Authored by Rachita Saxena
The Seychelles is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in Africa, which is why it is often perceived as an expensive vacation.
While this isn’t an incorrect observation, it’s not exactly the entire truth either.
The most expensive thing about Seychelles will be your flights and your accommodation. However, with a little planning and research, you can easily visit Seychelles on a more frugal budget as well.
Having recently visited the Seychelles for a solo trip, I was easily able to manage 2 weeks here for 730 USD. Here are a few tips that can help you manage a budget-friendly trip in this exotic location too.
Seychelles on a Budget: How to Visit Without Breaking The Bank
Use Local Transportation
One of the best things about Seychelles is that it has an amazing transportation system which is both convenient, cheap, and easy to use.
For exploring an island, you have the local SPTC buses which cover each and every point and cost just 7 Seychellois Rupees (0.5 USD) for a ride. This means that whenever you take a bus, you need to pay just 7 Rupees, regardless of the stop.
You can find the bus schedules, routes and timetables for Mahe buses on the SPTC (Seychelles Public Transport Corporation) bus website, where you can also download timetables as a PDF to keep for reference.
For Praslin, there are only two bus routes whose schedule can be found at your hotel/homestay. But you can of course walk if you don’t mind the distance.
On La Digue island, you won’t have any bus services as it is barely 5 km in length. But here, you can explore the island on a bicycle which would cost you 100-150 Seychellois Rupees (approximately 10 USD) for a day.
Opt for a Self-Catering Apartment
The most important thing to consider when planning a vacation to Seychelles is your accommodation. As this is a popular island and honeymoon spot, resorts and hotels can be slightly overpriced and way out of your budget.
Thankfully, there are many self-catering apartments available here which are reasonably priced and can help you reduce your food cost as well.
A typical self-catering apartment might cost you anywhere between 30-45 USD for a night. You will also benefit from many facilities here like a T.V, free breakfast, A.C room, kitchen to use, and so on. It’s actually amazing most people opt for resorts!
A self-catering apartment is the best choice for people on a budget as it allows you to cook your own food which does drastically reduce your food costs.
You’ll need to leave time in your itinerary for a trip to the grocery store or local market, but it’s a great idea to prepare your own food while staying in this expensive country.
BYO Medicine & Toiletries
Yes, this is undoubtedly one of the most important and effective tips in exploring Seychelles on a shoestring budget.
Make sure that you pack any toiletries you’ll need, and any and all medicines from your home country instead of purchasing it in the Seychelles. That includes everything from shampoo, to band-aids, and the most basic type of aspirins.
Everything on the Seychelles is imported, which is why the price is often a lot higher than you’ll pay at home.
Eat as the Locals Do
Food is an important part of any vacation, but you have to be mindful of your budget while eating out in Seychelles.
If you are staying in a self-catering apartment you can cook your own food. It will be cheap and delicious and you won’t waste a lot of time in trying to find a decent eating place as well.
However, if you do decide to venture out in search of a restaurant or food shop, opt for local takeaways. A normal café or restaurant will be costly and will easily charge you 30 – 40 USD for a meal.
On the other hand, a proper meal from a takeaway will cost you barely 2 – 3 USD and will give you a taste of the local Creole cuisine as well. There is a very high tourist mark up in restaurants and cafes. So if you’re trying to save money, eat as the locals do!
Make sure that you try the Octopus Curry/Fish Curry as it is a specialty and is going to cost just 5-8 USD. You will also get Fried Rice, Sausages, Chicken Pieces, etc. in these takeaway shops for 2 – 3 USD each.
Fill a Water Bottle Before Leaving the House
Water isn’t cheap in Seychelles and you won’t find local taps on the street like European cities. So, it is important that you always fill your water bottle before leaving to explore the islands.
If you’re staying in a hostel/homestay, you’ll likely have access to a free water cooler which you can use to fill your bottle. If you don’t have access to a water cooler, make sure to purchase a water bottle from a local grocery shop before heading out.
A 1l water bottle will cost you about 2 USD but will help you in staying hydrated in the sweltering heat.
Hike on Trails Without a Guide
You might be surprised but there are actually a few hiking trails on Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue you can explore.
These hiking trails often lead to the highest point of the island from where you can see the entire island and its coastline.
Frankly, these hiking trails are quite well-defined and don’t require the help of a local guide. But still, a lot of people will tell you to hire a guide for exploring these trails. Don’t listen.
If you are planning to hike the Morne Blanc trail, Fond Ferdinand, Anse Cocos, etc., then you certainly don’t need to hire a guide. You can save some bucks and go on these hikes yourself.
BYO Snorkeling Gear
The Seychelles is a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving as you get to witness a multitude of unique corals. But since this is a popular destination for underwater adventures, diving and snorkeling can be costly.
A snorkeling trip will cost you about 25 – 30 USD whereas a Discover Scuba Diving course will cost you 90 – 100 USD. So, if you wish to observe the corals and the exotic marine life on a budget, bring your own snorkeling equipment.
There are many beaches here perfect for snorkeling where you can go and enjoy yourself, without having to pay at all.
Avoid Tour and Excursion Companies
When you’re in the Seychelles, you might be tempted to contact a tour agency for sightseeing and island hopping. But you really don’t need the help of a tour company here.
Islands like Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue are tourist-friendly and have several transportation options which erase the need for a tour operator.
If you want to go to islands like Curieuse or St. Pierre, you will actually need to book a day excursion to get here, and this will cost around 40-45 USD per person.
However if you are on a tight budget, you can simply skip these islands, and you’re not missing out. La Digue offers enough amazing views to last a lifetime and you will also see Giant Turtles roaming around here.
So, save some extra bucks and enjoy on the main islands only.
Look Out for Free Activities
You definitely don’t need to have a big budget for tours and activities in the Seychelles. There are so many free activities you can take part in, like chilling on the numerous beaches, watching dazzling sunsets, or exploring the streets of these islands.
You can swim in the clear, blue water or hike to beautiful viewpoints without having to pay a thing. So look out for free activities and avoid going to expensive bars and restaurants and you will be just fine.
The Seychelles can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Managing your budget here is all about planning and choosing the right activities.
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