How To Visit Seychelles On A Budget

Seychelles on a budget

Seychelles is a tropical paradise located in the Indian Ocean, known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and diverse marine life. With 115 islands, Seychelles offers plenty of activities and attractions for visitors to explore, from hiking in the national parks to snorkelling and diving in the crystal clear waters.

Many people believe that visiting this beautiful archipelago is only possible for those with deep pockets. However, it is possible to visit Seychelles on a budget. With a little planning and some smart choices, you can experience all that this beautiful country has to offer without breaking the bank. The key is to book everything yourself as travel agent mark-ups are notoriously high.

Here are some tips on how to visit Seychelles on a budget

1. Plan your trip in advance

The first step in planning a budget-friendly trip to Seychelles is to plan your trip in advance. Seychelles is a popular destination, and prices for flights, accommodation, and activities can fluctuate depending on the time of year. By planning your trip in advance, you can take advantage of early bird discounts and special deals. Booking your flights and accommodations well in advance can help you save a significant amount of money.

Alternatively, you can check for last-minute deals on flights and accommodations that can help you save even more. However, this is more risky.

2. Travel during off-peak season

Prices for flights and accommodation are generally lower during the off-peak season, which typically runs from May to September. This is also the best time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful experience. Also, many of the hotels and resorts offer special deals and discounts during the off-peak season, which can help you save even more.

3. Book the cheapest flights

Seychelles on a budget

Ethiopian airlines over Seychelles

To find the cheapest flights go to your flight search engine of choice, enter Seychelles as your destination, and your dates.

I went onto the Google Flights Explore page and searched for the best flight deals for a 2-week period in December and Google did the rest. Ethiopian Airlines had the cheapest flights from Johannesburg when I booked. (Around R7 200 per person) Their flights are via Addis Ababa where you will spend a few hours in transit. If you would prefer a direct flight that takes around 5 hours, then book with Air Seychelles, although they are a bit more expensive.

4. Book your accommodation

Seychelles on a budget

View from our Airbnb apartment in Praslin

Look for budget-friendly accommodations: While Seychelles is known for its luxury resorts, there are also plenty of budget-friendly options available. Although you won’t find hostels or backpackers accommodation there, consider staying in self-catering apartments in residential neighbourhoods. They are generally much more affordable than resorts and offer a more authentic experience. You can also save money on food expenses and enjoy the comfort of having your own kitchen. Search on Booking.com and Airbnb for the cheapest accommodation. Expect to pay around R2000 a night, which is much lower than the hotel and resort prices.

5. Take advantage of free activities

Constance Lemuria Review

Anse Georgette

There are plenty of free activities to enjoy in Seychelles, such as hiking in the national parks, strolling around the capital city Victoria, relaxing on the beaches and enjoying the glorious sunsets. The Morne Seychellois National Park is a great place to hike and explore the island's natural beauty and most of the trails are free. You can also enjoy the beautiful beaches for free like Beau Vallon beach in Mahe, Anse Volbert in Praslin and Anse Coco in La Digue. Other cheap things to do include cycling around La Digue, where you can rent a bicycle for the day at a reasonable price.

6. Be mindful of your food expenses

Best things to do in Victoria Mahe

Sri Selwyn Clarke Market

Eating out can be expensive in Seychelles, so consider cooking your own meals or eating at local street food stalls. It is a great way to save money on food expenses. You can buy local produce and groceries at the markets and supermarkets. Although groceries are more expensive than in South Africa, it will still be much cheaper than eating at restaurants. If you prefer to eat out, eat at local street food stalls, where you can find delicious and affordable meals.

7. Use public transport

Taxis are very expensive in Seychelles, so consider using public transport to get around. Buses are cheap and run frequently between the major towns and villages. Public transport is a great way to save money. The buses are a unique experience on their own as they travel along steep, narrow, winding roads overlooking amazing views. If you don’t want to use public transport, then you can rent a car for around 40-50 euros a day which will still be cheaper than using taxis.

Necessary expenses to budget for

Traveller Authorisation

Visas are not required for Seychelles however you do have to apply for a Traveller Authorisation. This can only be done 5 days before your arrival in Seychelles.  There is a processing fee of approximately 10 Euros per person (2022).

Transport between islands

La Digue Island Jetty

La Digue Island Jetty

You can’t go to Seychelles and not visit it’s three main islands. OK, you can – but it will be a shame if you don’t. Your plane will land in Mahe, but you should plan to visit Praslin and La Digue as well. You can go to Praslin via ferry or flight. Both are expensive but the ferry is cheaper. From Praslin, you can visit La Digue by ferry. Budget for these ferry costs.

Just remember, that although there are tons of activities to do in Seychelles, if you are on a budget, then don’t feel pressurised to do them all. Stick to the free beaches and free hikes and you will still be able to experience the beauty and charm of this beautiful country.

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From my personal experience

Booking a Seychelles hotel package with a travel agent (because they don't offer self-catering packages) vs booking a self-catering package myself

Although I normally book my trips myself, I was going through a busy period and decided to get a quote from one of South Africa’s biggest travel agencies.

They gave me a quote of R115 000 for 3 people. This included airfare, 7 nights accommodation with breakfast at a 3-star hotel and return airport transfers. This was enough to spur me into booking everything myself.

We spent two weeks there, during which we did some splurging for one week and stayed on a budget for one week so I will discuss the budget side of our trip here.

For approximately the same period, our flights cost us R7200 per person, and we booked accommodation for between R2000 and R2500 a night at self-catering apartments. We prepared food in our apartment, which cost approximately R250 a day. Airport transfers were around R700 each. Do the maths. It’s way less than the quote I received.

How to visit Seychelles on a budget

One comment on “How To Visit Seychelles On A Budget”

  1. True. Seychelles can get quite expensive. During my visit to the island country, I usually prepared my breakfast and dinner at home. It is healthy as well as less costly.

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