Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Fishing in Seychelles

You do not have to venture far from Seychelles’ shores to break fishing records in the archipelago. International sport and recreational fishermen enthusiastically return each year to these waters that already boast world records for striped bonito, bonefish, giant guitarfish, bigeye trevally, bluefin trevally, giant trevally, moustache grouper, humphead maori wrasse and dogtooth tuna.

Seychelles has some of the richest fishing grounds in the world. The abundance of wahoo, sailfish, dorado, tuna, rainbow runner and trophies such as marlin, make for an unforgettable big-game fishing experience for both the seasoned and novice fisherman alike.
Traditional bottom-fishing produces a dazzling array of grouper, job fish, snappers and emperors, rewarding you with some of the finest tasting fish on offer anywhere in the world.

Seychelles has become the epicenter of salt-water fly-fishing and casting your fly lines on the magnificent shallow flats of the Outer Islands will afford you the chance of landing several energetic silver bonefish to challenge the record books. Blue-water fly-fishing is also becoming increasingly popular, providing the ultimate challenge of landing large pelagic fish on relatively light tackle.

Our fishing niche site is currently under construction. In the meantime, please select from the menu items on the left for all the information that you need to know about fishing in Seychelles.

Types of fishing

Whether you are an experienced sports fisherman or an enthusiastic beginner, you will be thrilled by the opportunities that Seychelles’ fish-rich waters offer. Try your hand at big-game fishing and the unforgettable experience of trolling in pristine, azure waters from a range of modern fishing boats. Experienced crew will help you exceed your fishing expectations beyond your imagination.

Alternatively, you can try fly-fishing in the shallow waters surrounding the Inner Islands or even practice the art of blue-water fly-fishing. The traditional technique of bottom-fishing will land you a catch of spirited coral-reef fish and grace your table with some of the tastiest fish in the world.

Meanwhile, Seychelles’ Outer Islands offer the experienced fisherman the opportunity to enter the record books in remoter waters, far from the more commonly visited fishing grounds. Big-game fishing in these virgin waters provides the ultimate challenge as does fly-fishing from the fish-rich flats of the St. François, Poivre and d’Arros atolls.

Blue-water fly-fishing in the waters surrounding these lost island worlds can yield extraordinary results as can bottom-fishing expeditions in the deeper waters where the monster coral fish dwell.

Not to be missed is the excitement of night-fishing for pickhandle barracuda or shark off a variety of island locations.

The Catch

The fishing grounds around the Inner Islands offer both the big-game and fly-fisherman a varied catch that includes the spectacular sailfish, wahoo, greater barracuda, rainbow runner, milkfish, bonefish, trevally, barracuda and jobfish as well as varieties of bonito and tuna.

The bottom-fisherman, meanwhile, can pit his skills against snappers, coral-trouts, seabass and groupers - just a few of the spectacular species to be found around the Inner Islands.

The Outer Islands offers a chance to test one’s game-fishing skills against the mighty marlin, sailfish, giant dogtooth tuna and yellow fin tuna, the larger ocean-going sharks and many other species.

Several of the outlying atolls such as those in the Amirantes and Alphonse groups are considered to offer the best fly-fishing in the world and the chance to enter the record books with catches of 5kg bonefish, 25kg trevally and also barracuda. Given the abundance of fish, blue-water fly-fishing can be especially challenging and rewarding.

Bottom-fishing in these little-fished waters can yield groupers that weigh in excess of 30kg as well as massive trevally, kingfish, greater baraccuda, snapper, emperor and bream.

Fishing Seasons

In Seychelles, fishing can be enjoyed on very much a year-round basis that is divided into specific seasons, each one suited to a specific type of fishing and each one full of promise for the expert fisherman and novice alike.

For instance, big-game fishing is an all year-round activity, whereas the months of November to May are more appropriate for bottom-fishing and fly-fishing.

Throughout Seychelles the ocean is subject to currents with speeds of 0.5 up to 1.5 knots that develop with the trade winds. There are two opposing wind patterns in Seychelles, blowing seasonally either north-westerly (December to March) or south-easterly (May to September).

