Seychelles had been a dream destination on my travel board for years. For the longest time her pristine white beaches, her majestic lush green mountains surrounded by azure blue waters called out to me.
On the descent into Seychelles International Airport, it was almost like you were getting a scenic tour of the islands before landing at the airport. Misty clouds parted to reveal specks of green in the middle of an ocean of blue. Also in that background of deep blue, there was the bright blue of the coral reefs bordering the small islands. Words cannot begin to describe! Seychelles is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen on God’s green earth.
Alas, exotic beautiful places cost a fortune, but still I enjoyed 5 days in paradise, on a budget. Here’s how you can do the same too.
GETTING TO PARADISE
Seychelles is visa free for Nigerian citizens. Can I get a HALLELUJAH ?!?! But thanks to our “reputation”, Seychelles Immigration is very thorough with green passport holders (*insert eye roll here* I’m just over the struggle). You need to have a valid passport, return or onward ticket, confirmed accommodation, proof of sufficient funds and yellow fever vaccination card to get an entry permit on arrival.
I wish I could say flying to paradise from Lagos is a breeze – it’s not. All available flights involve connections, layovers and long hours in transit before arriving in Mahe, Seychelles. But trust me, the minute you touchdown, your long hours in transit would be well worth it.
Ethiopian Air & Kenyan Airways are my preferred budget friendly options, try them out and save some more cash by using the Waka Waka guide for scoring cheaper flight ticket. You’re welcome!
WHERE TO SLEEP
Shut out the world, now imagine waking to the natural alarm of birds chirping as the sun peeks. Every part of Seychelles is serene and picturesque, you don’t need to dole out hundreds of dollars to luxury resorts to enjoy and capture idyllic ambience.
Say hello to AirBNB, your bank account will thank you, explore more affordable options of about $60 dollar per night. (For best results, download the AirBNB app & you can get $40 credit towards your first stay by signing up with this link.) Resorts far outweigh budget gems so be sure to book way ahead, and get a confirmed booking receipt with the name/address & number of the place for immigration.
Unfortunately Seychelles immigration aren’t fans of couchsurfers – a community who open their homes to each other free – so I’d advise that if you choose to couchsurf, get a letter of invite from your host.
Seychelles is one of the safest places you’d ever visit. Picture evening strolls on narrow winding roads without fear; adorning your favorite bikini with beach shorts and hopping on the bus, zero harassment nor catcalls. Public transport in Seychelles is as safe as it gets.
Mahe operates accessible bus services that runs through the island daily. A single trip on the bus costs less than $1, which is a steal in comparison to $30 charged by the taxi drivers. The bus schedules are duly updated on Seychelles Public Transport Corporation website.
Filtering your airbnb accommodation search to display self catering options can save you about $200 over 5 days because you get to cook your own meals.
But if like me you wouldn’t travel over three thousand miles to continue slaving away in a kitchen, buy Take Away. Take Away is Creole food sold at local eateries for as low as $5. Maybe splurge on one fancy, fine dining experience.
Most drinks are imported into Seychelles, so they usually cost a premium at the supermarkets. It’s best to stock up on booze at duty-free on your arrival.
THINGS TO DO
Operators price a lot of activities for groups, so if you’re alone there’s no shame in flashing your best smile and asking for a bargain. Smaller tour operators are the gospel, there’s always a bargain.
Snorkel in the Indian Ocean. Dive into the clear blue Indian Ocean and witness a whole new world underwater. If you’re lucky a whale sharks will swim by to say hello.
Guide: Belle Petra
( a steal compared to $100 charged by the bigger operators).
Zip line at Morne Seychellois. Glide through the forest canopies and experience the burst of adrenalin that comes with zip lining
Guide: SMAC Adventures
Feed giant tortoises @ the Botanical Garden. Explore the scenic & tranquil botanical garden, see exotic tropical island plants and feed the giant tortoises.
Entrance fee only
Hike the Morne Blanc Trail. A morning climb up Mahe’s most iconic mountain is worth rising early for. Picture walking through lush mist forest leading to a very spectacular peak view of the island. It’s the perfect activity for lovers of nature and photographers.
The trail is well-marked so you really don’t need a guide.
Beach Bum @ Port Launay. Throw on a bikini, park a day bag and embrace the island life at Port Launay South Beach. Port Launay is the less popular beach compared to Beau Vallon but has more beautiful scenery. Sit back and soak in the sun. Or paddle out into the waters in a rented kayak. Whenever you’d like a new scenery, feel free to beach hop.
The beaches of Seychelles are many, and best of all access is
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Avoid traveling during the peak period of May to August. Budget travel is best between the December and March off-season. It is when you get the best bargains, but consider do consider the September to mid December sweet spot, when the weather is good + less expensive rates.
Island hopping isn’t budget friendly. Seychelles is an archipelago made up of 115 islands, the inhabited ones being Mahe, Praslin & La Digue. Going from one island to the other via the inter island ferry is very expensive and you’re better off staying put in Mahe – where the international airport is situated.
Black people need sunscreen too. I spent a lot of time in the sun and came home with a lot of sun damage. Don’t be like me, make sunscreen your travel companion, you’d get a tan but avoid sunburn and sun damage.
Seychellois are shy. However, if you extend a hand of friendship, they are the nicest people. The locals taught me how to ride a motorbike, took me clubbing and showed me sunsets at secret beaches. They know all the best spots, and you’d be privy to a fascinating world that’s not included in your guide-book.
You don’t need to break the bank to make beautiful memories, and Seychelles is all the proof you need. Right here in Africa, no less!
So pack your bags, the Islands are calling!
Planning to visit Seychelles? Let’s curate the holiday of your dreams. A personalized insider guide complete with the best deals, unique dining experiences, ways to get around, places to see, local tour guides and an epic itinerary just for you.