Long before we went to La Digue, I read about the fact, that there were no cars but only bicycles and ox vehicles. That sounded very romantic to me.
Well, unfortunately I succeeded to convince my husband to join one of these ox vehicles on our arrival and must say, that the tremendous high price ruined my romantic feelings very quickly! (We paid approx. Euro 10,- for just 300 metres) That was definitely not worth this price at all!
It is certainly somewhat of an experience (a good one???) - but after having been "trapped ", I must say, looking one of these ox vehicles is probably already sufficient and enough of "experience" ... ?!
Unique Suggestions: I you can't resist (like me) - ask how far they will take you (or how long) and try to bargain a bit!
Fun Alternatives: On our depart, we carried (pulled) our luggage to the port.
Travel Services of Seychelles
Travel Services of the Seychelles, TSS, is a good company that works with the government. Great people, too. But their services always include a commission to themselves, which you can sometimes avoid by organising things yourself.
Unique Suggestions: If your are booking a package tour or using services of a travel agent back home (wherever that might be), the chance is that your agent is using the TSS services and that you will be met by TSS personnel at the airport /in your hotel/at the pier. Fine, when all is paid for already, there's nothing extra to be added. TSS will give you further suggestions and options, and these things do not necessarily come cheap.
Fun Alternatives: You might be better off using the services of the hotel or guest house where you are staying directly, hail e.g. a taxi yourself and negotiate daytrips around Mahe or Praslin, get your tickets and excursions to other islands, fishing and snorkelling trips organised directly with the transport companies etc. Our experience was that drivers and boatowners did not try to overcharge, but offered a fair deal.Related to:
- Water Sports
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Arts and Culture
Money - what is the cost of visiting Seychelles?
While not entirely budget level, Seychelles style, this is the cost of a fairly comfortable life:
Flying there from Europe: 1000 E
1 night in a guest house/3 star and below hotel: 60 E
Breakfast: 10 E
Basic lunch/dinner w/ drinks/dessert: 20 E
Taxi from airport to Victoria 10 E
Snorkeling tour in a boat, half-day w/picnic: 50 E
Full day game fishing w/food and drinks: 200 E
Cat Cocos catamaran boat Victoria-Praslin: 20 E
Bike rental, one day: 8 E
A beer and a burger or pizza: 12 E
Unique Suggestions: You may beat the prices here with organizing your own picnic on the beach, buying your breakfast, lunch, dinner and fruits and drinks out of the super market etc. And no problem, you are supporting the local economy and getting very decent food, too.
You can save on drinks by drinking tap water, which is perfectly safe.
If you gang up a few people and charter a fishing boat you may easily beat the price of a tourist agency or hotel’s offer for a fishing tour. If you rent a bike for several days in a row, you’ll get a discount etc. etc.
To beat the hotel costs, you can look at cheaper guest houses and non-service accommodation. Another way of going about it is to jump on an offer for accommodation and all the food included. That seemed to me to be a very good choice if staying in one place for a while.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
The exchange rate of Seychelles Rupees
The Seychelles tourist authority and state is eager to lay their hands on your cash, cards and cheques. It’s all about keeping currency reserves and viable trading currencies handy for the state. Nobody wants Seychelles Rupees. All said, the Seychellois are very nice when convincing you to part with your money. And they have indeed some very good suggestions.
There is a fixed exchange rate established by the State Bank. This is about 1 USD = 5 SRS.
Since people are rather desperate to leave the islands for holidays and work, and there are restrictions of how much foreign currency they can buy, there is another exchange rate, too. Brought on by the State rules the limited access leads to private need for dollars, euros, pounds and other currencies of key Seychellois’ travel destinations, and quite discreetly you may be offered a rate as much as 1:9, which probably reflects the real value of the rupee.
Unique Suggestions: It is illegal to do black market exchange according to regulations you have signed on entry to the Seychelles, and you should never, never, never push for such a sale.
Fun Alternatives: Smile, pay and check out the beach and waves - that's all for free!!!!
"Zoo" and Waterfall at Port Glaud, Mahe
Please do not waste your time, energy and money going to visit this awful place - and if you are an animal lover or of a sensitive disposition DEFINATELY give this place a wide berth !!! We were DISGUSTED to find animals kept in very inadequate conditions and some obviously desperately in need of veterinary attention - this place is shocking and we are appauled that it is allowed to legally operate as a tourist "trap" (we went only to see the waterfall at first and were unaware that this "zoo" existed at the top of the road where a woman then asked for 25R (£4.00 each !) to walk further along a path to view the waterfall !!! which we are also dissapointed to see was not really that impressive after all, very "murky"and certainly not a place we would choose to swim as was suggested by the woman taking our money ! PLEASE DO NOT VISIT THIS PLACE AS IT SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN AND THE AMIMALS REMOVED !!
