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Indian Ocean Islands

Travel to the Indian Ocean Islands

When to visit

The Seychelles can be visited at any time of year. The shoulder seasons, which fall over April to May and October to November, are ideal climatically and tend not to be that busy. The rainiest months are January and February.

Visas and paperwork

US citizens do not require a visa to visit the Seychelles, and will be issued a free three-month visitors pass on arrival, provided they are carrying a valid passport.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Zanzibar has been an important trade center, attracting ships from as far afield as Arabia, India and China, since mediaeval times. The island peaked in importance in the 19th century, when the main items of export were locally-grown cloves and slaves shipped across from the mainland. The Zanzibari slave trade was formally halted in 1873 following a British naval blockade, but slavery itself endured until 1889 when the island became a British protectorate.

At a Glance/Highlights

A seemingly limitless choice of palm-lined, white-sand beaches meets every expectation of a tropical Indian Ocean idyll.

Mahé, the largest and most populous island of the Seychelles, is fringed by several of the Seychelles’ most alluring beaches. Many, including Anse Intendance, Petite Anse and Anse Louis, are serviced by luxury resorts, whereas others – notably the idyllic Anse Major, protected within the Morne Seychellois National Park – remain totally undeveloped and are accessible only by boat or on foot.

Mauritius’s beaches conform to every expectation of a tropical Indian Ocean paradise. The traditional center of seaside tourism is the award-winning Trou Aux Biches, and the run of north-coast beaches between it and Pereybere is difficult to fault, not least on account of its agreeable year-round climate. For those seeking a more remote beach hideaway, it’s also worth considering the beaches of the east, west and south coast.

Protected in a network of marine reserves, the uninhabited islets of the Outer Seychelles form an important breeding site for 18 marine bird species, notably the spectacular red-tailed tropicbird, white-tailed tropicbird, greater frigatebird and great crested tern. The coral reefs around the islets also offer some superb snorkeling and diving opportunities.

Legendary Zanzibar, set in the Indian Ocean offshore of Tanzania, is East Africa’s most alluring beach destination. The Seychelles is a remote archipelago nation comprising some 42 granitic, 113 coral and seven reclaimed Indian Ocean islands 1,000 miles off the coast of Kenya. The islands are renowned for their scenic and largely unspoiled beaches. The state of Mauritius also incorporates Rodrigues, which is a popular beach tourism destination its own right, and a number of uninhabited islets now protected as nature reserves.

Practical Stuff

Getting there

International flights land at Aéroport de la Pointe Larue, also known as Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), which is located on Mahé near the capital Victoria. There are no direct flights from USA but many African, European and Middle Eastern carrier
offer connecting flights from North America.

Health and safety

There is no malaria on the Seychelles. Crime levels are very low, but there are occasional incidents of pickpocketing and other petty theft in Victoria.

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