Local tips, ideas for planning your idyllic holiday to Seychelles

Seychelles archipelago
The Seychelles are the only granitic islands in the world. PHOTO/FILE
Magically placed in the heart of the Indian Ocean between India and the East African coast, the Seychelles is a leading holidays destination in Africa.

The archipelago is made up of 115 islands scattered over an area of more than 400,000 sq km.

Mahe is the biggest island of the archipelago. It is home to a mountain range that forms the backbone of the island. Morne Seychellois, highest peak in Seychelles is 905m tall and offers a good scenery to Mahe’s capital – Victoria.

The second largest island, Praslin is famous for white sandy beaches, especially Anse Lazio — which has consistently been voted one of the world’s best beaches. Praslin beaches offer excellent snorkelling and are safe for bathing. The island is a perfect jumping off to explore other islands such as La Digue, St. Pierre, Cousin and  Curieuse.

Although the islands are closer to Africa, their culture is a combination of Indian, Chinese, European and African cultures. These can be found in the resident’s language (creole based on French), the music (African roots music mixed with European country dance), the cuisine (French base with Chinese way of cooking and Indian spices).

The Seychelles are the only granitic islands in the world (others are biological or volcanic in nature) and the archipelago is renowned for its white, pristine and unspoilt beaches.

When To Go
Seychelles enjoys tropical climate and is therefore an all-year-round holidays or honeymoon destination, although the best months are April and October. November to March experiences short rains, but the season is also good for holidays as the seas are calm and its hot and humid.

Sailing and windsurfing are usually best at the beginning and end of May to October period, while diving is best between March and May.

The average temperature in Seychelles is 29°C throughout the year, which is accompanied by a very pleasant breeze.

Quick Facts About Seychelles
Time: GMT/UTC + 4 hrs
Area: 455.3 sq km
Capital: Victoria (Mahé)
Telephone: Country code 248
Population: 81,100 (official estimate 2005)
Language: Creole, English and French.
Annual GDP: US$833 Million