Healthy in Seychelles: Vaccinations and Hygiene Tips

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Can you drink the tap water in Seychelles? Here are our top tips to keep you healthy and happy on your vacation.

Praslin, Seychelles Photo © Tommaso Nervegna on Unsplash

There are a few health hazards to be aware of before your trip to Seychelles. Insects and staying sun-safe are just two important things to be prepared for.

Applying sunscreen is crucial, as the sun's rays are intense here – the islands are close to the equator – and can cause serious sunburn burn.

Pack insect repellent in your luggage, particularly because it's expensive in the country, and if you purchase it from home at least you know and trust the brand you usually use.

Health Risks in Seychelles

There are some nasty insect-borne diseases 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 illness possible in Seychelles are leptospirosis, a bacterial infection caused by contaminated water.

Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch), can infect ocean swimmers. While there is no presence of Yellow Fever in Seychelles, but you will be required to have proof of vaccination should you enter the country after visiting another country where Yellow Fever is present.

Other bugs to look out for will just be a bit scary, but not very dangerous. Palm spiders are visible by their huge nests, and ants, sand fleas and roaches also hang out on the islands. One recent traveler described "Harry Potter-sized arachnids" clinging from electricity wires at Beau Vallon in the area of Mahe.

Strong Currents and Waves

There are dangers lurking in the waters surrounding Seychelles. Strong currents strike beaches due to seasonal changes, particularly on Beau Vallon beach, and drowning occurs on occasion. Lazio Beach on Praslin is subject to large, unpredictable waves – travelers report seeing swimmers getting sandwiched between rocks during rough surf at this beach.

Part of the issue is the monsoons that occur off the coast of Seychelles, which is affected both by the southeast area monsoon from May to September and the northeast monsoon from November to March. Some beaches that are okay during one season are not okay during the other.

Tap Water in Seychelles

Drink tap water with caution in Seychelles, especially in the very undeveloped sections. Be on the safe side and only drink purified or boiled water (try to avoid purchasing bottled water). Also avoid opening your mouth and ingesting water from ponds, lakes and rivers.

If something happens to you on your trip, the 24-hour emergency number is 999. Be aware that hospitals in Seychelles, especially the very remote islands, are quite limited. There is only one government hospital. Medication also costs a lot if obtained from a chemist, so you might want to bring your own if you fear you'll fall ill.

Stay Safe Outdoors in Seychelles

Don't swim alone at remote beaches or at night and take caution when swimming or snorkeling. Be careful of injuring your feet or other exposed areas on coral rocks. Also, going topless is illegal on most beaches.

If venturing into the rugged areas of Seychelles for outdoor activities or driving, take special precautions.

The mountainous area of Mahe has narrow and winding roads with little protection. Sharp turns and steep drop-offs are common.

Don't travel on rural, isolated roads at night. If you rent a car, get in writing that no damages to the vehicle occurred while you had it in your possession. Also avoid damaging any natural resources or land while in Seychelles, as it can incur severe penalties.

If you don't want to bother driving, your remaining methods of transport are buses, organized shuttles or taxis. Buses don't cost much, but they don't run often in certain areas either, so try to obtain schedules if there are ones to avoid getting stranded. Like in other island nations, the custom when taking a taxi is to set a price with the driver beforehand.

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  • Matthew said

    Totally agree! These islands are awesome and there is absolutely nothing to fear!

  • Ngonza said

    I spent a week in Seychelles and I assure you I would NEVER come back!!! It is beautiful yes, but we have been terribly greeted by the Seychellois and left with a big disappointment. I don't know about the health stuff mentioned on this article but yes check the rental car before and after, we got screwed... Careful during the day and at night, drunk and drugged people are hiding behind the bushes and at every corner to still your staff.
    If you are used to of quality service and are expecting to be nicely treated during your vacation (I am not saying spoiled , just nicely treated with respect) don't go to Seychellois: it is really not worried to spend so much money to be treated sooo badly in return while you are on holiday.

  • zoe rose said

    well ive been to the seychelles for 2 weeks and i can say its like paradise on earth .....yes there are insects and big spiders .....and if you drive or wander outside the hotel you will see people drinking so dont be so naive should have your wits about you wherever you go at night to be honest !.....i would go back given the slightest chance again .....its an amazing experience ....!

