Thursday, June 2, 2016

Travel: Seychelles


For my 31st birthday (I know, right?! Eeep.), there's no better place I could think of than a secluded escape to Seychelles. When you're falling off the calendar, you need it to be special and just go all out. It was my first visit to Africa so I've been trying to contain my excitement. I never publicly announce any of my travel plans out in the open. Not until things are certain, I just had to keep it low. Hello cultural immersion, meeting the locals and I say this in all caps, the FOOD! We've been planning since the beginning of the year and booked months in advance to have enough time ironing out the smallest details.

Seychelles is made up of 115 granitic islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa that were among the oldest in the world. More than half of its total area remained unspoilt. Two main sites, Vallée de Mai in Praslin Island and Aldabra are protected under the UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can find a range of endemic species. Seychelles has everything to please travelers from lush hills to a selection of the finest beaches. For the adventurous souls out there, you can go on nature hikes, explore forests or dive the coral reefs. I call Seychelles the ideal balance between adventure and relaxation. You will never run out of fun things to do.



Traveling from Abu Dhabi to Mahé

Direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Mahé Island is around 4 hours and 40 minutes. I always prefer Etihad Airways for short and long haul flights. Aerial view is something not to be missed. You can appreciate the scale of the island, forests and exceptionally clear water of the Indian Ocean.

Regardless of your nationality, there are no visa requirements to enter Seychelles. For Filipinos, have your passports ready! Just show your hotel booking and flight return details when airport security asks for it.

You don't have to worry about vaccinations unlike other countries in Africa. There are no cases of Malaria in Seychelles. But I'm allergic to insect bites so I really have to be cautious and pack up a bottle of insect repellent. There will be harsh sun so bring as much sunblock as you can. Your skin will thank you!

Choosing your accommodation

Who wouldn't want to feel pampered and have that level of comfort to fully immerse into a tropical holiday? Picking Kempinski Seychelles Resort after narrowing down a list was by far the best decision. The resort is only 20-25 minute drive away from the airport. It's an ideal choice if you want to sneak away from the city. The scenic view left me speechless. Kempinski Seychelles Resort located directly on the famous beach of Baie Lazare is already a destination itself!

Special shout out to the lady in red, Ms. Svetlana who assisted us all throughout our stay. We got a complimentary early check-in and late check-out so we could try the spa on our last day. Even the management sent me a birthday cake to our room! Positively giddy about this!
















Renting a car

Save your money and rent a car in Seychelles. It's cheaper than hiring a cab to drive you around the island or going to/from the airport. Once you exit the airport, you can find several car rental stalls. Nelson's Car Hire offers €45 (183 AED) per day. Show your original driver's license, pay up and you're done! Don't forget to pick up a free map before you leave the airport! You will also be driving on the left side of the road. The streets can be narrow with a lot of blind curves so be extra careful. When you question you're navigation skills (like I did), better get a local SIM card to make use of Google Maps. I was so surprised Seychelles has one of the fastest internet speed. Even if I'm trying to unplug, I'm still under that obsessive Snapchat phase.





Currency in Seychelles

Majority of the hotels and tourist spots accept Euros and credit cards. But I suggest to have local currency on hand (Rupees) for small purchases and petrol stations. Settle everything you need before leaving the airport. You can also find ATM's dispensing local currencies.

There's really no sense of stressing when some things don't work out as planned. After all, I made it to Seychelles on my birthday! Having the best travel buddy who can roll with the changes and split up the leg work, it's a guarantee you'll be bringing unforgettable moments back home.

I always have a default happy song whenever I travel. For Seychelles, it's 'Africa' by TOTO. Yes, I'm playing that song on Apple Music again while scrolling through the photos. Take me back to this exact moment, please?!











I'm saving some of my island stories in another post. Be back for more about Mahé, La Digue and Praslin!

Kempinski Seychelles Resort
Kempinski Seychelles Resort
Baie Lazare, Seychelles
Telephone No. +248 4 386666
EmailFacebook | Twitter

Photo from Kempinski Seychelles Resort's website


Related blog posts: La Digue and Praslin Island and Mahé Island
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