Your Journey to the Seychelles
Flight : our experience shows us that the flights offered by Condor (every Friday at 6.25 pm, from September also on Tuesdays) from Frankfurt are the best choice, because they fly directly to the Seychelles! Simply subscribe to the Condor newsletter and wait for the best offer. A return-flight costs between €700 and €1000 (May 2016). But don’t panic! In ten years, I have never been on a fully booked plane. Most of the flights are mostly (very) well booked, but they are never completly booked-out! Flight time is approximately 9 hours. All other combinations (Air France, Emirates, Air Kathar, KLM, Kenya Airways and others) have a stopover in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or at other airports and that obviously lengthens your travelling time. By flying directly, you can also save yourself up to €300, two stopovers and a travelling time of up to 30 hours!
One of the best search engines for flights at the moment is www.skyscanner.de
Arrival : The customs will want to see your passport and the entry form that you received on the plane (already filled out, of course). It is advised not to bring foodstuffs such as meat, plants or fruit with you. At the moment, all hand luggage is scanned as you leave the airport and every apple, orange and so on, have to be handed over.
When you arrive in Mahe, it is best to immediately change money. The rates at different banks don’t really vary. The rate at the moment (August 2016) is approximately 14.75 Rupies for 1 Euro. Here is a link to a exchange rate calculator …
You should then ask for the shuttle to Cat Cocos. That is the name of the ferry and everyone will know where you want to go. The shuttle was once free-of-charge but now costs €10. Don’t forget that your luggage will also have to be loaded. A taxi costs approximately €20 to the harbour but you should always ask the taxi driver for a price in advance. But remember, for those of you travelling with Condor, you won’t be able to catch the the ferry at 7.30!
At the office in the harbour of Cat Cocos, you can buy tickets to Praslin. The tickets cost approximately €55 per person and can also be paid for in Euro. You can decide if you want to sit upstairs (in the Upper Cabin) in the open (this area is roofed), or downstairs (Main Cabin) in an air-conditioned room … but don’t forget your jacket! When you do not specify in which area you wish to sit in, you are mostly seated in this ‘Cool room’ and you are obliged to stay there – I am really not sure why they are as so strict. The ladies in the ticket office are not the fastest so it pays to be patient. Have your passport ready – they sometimes want to see it so as to be able to read your name so as to able to spell it correctly. You should give your luggage in at this office. It will then be loaded onto the ferry automatically. And even it all looks a bit chaotic, the system works in the end!
A tip for you! When you are travelling with the shuttle, one or you should unload your luggage and the other should already begin to queue!
Departure time for the ferry on Saturday is currently 11.30! But be careful, although it is really not typical for Africa, the ferry leaves really punctually! The journey takes about one hour. If you have a sensitive stomach, it is a good idea to take precautions – the water can be choppy.
By the way, if you sit upstairs, DO NOT sit in the last five rows on the side. At some time, you will be covered with sea froth … and will be completely wet! It’s not that important if you do get wet, however – it’s warm outside 🙂
It is now around 9.30 and you can eat something in the harbour like everyone else or you could take a stroll through Victoria. By foot, it takes about 15 minutes. When you walk straight on and you turn right at the second roundabout (the one with the ‘Big Ben’ in the middle), you will find the Cafe ‘Newspaper’ on the first floor after around 300 metres. You can fend off your hunger here with a wonderful breakfast. There is, alternatively, the fish market really not far away. There is also a souvenir shop on the first floor here. You really cannot get lost however – there is a reason why Victoria is known as the smallest capital in the world! But remember, you should be back in the harbour at 11.15!
By the way, a domestic flight isn’t necessarily more expensive than the ferry. Sometimes a domestic flight is even cheaper than the ferry. Simply check www.airseychelles.com for details!
When you arrive in Praslin, you can buy your tickets to La Digue. Don’t be too surprised at the ‘shape’ of ther tickets. They cost €14 per person. Then you collect your luggae (or one of you collects the luggage while the other buys the tickets). The ferry to La Digue always waits for the passengers coming from Mahe. The ‘harbour’ is very clearly laid out – it’s impossible to lose your way. The ferry take approximately 15 minutes.
Your arrival in La Digue. Normally you will be collected by Mervin, but sometimes he simply forgets. You know, sometimes with all the ‘stress’ here, it can happen. You should then simply ask for the Mary-Ann’s ‘La Passe Guesthouse’. It’s well known here on the island. To describe the way: left at the end of the jetty, passed the police station. After around 100 metres, you will see the storehouse ‘STC’ on your right. Turn right immediately after the storehouse onto the dirt road. After around 400 metres, you will see a sign for Mary-Ann’s ‘La Passe Guesthouse’!
You have arrived!
And if you want to make Mary-Ann happy, you’ll bring her and her friends a bottle of Bailey’s or Johnny Walker. Nothing else!
There are lots of shops on La Digue and one large supermarket ‘STC’. It’s normally the case that the smaller shops are cheaper than the large supermarket but of course, in the large supermarket you have a greater range of products. Sometimes there is no toothpaste or butter or some product or other is ‘out’. If you simply go to the next small shop, you’ll probably find what you are looking for. You can buy fruit and vegetables from the mobile stalls close to the harbour and recently also in ‘STC’ supermarket, but that’s not always the case. Mary-Ann will be glad to help you.
If you can’t live without it, there is an acceptable internet connection via a GPRS net von Cable & Wireless and Airtel. You can buy SIM cards in shops upon submittal of your passport. Going by experience, Airtel seems to be the better choice …
Telephoning with a German phone card will cost you around €3 per minute! It is advised to purchase a phone card when you want to phone. This will cost around 50 cent for one minute. A text-message costs around 5 cent. For more Information, see Internet.
It makes sense to travel on the island on foot or by bicycle. Mary-Ann rents out bicycles at a cost of €5 per day. If all of her bicycles are already hired, she will organise one for you.
There are plenty of banks and ATMs on the island that accept credit cards and debit cards.
In the restaurants and shops, you pay almost only in Rupies. Onlky room prices can be paid in Euros.