  • Ian Reynolds said

    Been to the Seychelles twice before - just about to go again - Can't wait! So many people seem to leave their brains and common sense behind when travelling. Would you walk in a dark, poorly-lit area of your own home town/city? No? Well then don't do it abroad either!

  • Barbara Parr said

    The Seychelles is run by drug traffickers and the Police turn a blind eye. There have been 8 murders since 2015 - all drug related, with victims having no drug habit. The Escobars (25 of them) run the island AND the Police. It is NOT idyllic and whoever thinks so has blinkers on.

  • Sophie said

    Just spent 2 weeks there. Although it is a beautiful place, it is certainly overrated! It is solely tourist orientated, and almost all of the food is imported meaning they don't ulitise their own land at all. The attitude is to charge one price to the locals and take advantage of the tourist. Most of the locals I encountered were very pleasant, and also very helpful with directions on the bus. Crime is certainly a big problem for such a small place so don't be fooled. Drug addicts also trawl the beaches advertising for boat trips in the expectation of getting a deposit, but the reality is there is no boat...just a map and alot of big talk! You will see the same people rooting in the bins late at night for glass bottles to return to the shops in exchange for payment. Two weeks is definitely too long to spend there, as really you can see the whole island of Mahe in the space of a couple of days and a day each in Praslin and La Digue by taking your time. Baobab Pizzeria at the end of Beau Vallon beach had excellent affordable food, and very quick service. Fruit and veg is very expensive and doesn't appear much in dishes, and if you like plain food it is a good idea to get accommodation with a kitchenette so you can do some of your own cooking. Sadly, it is one place I can certainly say I won't ever go back to even though I am glad I experienced it.

  • Felix Nusetor said

    I am a Ghanaian planning to relocate to Seychelles but the comments that are coming from those who stayed for a week or two is quit frightening expecially the drug addicts.
    Am very much confused needs someone to advise me please.

  • Maria Simone said

    I'm currently in the Seychelles and have been traveling many places before as a female solo traveler. Never have I felt this safe in a country like in the Seychelles. I didn't go to Mahe so don't know about that one, but the people in Praslin and La Digue have such good values and have all treated me very well! Compared to other places like the Philippines where all the men were just literally disgusting, I haven't experienced any of that here! They might say hello but not in a creepy way - just polite and friendly. Nor have I seen the big spiders, luckily! ;) I love it here!

  • healthpreventi said

    There is no yellow fever risk in the Seychelles!

  • Hussein Mezher said

    Hii All

    I'm seating here enjoying my vacation relaxing in Seychelles I saw what is written

    I think some people are really exaggerating if you don't like to listen to ocean and just relax empty your mind and take time for your self with fresh air and nice nature so i think this is not the place to go to.

    It's not nightlife place
    Food is limited

    I think everyone reads where he is going before he travels and this may help.

  • Andre Raath said

    I've visited Seychelles every few years since my parents moved here in 1993. During that time the islands have changed from a socialist regime to a free market regime. Neither is perfect, each has its advantages and disappointments. Certainly, criminal elements are around, as they are in any country. Certainly, the rip off factor exists, as everywhere. Be careful when you shop, take your time when you go places, enjoy the tropical paradise that may be found around every corner.

  • Kay said

    Is the fish safe to eat? I read that the Indian Ocean is very polluted.

  • Li said

    Reading these reviews has made me realise what kind of (quite shitty) tourists can end up visiting the Seychelles and I'm really not very impressed. As a Seychellois national who grew up abroad in Europe, I very much understand the limitations and problems with the country especially in regards to political issues, social issues, economic problems (inflation, underemployment) etc. but reading ridiculously ignorant reviews (honestly you should be ashamed to post such drivel) makes my blood boil.

    As one (particularly snotty, ignorant) tourist wrote about how there is little to no utilisation of land for farming produce (when there are fruit/vegetable farms scattered all over the southern half of the island, a dairy farm on Denis island producing fresh milk and countless farms/agricultural centres on the Western side of the island), that Seychelles is run by drug dealers *eye roll* (pick up a newspaper, read about the political climate & how it is changing!), that we are overrun by drug addicts (yes, it is a problem we are facing, but if you're going to be an fool and take the word of a scraggly rasta on the beach about boat trips then you really only have yourself to blame. Ask hotel staff to direct you to a trustworthy boat service) and that there is one price for locals/one for tourists (excuse me, in what country is that NOT the case?? Tourists always pay more, especially when visiting from a country with a stronger economy/higher socio-economic standing. Garbage.) and the idea that you can visit the whole of Mahe in just 2 days is beyond me in sheer ignorance and. Total. Nonsense. Sit in your hire car and drive along the roads, taking care to avoid all the "dodgy locals" and you will indeed end up exploring more of your own mostquito-bitten backside than the main island of Seychelles. Get out on foot, talk to people and take boats along the coastline. Walk the trails, explore the coastline, ask locals where the best spots are. Make friends with us and we will show the real treasures - spit on us for not treating you like a royalty automatically and you'll leave feeling dissatisfied like the spoilt child you clearly are.