The north-westerly trades often have intermittent rain squalls and stronger winds during the period December to March. These are sometimes associated with the presence of tropical cyclones over the south-west Indian Ocean. Luckily, however, all of Seychelles’ islands lie well outside the cyclone belt, with the exception of the most southerly outer islands.

The south-easterly trades are drier and tend to blow more consistently throughout the day and into the night, reaching its peak in July/August.

In the months of April and November there are calm and sometimes windless periods when the trade winds change direction. These light and variable wind periods are accompanied by calm seas and clear waters.

The effects of the tides are more noticeable within the Inner Islands than the ocean currents and are generally less than a knot, increasing to up to 2 knots in channels between islands or close to underwater ridges.

Tides are semi-diurnal and asymmetrical with about 6 hours between high tide and low tide. The tidal range around the Inner Islands can get as high as 2 metres at spring tides and as low as 0.9 metres at neaps. Tides give rise to currents that can be strong in the channels leading to lagoons, which may empty completely at low tide.

Swells are generally moderate with waves of up to 1 to 2 metres becoming higher only in strong winds on open water.

Currents and upwelling around the Amirantes Bank often cause choppy conditions in a small area.

Weather forecasts are available by calling Seychelles Radio (Coast Station) on VHF channel 16 and normally switching up to channel 26. Boats may also place a radio link call via Seychelles Radio.


Seychelles is proud of its long-standing enlightened conservation policies, adopted to ensure protection of fish stocks through best practice in the fishing arena.

One example of this is a total ban on the use of spear guns throughout Seychelles’ waters. Local customs officials will confiscate such items from anyone who carry them when entering Seychelles.

Fishing is prohibited within the boundaries of the Curieuse, Ile Cocos, Port Launay/Baie Ternay and Ste. Anne Marine National Parks. These areas are patrolled by park rangers. In addition, no fishing is permitted within 200 metres around Aride Island Nature Reserve.

The practice of ‘tag and release’ has been widely adopted in order to safeguard fish stocks for future generations of fishermen. Tag and release is when a fish is caught and then released alive back into the water.

In addition, the gentle whale shark, common in Seychelles’ waters during the month of August and from October to January, is a species protected both by Seychelles law and by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The responsibility of promoting Seychelles’ fishing industry, preserving its resources, formulating and implementing national policies on fishing matters falls under the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA). The SFA is a parastatal organization and the executive, regulatory arm of government in the field of fisheries.

To book a fishing trip with us, visit our website at

Information courtesy of

Friday, 15 March 2013

Seychelles Travel Guide

Getting to Seychelles

This is pretty easy. The easiest option is to contact a travel agent and let them book your flight for you. However, if you wish to book your own flight online, you can do so.

The main international airport is on Mahé. All flights within the Seychelles arrive and depart from Mahé. There a number of major airlines that fly in to Mahe. Air Seychelles flies directly from Johannesburg and Heathrow, Emirates Airlines from Dubai, Air France from Paris, Etihad from Abu Dhabi, and Qatar Airlines from Doha.
So depending on where you are based, you may have to catch a connecting flight, but otherwise it’s fairly simple!

Visa and entry requirements
Irrespective of the nationality of the visitor and his or her family members, there are NO VISA requirements to enter Seychelles. However, the following documents must be shown in order to obtain immigration clearance at the Seychelles International Airport:

1) A passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles
2) Return or onward ticket
3) Proof of accommodation; including contact details
4) Sufficient funds for the duration of the stay

Holders of a "Kinderausweis" issued to German minors (up to and including 15 years of age) may enter Seychelles provided that this travel document contains a photo of the minor concerned.

Presentation of all of the above documents will grant you a Visitor’s Permit that will be issued upon arrival by the Seychelles Department of Immigration.

The Visitor’s Permit is initially valid for the period of visit of up to one month. It can be extended for a period of up to three months from the date of issue and capable of further extensions for successive periods not exceeding three months at a time to a maximum period of twelve months, provided that the person still meets the criteria of a bona fide visitor.

The visitor's permit is issued free of charge for the first three months after which there is a fee of SCR1,000 for extension covering each period of three months or any part thereof.