Expensive & not much too buy
Groceries in the Seychelles are roughly 3 times more expensive than in South Africa. Also there's not much to buy. All chips, sweets and stuff is imported from places ilike Malaysia. You can only buy long life box milk. The bread is rarely fresh. A jar of coffee is very expensive (32 rupees) but nice. Some of the meat had price tags in "Rand" - in other words imported from South Africa. Also the only way you are going to get fish is (A) catch it yourself or (B) Eat at a restaurant (C) Head down to the jetty in Baie Ste Anne at about 8 AM and buy it off the fishermen offloading their boats. You will have to descale & prepare the fish yourself (or pay a local).
Some of the small shops only accept rupees and others will give you change in rupees whether you pay in dollars or euros.
Unique Suggestions: If you are going to pay with foreign currency, pay in dollars as the exchange rate is much better than Euros. For example...you can rent a car for 55 Euros or 60 dollars.
If you buy a fish, try to get a red snapper...this is an awesome fish, but you will find the fishermen reluctant to sell them, obviously because there is a high demand for them!
If you are looking for spices, get them from the souvenir shops.
Fun Alternatives: If you are going "self catering", bring as much non-perishable food with you as possible. Take out half the clothing you were going to pack (because you will not wear it, I promise) and instead pack food.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
La Digue - Avoid "TinTin bicycle hire"
The Tintin bicycle hire in la digue is the nearest to the well known "La Digue Resort".
Due to its previleged location it has rates higher that other bicycle hires in the island although it offers the bicycles in worst shape.
My wife's bicycle gears did not work well, another one had really bad brakes.
Given the state of the bikes you feel like you are buying them not renting.
Furthermore the guy was extremely unfriendly (rude / aggressive / yealling at me) when I asked for to use the bike for 30 more minutes (after I had payed for 3 days).
Unique Suggestions: Check out rates and the state of bikes on other bicycle hires.
Fun Alternatives: Use another bicycle hire.Related to:
Uh! And don't forget to...
Uh! And don't forget to absolutely avoid Takamaka Residence!! The place is widely advertised, with semi-naked winking ladies on the pamphlets, but it's a dump! Filthy rooms, far from the beach (you have to pass through the forest and some dirty ponds full of mosquitos), it's located in a sort of valley where NO wind passes by and you end up gasping all the time.. Better stay home.. By the way, we paid $140 for 1 night!!!!
Local currency is Seychelles...
Local currency is Seychelles Roopee, official change is $1 = SR 5. Black Mkt change is $1= SR 10, or even more if you change more money.
Black Market has always been so flourishing that government decided that after june 2001 all tourists must pay in dollars or euros.. Which is true in most cases, especially hotels. But untrue if you go to restaurants and if you're smart enough not to go to an agency, when you rent a car, wich officially costs $60 per day. Just to let you know..
Despite the name, avoid EDEN...
Despite the name, avoid EDEN bungalows, close to Port Glaud. It has very nice apartments, ok. But it has completely spoiled the landscape and the indian owner asks the highest prices of all!!! We found cockroaches IN THE BED, and they acted annoyed of having to change the sheets (!!), the 'restaurant' is awful, disgusting meals and outrageously expensive!
Plus, breakfast is not included and we spent $10 each for an horrible coffee and one egg...
Be careful of some excursions...
Be careful of some excursions they are expensive and you see only what the tourist company want you to see...My advice get friendly with the locals and pay them a small fee to show you the natural beauty most tourists never see.
Don't be sucked into buying a...
Don't be sucked into buying a coco de mer....first of all, it will cost you about $5,000 US dollars, because there are only three places in the world where these giant coco de mer palm trees grow, and they are all in the Seychelles. They are under protection but there is a huge black market. The nuts grow in the shape of human 'private parts'--male and female respectively, and are said to be an aphrodesiac. However, if you get caught trying to take one out of the country or stealing or using one even while in the country, you might stay in the Seychelles much lnger than anticipated, up to 5 years in jail! (By the way, we decorated the one hanging in our hotel room with the hibiscus flower...the hotel staff put hibiscus flowers all over our room and we didn't know where to put them. They do NOT grow as a part of the coco de mer, hehe)Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Beware buying shells, corals...
Beware buying shells, corals etc. from beach peddlars. They are lovely people, but you will find that anything that can be bought on the beach can be bought in Victoria at half of the price. Think twice about buying shells and corals anyway. Conservation is a key issue everywhere.
When to go
During the second half of April there was a lot of rain, this period is too much at risk for weather because is to close to the end of the raining season.
Fun Alternatives: BEST TIME TO GO IS JUNE - Averages: Rain 3.8 inches - Wind 11.8 mph, SE - Temp 80 F - Sun 7.6 hrs/day
Generally dry and getting cooler as the Southeast Trades firmly establishes itself.
To dive or not to dive
Some people of our catamaran cruise had PADI dive license, I have not license nevertheless I would like to dive by 10 meters deep immersions (no risk for embolism). But this "friends" take contact with the dive center without my knowing it, not allowing me the time to partecipate. I think that kindness is compulsory even in the middle of the desert or in the open ocean, actually is only in my opinion...
We stayed at the 2 Bedroom Beach front villa. We were 3 adults (all women) and 2 children. The...more
I recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a very romantic and unique honeymoon. You are treated...more
Frigate Island 00000, Seychelles
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business