    Don't come to the Seychelles expecting to be waited on hand and foot.

    The Seychellois people have their own culture, and although tourism is one of our oldest and strongest pillars of the economy, it is not the be all & end all of this place to care for you.

    Come to the Seychelles to either mind your own business and empty your mind on some beach as someone mentioned, or come with an open mind and educate yourself slightly on the land which you have chosen to visit. Vibrant and bustling, there is much to be seen and explored here with just a little bit of curiosity, open-mindedness and enthusiasm.

    This is not one giant resort spread over 115 islands, it is so much more. Have some respect.

    p.s. yes, the fish are absolutely safe to eat. Go for jobfish, or becun (barracuda), red snapper or ton (tuna steak). The Boathouse sometimes has fresh sailfish/marlin from fishermen, grilled in front of you. For the love of God don't you dare eat any sea turtle meat, it's illegal and it's bad manners to eat another country's endangered species don't you know. If you want local food, try a local takeaway place around lunchtime. Jules at Cascade does good Creole food (curry/grilled fish, rice, lentils, chatini/salade, chilli)

    On the original topic, bibook (palm spiders) are totally harmless and usually never found inside houses/buildings of any kind. Try not to walk into their webs as you are just destroying more of the nature here you utter boons :)

  • ariana said

    I have been reading about sandflies being really nasty. I've experienced them in Malaysia and they are awful. Is June-July sandfly season, in Praslin (Cote D'or) and Mahe (Beau Vallon)? Are there any chances there will be NO sandflies...?

  • Maria said

    Hold your horses I understand u fell overprotective over Seychelles but let’s get realistic there is lots of unfair comments but lots of fair one when is coming to visit Seychelles the first cold shower u get in costum airport u will never see them smiling or welcoming u happy considering tourism help so much Seychelles economy and yes without tourism Seychelles will struggle extremely next what a bullshit u talking that every country have different prices 4 tourism I’ve been in lots of places and only Seychelles rip u clean so that’s how is working beautiful place but people mentality not welcoming

  • Thursday's Child said

    Just back from the 3 main islands (1st visit) and re-reading the article/comments, am wondering where some of the readers have been and glad I didn't follow their footsteps. Personally we had no encounters with druggies/alkies, didn't get ripped off (we got advice in advance from our accommodation owners on boat trips and car hire), and had a great, safe & secure time. I had a health issue while there and visited the local hospital; I paid very little for incredibly prompt, courteous and effective treatment. I've visited nearly 50 different countries during my lifetime, both for work and leisure, and the Seychelles has many clear advantages - from the culture to the infrastructure. And it is beautiful. I feel very privileged to have been able to experience them. Bon voyage a tous.

  • Mohammed said

    I recently visited the Seychelles for a weeks stay and I must say it is a very beautiful country. We covered the main island, praslin and la digue. Prior to travel, my wife and I researched costs, and travel, and local sights to see and experience. We stayed at Beau Vallon, then Machabee, and Takamaka on Mahe, then one night in Praslin with a day trip to La Digue. The place is amazing. The people were friendly and tourist were well received. Accommodations where very clean and the beaches were so serene and inviting. We took the bus around the island (we'd downloaded the bus routes we needed to take to see the things we desired to see and experience and we knew what it would cost) That was very cost effective. We were surprised at how dark it got at 6:30pm. Coming from Nigeria and the US, the night doesn't fall that quickly. The food was tasty yet somewhat limited due to the fact everything is almost imported. That was expected. Overall the place was beautiful. So beautiful once we retire, our goal is to relocate to the Seychelles. But in the meantime, in between time, we'll be visiting more frequently. Trying to make it an annual family vacation. I would recommend the Seychelles to everyone.

  • Ametreb said

    @Li : Thank you for standing up for us Seychellois.

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