When you travel abroad, it is more probable that you are going to enjoy a safe and incident-free trip. You might, however, become victims of crime and violence, or experience unpredicted difficulties. Safety is not generally a concern in the Seychelles; violent crime is improbable and most visits are trouble-free. There have been some incidents of theft and assault, but these are targeted mainly at residents. Seychelles boasts stunning beaches, sparklig blue sea and a tropical climate perfect for successful holidays all year round. The Seychelles archipelago forms a group of 115 islands located in the Indian Ocean. Only a few are inhabited and are located off the east coast of Africa, northeast of Madagascar.
Crime levels in the Seychelles
Crime levels are on the rise. With an increase in both directed burglaries and opportunist thefts against residents and tourists, we advise you to make sure your accommodation is well secured. Check the doors and windows well, especially after dark. Safeguard valuables and cash in the safe usually offered by accommodations on the islands. Keep copies of important documents, including your passport, in a separate place. NEVER leave valuables in cars or anywhere on display.
If you are having strolls on a beach of a picnic, avoid leaving your things unattended, they might get stolen. Take care in isolated areas and also in more popular places such as Beau Vallon and the back streets of Victoria, especially at night. Beaches, parked cars and both residential and tourist accommodation are favoured targets for thieves. Take particular care if you’re alone.
Precautions to take while driving in the Seychelles
If you are planning on renting a car to enjoy your holidays in the Seychelles at your own pace, here a few things you might want to know. For people that are not used to drive on left side, you must be careful about your driving.
Mahé is mountainous, and roads are narrow and winding, often with sheer drops and hairpin bends. Safety barriers are rare. Take care when driving and avoid secluded roads, particularly at night. Drink-driving is a problem, so remain cautious since you might come across other road users who may behave unpredictably. When returning hired vehicles, obtain an acknowledgement that the vehicle has not been damaged during the period of hire. Third party insurance is compulsory, and comprehensive insurance is also available locally. Also beware of where you parked your car. Avoid leaving the car under a coconut or breadfruit tree; you might regret your action since those fruits might fall on your car when ripe. And they, definitely, can cause damage to your car.
Buses are the only means of public transport. They are cheap but infrequent on some routes. Taxis are good but you should negotiate the fare before beginning your journey as prices for foreigners can be totally arbitrary.
Precautions to take while navigating the lagoons of the Seychelles
Even though an overall reduction in 2013, piracy remains a menace in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and the last few months saw an upswing in pirate activity with a number of unsuccessful attacks. These have occurred as far as 1,000 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia and often within the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Sailing vessels are particularly vulnerable. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel by yacht and leisure craft on the high seas (more than 12 nautical miles from the shore) in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and part of the Indian Ocean. This includes activities within the Seychelles EEZ beyond 12 miles of the inner granitic islands.
Most of the inner island resorts are accessible by ferry; there are also a number of day trips available to tourists. Accidents are rare, and the major catamaran ferries to Praslin and La Digue are very well run. Yet, always check that briefings are given and safety instructions and life jackets are provided.
Precautions while spending some time on the beaches and in the sea
Be cautious when swimming or snorkelling, particularly with children or the elderly; drownings may occur. Seasonal changes in sea conditions mean there are strong currents on beaches at different times which might not be immediately obvious. Safety information is usually missing from beaches, but this does not mean you should not worry. Seek local advice and stay within your depth. Dangerous rip currents can occur off the popular Beau Vallon beach when the sea is rough.
Although shark attacks are extremely rare, there were two fatal incidents off Anse Lazio on the island of Praslin in 2011. A temporary ban on swimming at certain locations on Praslin imposed after these attacks was lifted in February 2012. Now you have the opportunity to benefit from Life Guard services at Anse Lazio and Cote D’Or on the island of Praslin.
Anyway, on the beach, there are certain shells called Geographicus that expel poisonous darts and they can really make turn your holidays into a nightmare! While diving, NEVER touch anything that you find underwater!
Do not forget that you should NOT WALK upon the coral barrier, since they are very sharp and can injure you and spoil your holidays! It’s easy to step on sea urchins, so be careful since many of them are less visible and it’s painful when you get stung and it takes a long time for those wounds to heal. Here are some tips you can follow while getting into the sea:
– look carefully when putting down your feet.
– wear sandals that attach well to your feet in water.
– keep some vinegar, in the car, to apply to sea urchin punctures – vinegar dissolves the broken needles in the foot.
Cone shells are considered the most beautiful shells in the world, and on the beaches here you may find them washed up, normally empty. While alive, their shells are even more beautiful and delicate. Trust us, you are best off leaving them undisturbed: Cone shells may inject you with a nasty poison. So unless you really know what you are doing, avoid picking them up.
Health Hazards in the Seychelles
The main danger in the Seychelles is sunburn! Be smart and wear sunscreen and by all means wear a hat and if you are afraid of spiders, be careful they are big, so avoid hiding from the sun under trees where you notice large spider webs.
There are some nasty insect-borne diseases increasingly affecting the island, such as chikungunya, which causes ailments resembling flu like joint pain. The virus can cause death and symptoms can last for months. Other illnesses possible in Seychelles are leptospirosis, a bacterial infection caused by contaminated water.
Before ending, one small advice, remain protected to avoid STDs since there girls can be quite dangerous and possessive. So be careful if one hooked you up in her net and do your best to find a way out, they can be much more than possessive. So better avoid those one night stands.
Have fun during your holidays in the Seychelles and don’t forget Safety First!