Safety and security

Crime

Most visits to Seychelles are trouble free. However, there has been an increase in break-ins, robberies, burglaries and opportunist thefts against residents, expatriates and tourists. Crime is generally non-violent, but bags have been snatched, cars broken into and tourists robbed while walking at night. You should take sensible precautions to safeguard yourself and your possessions.

Parked cars, residential accommodation including guest houses and hotels, beaches, and marked and unmarked walking trails may be targeted. Don’t take valuables, and walk with organised groups.

You should maintain at least the same level of security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your living accommodation is secure. Use a hotel safe to store valuables, money and passports. Don’t leave valuables in cars or anywhere on display, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing eye-catching jewellery.

Accommodation, particularly in isolated areas, should have adequate security, including external security lighting, grilles and overnight security guards.

Be vigilant and when outside hotel grounds, carry a mobile phone with roaming capability for use in an emergency. It’s worth checking roaming rates with your mobile phone service provider as they can be extremely high.

Take care in isolated areas and also in more popular places like Beau Vallon and the back streets of Victoria, especially after dark.

Road travel 

Mahé is mountainous, and roads are narrow and winding, often with sheer drops and hairpin bends. Not all such roads are equipped with safety barriers. Deep, uncovered storm drains flank many roads. Take care when driving. Drink-driving is a problem, so be aware of other road users who may behave erratically. Sudden heavy downpours can reduce visibility and road surface conditions quickly.

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. UK driving licences are valid for stays of up to three months.

Buses are cheap but infrequent on some routes (a timetable is available from the bus station in Victoria). Most public bus routes don’t operate after 8pm.

Taxis are generally of a good standard. Taxi meters are increasingly common but if a taxi is not equipped with one, you should agree a fare before starting your journey.

Sea travel

Recent piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, highlight that the threat of piracy related activity and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean remains. Reports of attacks on local fishing dhows in the area around the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa continue.

The combined threat assessment of the international Naval Counter Piracy Forces remains that all sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the designated High Risk Area or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom.

For more information and advice, see our Piracy and armed robbery at sea page.

Most of the inner island resorts are accessible by ferry. You should pay attention to safety briefings when taking any boat trips and make sure life jackets are provided, especially on smaller excursion boats.

Swimming

Take care when swimming or snorkelling, even on organised excursions, and particularly with children or the elderly; drowning does occur.

Beaches that offer safe swimming during the south east monsoon (May to September) may not be safe during the north east monsoon (November to March) and vice versa. Seek local advice, heed signage on beaches and stay within your depth. Dangerous rip currents can occur off the popular Beau Vallon beach (and some other beaches) when the sea is rough.

Beaches do not always show safety information and you shouldn’t assume they’re safe. Lifeguards are not numerous, though some are stationed on popular beaches. Ask hotel staff about conditions and safety on nearby beaches.

Political situation

Presidential elections in December 2015 resulted in a narrow endorsement of the governing party (Parti Lepep). The opposition court challenge in May 2016 failed and President Michel’s victory was confirmed.

Legislative elections in September 2016 resulted in the opposition gaining a majority in the National Assembly for the first time. President Michel resigned in October and Vice President Danny Faure took office. As of late 2018, some peaceful demonstrations have taken place calling for fresh presidential elections.