For all visa exemptions and extensions and other enquiries regarding immigration issues please contact:

Department of Immigration
Independence House
PO Box 430, Victoria
Mahé, Seychelles
Tel: +248 4 29 36 36
Fax: +248 4 22 50 35

Climate – What to Pack
The Seychelles’ climate is one which is always warm and does not reach extremes of heat or cold. The temperature rarely drops below 24°C or rises above 32°C. All but the remotest southern islands lie outside the cyclone belt making Seychelles’ a year round destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers. The so-called rainy season is from December – February.
So in short, pack light! A few tee-shirts, shorts, and swimming gear are the bare essentials. Anything above that, such as evening wear, is entirely dependent on what sort of holiday you plan to have.


The unit of currency is the Seychelles rupee (Rs). There are some complex rules governing foreign exchange in the Seychelles. By law visitors must pay for all accommodation (including meals and drinks at hotels), excursions, marine park fees, diving, car hire and transport in a major foreign currency (euros are the best currency to carry), either in cash or by credit card. Prices for these services are therefore nearly always quoted in euros (and less frequently in US dollars).

When changing travellers cheques or withdrawing money from an ATM, however, you will receive the money in rupees, not in foreign currency. Even when you pay for something in foreign currency, you will often receive the change in rupees. You can use rupees in shops, cafés and restaurants outside the hotels and for taxi and bus fares, but they can be quite hard to spend otherwise, so only change small amounts at a time.

Our advice: Bring Euro’s in cash, as well as a credit card for back up.

For more on the cost of a trip to the Seychelles, see our previous piece:

Safety and Security

Seychelles enjoys very low levels of crime. Nevertheless, it is still advisable to take some routine precautions to ensure your personal safety and that of your possessions. Anything less would not be prudent. The same precautions you would take at home, be responsible and apply them on holiday.

Naturally piracy is a concern for some people, however it shouldn’t be too much of a concern! We did a piece on piracy not too long ago, read it here:

Echoing the grand assortment of people who populate Seychelles, Creole cuisine features the subtleties and nuances of French cooking, the exoticism of Indian dishes and the piquant flavours of the Orient.Grilled fish or octopus basted with a sauce of crushed chillies, ginger and garlic are national favourites as are a variety of delicious curries lovingly prepared with coconut milk and innovative chatinis made from local fruits such as papaya and golden apple. As may be expected, seafood dishes feature predominantly in the local cuisine, appearing alongside the national staple, rice.
However for the less adventurous, you will still find Italian, Chinese, Indian and various types of cuisine available.

Things to do and Nightlife

One could literally write a book on things to do in the Seychelles! However here is an idea what you can do:

Visit the beaches. Many of the beaches are untouched by man's influence and are refreshingly uncrowded. They offer clear blue skies and a tranquillity you will rarely find. A hike along the coastline from Beau Vallon to Anse Major will take about 1.5-2 hours and your reward will be a small deserted beach that's fit for a king. The scenery along the hike is breathtaking. Not all beaches are suitable for swimming depending on the time of year, due to the seasonal winds. Do not ignore warning signs indicating that a beach is hazardous for swimming, no matter how it seems to you.

Vallee de Mai is a national park and world heritage site, home to amazing flora and fauna, including the world's largest seed: the coco de mer. Entrance fee: Free for residents, 315 rupees (~20Euros) for foreigners (Sept 2010).

Aldabra Atoll: The world's largest coral atoll that stretches about 22 miles east to west and encloses a huge tidal lagoon. Aldabra is the original home of the giant land tortoise and tiger sharks and manta rays can also often be seen here.

Watersports: The warm Indian Ocean waters make Seychelles the perfect place for the water enthusiasts. Explore on board a yacht or power boat. Windsurfing is also popular and the best time for this activity is usually around May then in October, at the start and end of the trade winds. Scuba diving, snorkelling, and fishing are also extremely popular and can be done almost anywhere in Seychelles. Baie Ternay is superb and easily accessible by a glass bottom boat tour from Beau Vallon beach - leave yourself an empty day and walk the beach for a 'last minute' booking - great deals can be bartered. Snorkelling (provided you have your own gear - some hotels lend masks, snorkels and fins to guests) is FREE and there are many great spots: off some of the small beaches at Glacis, past Mouse Island at Anse Royale, along the reef at Port Launay (near Ephelia Resort). Often spotted are a wide array of tropical fish, sea turtles, eagle rays and more!

