This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Safety and Security Crime section (increase in residential burglary) and other editorial amendments. The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in this travel advice for Seychelles. However, we advise against all but essential travel by yacht and leisure craft on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and part of the Indian Ocean.
(see travel advice legal disclaimer)
The temporary ban on swimming at certain locations on Praslin imposed after two fatal shark attacks in 2011 has been lifted by the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority following the introduction of Life Guard services at Anse Lazio & Cote D’Or on the Island of Praslin .
Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and has occurred as far as 1,000 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia. Sailing vessels are particularly vulnerable. We therefore advise against all but essential travel by yacht and leisure craft on the high seas (more than 12 nautical miles from shore) in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and part of the Indian Ocean. This includes activities within the Seychelles Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) beyond twelve miles of the inner granitic islands. Travel by air to these islands is not affected. See our Piracy in the Indian Ocean page.
Land based tourism in the Seychelles is currently unaffected by piracy activity.
You should be aware of an increase in petty theft on beaches and whilst trekking. Parked cars may be vulnerable and valuables left in accommodation without a secure safe. See Safety and Security – Crime.
- Most visits to Seychelles are trouble-free.
- There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
- You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See General – Insurance.
Safety and Security – Terrorism
There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
See our Terrorism Abroad page.
Safety and Security – Crime
There have been incidents of the hijacking of vessels by Somali pirates in the exclusive economic zone waters of the Seychelles. See the Sea Travel section of this Travel Advice.
Crime levels in Seychelles are generally low, but there has been an increase in residential burglary, therefore, you should take sensible precautions. Do not leave valuables in cars. Take care in isolated areas and also in more popular places such as Beau Vallon and the back streets of Victoria, especially after dark. Beaches, parked cars and accommodation are favourite targets for thieves.
There have been recent incidents of people trekking on marked and unmarked trails who have been victims of robbery. The most recent attack on a walker was at knife point. We therefore encourage people to leave valuables securely at home and stay within large, organised groups.
Take particular care if alone.
Make sure your accommodation is well secured, especially after dark. Safeguard valuables and cash. Deposit them in the hotel’s main safe, where practical. Keep copies of important documents, including passports, separate.
Safety and Security – Local Travel
Safety and Security – Local Travel – Road Travel
Mahé is mountainous, and roads are narrow and winding, often with sheer drops and hairpin bends. Safety barriers are rare. Take care when driving and avoid more remote roads, particularly at night. Buses are the only means of public transport. They are inexpensive but infrequent on some routes. Taxis are good but you should negotiate the fare before beginning your journey. When returning hired vehicles, obtain an acknowledgement that the vehicle has not been damaged during the period of hire. UK driving licences are valid for up to three months.
See our Driving Abroad page.
See Airline Security.
Safety and Security – Local Travel – Sea Travel
Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and has occurred as far as 1000 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia. Sailing vessels are particularly vulnerable. We therefore advise against all but essential travel by yacht and leisure craft on the high seas (more than 12 nautical miles from the shore) in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and part of the Indian Ocean. This includes activities within the Seychelles Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) beyond twelve miles of the inner granitic islands. Travel by air to these islands is not affected. See our Piracy in the Indian Ocean page.
There have been some piracy attacks in the waters immediately off the Seychelles. On 23 October 2009, two British nationals were taken hostage while sailing in the Indian Ocean. They were approximately 60 nautical miles from the Seychelles’ main island of Mahé. They were released on 14 November 2010.
Safety and Security – Local Travel – Swimming
Although shark attacks are extremely rare, there were two fatal incidents (one involving a British national) off Anse Lazio on the island of Praslin in 2011. The temporary ban on swimming at certain locations on Praslin imposed after these attacks has been lifted by the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority following the introduction of Life Guard services at Anse Lazio & Cote D’Or on the Island of Praslin.
Drownings do occasionally occur; be careful when swimming/snorkelling. Seasonal changes in sea conditions mean there are strong currents on beaches at different times. Beaches that offer safe swimming during the south east monsoon (May-September) may not be safe during the north east monsoon (November-March). Seek local advice. Dangerous rip currents can occur off the popular Beau Vallon beach when the sea is rough.
See our River and Sea Safety page.
Drug taking and smuggling are serious offences. Punishments can be severe.
Topless sunbathing is tolerated on many but not all beaches. Nudism is not acceptable.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Seychelles.
See our Your Trip page.
Entry Requirements – Visas
Visas are not required for British passport holders.
Entry Requirements – Passport Validity
You must hold a valid passport to enter Seychelles. Your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. However, it is always sensible to have a short period of extra validity on your passport in case of any unforeseen delays to your departure. You do not have to wait until your old passport expires to apply to renew it. Any time left on your old passport when you apply will be added to your new passport, up to a maximum of nine months. For passport applications in the UK, you should apply to the Identity and Passport Service. You will also need an onward/return ticket and proof of sufficient funds.
Entry Requirements – Travelling with children
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country.
Contact your GP around eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.
Medical facilities in Seychelles are limited, especially on the more remote islands where doctors are often unavailable. The main hospital (including Accident and Emergency services) is in Victoria, tel: + 248 4388000. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Bring sun protection creams and insect repellents with you, as local supplies are erratic and expensive.
You should drink or use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. If you suffer from diarrhoea during a visit to the Seychelles you should seek immediate medical attention.
You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. See our HIV and AIDS page.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Our Travel Health pages offer further advice on how to stay healthy when overseas.
General – Insurance
We recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling, including provision for medical evacuation. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.
See our Travel Insurance page.
If things do go wrong when you are oversees then this is How We Can Help.
General – Registration
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency. More information about registering with LOCATE can be found here.
General – Money
On 1 November 2008, the Government of Seychelles removed foreign currency restrictions that required non-residents to pay for accommodation and other services in hard currency, as part of its economic reform programme. Non-residents can now pay for goods and services in either Seychelles Rupees or hard currency (Sterling, US Dollars, Euros etc.).
General – Consular Assistance Statistics
Ten British nationals required consular assistance in Seychelles in the period 01 April 2011 – 31 March 2012, including for three deaths, one hospitalisation and two arrests.