites them) from 1000€ per night ( “cheaper” in a packaged holiday, i.e. 4000€ per person incl flight from Europe)
Airport transfer to Beau Vallon from 40€ ( bus is 1€ per person but a bit of hustling)
Book on seyferry.com. Some companies need hard copies to not give you those fancy boarding passes
Mahé- Praslin 47€ per person
Praslin – La Digue 14€
La Digue – Mahé 61€
Airport transfer from ferry to airport on Mahé 10€
Snorkeling 15-30€ or free
Eating out Luxembourgish prices
Restaurant 15€+ per person
Supermarket french prices
Alcohol Scandinavian prices, e.g. local beer 250ml in supermarket 2€, in a restaurant 5€, cocktail 10€, bottle of johnny Walker 35€ in supermarket, 15€ in airport duty free shop.
On a low-medium budget it is possible to travel the Seychelles with a budget of 100-120€ per day. Thinking in relative terms, longer stays will make up for the expensive flight and bring down the daily budget.