Land Sports: Golf, tennis, squash, badminton, horseback riding, biking and hiking are some of the recreational activities available on the Seychelles Islands. Bike rentals and walking tours are great ways to sightsee and since distances are relatively short and the scenery is beautiful, walking is probably the best way to see the smaller islands (La Digue, Praslin), while walking along the main road can be quite intimidating as the roads are narrow and local cars/busses drive quite quickly. On Mahe it is not advised to ride bicycles, and there are no rental shops within sight. Bird watching is also popular and the islands are home to many of the world’s most treasured and rare species of animals. The best place to do so is Cousin Island which although only 1 km (0.6 miles) in diameter, is home to more than 300,000 birds, but many unique species can be found at ease on Mahe.

Nightlife: Seychelles offers a fantastic nightlife scene that caters to tourists. The active nightlife is mostly located around the larger hotels and there are numerous fun and trendy restaurants. If you enjoy a good beer you must try the local Seybrew beer, it tastes similar to a light Bavarian style beer and is a must to get you through those balmy days. You can save yourself a packet buying the beer from stores on the side of the road like the locals do rather than from hotels. A dark Takamaka Rum on the beach under the stars is the best way to end a day on the Seychelles.

In addition to the above, Seychelles also has numerous markets, art galleries and shops, colonial Creole-style plantation houses, and the main island of Mahé has six museums, a botanical garden, and several national monuments. The market downtown Victoria has a good selection of local produce, and spices for sale that are all grown locally and 100% authentic.

Getting Around
With relatively short travelling times between the islands and/or places of interest, different modes of transportation and with a regular network of air and sea transportation operating out of the principal island, Mahé, moving around in Seychelles is easy and hassle-free.

Public transport in the form of buses is the cheapest option; however there is also care hire. Getting between the islands can be done by boat or air.

We hope you’ll find this basic guide useful, and if you feel we’ve left anything out or would like more info, please don’t hesitate to contact us via this blog, our website, Twitter @seychellesyacht, or on Facebook

Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Outer Islands of Seychelles

The Outer Islands are those situated beyond the Seychelles plateau. They comprise 72 low-lying sand cays and atolls lying anywhere between 230km and 1150km from Mahé. Less visited than their granitic cousins due to their relative remoteness, these pristine miniature worlds, some little more than sand spits or lonely rocky outcrops, offer untouched habitats for many species of wildlife.

Only two islands among the Outer Island groups, namely Alphonse and Desroches, currently offer accommodation facilities. They boast luxuriously appointed lodges as well as unparalleled opportunities for sailing, fishing and diving in places where few have gone before.


Alphonse, the principal island of the Alphonse Group, is a small triangular island barely 1.2km wide, sheltered by a spectacular coral reef.

Located 400km southwest of Mahé, Alphonse was initially developed around the coconut industry and was also mined for guano (decomposed bird droppings). The island remains an important nesting ground for turtles and colonies of sea birds.

Alphonse is one of the few among Seychelles’ outer islands to offer accommodation in 25 luxury bungalows and 5 executive suites. The island provides excellent opportunities for fly-fishing, deep-sea fishing, and diving in virgin waters. Alphonse is serviced by air from the main island of Mahé in a flight time of one hour.


This coral island measures 5km long and 1.5km wide, boasting 14km of immaculate beaches that fringe a lush grove of coconut palms interspersed by casuarina trees.

Desroches was named after a former French governor of Mauritius, and like many of Seychelles’ islands, was once a prosperous coconut plantation.

The island and its exclusive Desroches Island Resort are serviced by air from Mahé in a flight-time of approximately 50 minutes, and offers spectacular opportunities for deep sea fishing, fly-fishing and diving.

Pics from the Outer Islands