Last updated on July 28th, 2022; Published on May 3rd, 2022
After I got over how disgustingly expensive the flight from Kenya to Seychelles was, I eventually booked my flight to the island nation. Seriously, we will talk about this later and I know there are logical reasons why a 3-hour flight within East Africa should cost as much as it does, but for now, I do not want to diminish my experience and probably your excitement about visiting this beautiful East African country.
I spent 7 days between three islands in Seychelles and thoroughly enjoyed my trip. While planning for it, I grew increasingly nervous thinking about whether or not I’d have a good time. This was mainly because of three reasons.
The first is because Nigerians visiting Seychelles have recently been subjected to intense scrutiny and prejudice by immigration officials. Again, we will talk about this later. Another reason was that I was travelling solo. Seychelles is big on couple and family travel and it’s not difficult to see why.
I would also find out that officials in Seychelles find it weird that anyone would travel there solo. (After visiting La Digue alone, I get the sentiment). They asked me about this multiple times and I had to keep repeating that “my husband could not make the trip due to other obligations”, while stylishly flashing my wedding rings.
The last reason for my worry was the fact that ‘a good time’ in Seychelles costs a pretty penny. Nevertheless, I managed to have a wonderful time, on a fairly reasonable budget and I’ll be sharing more about my travels in the next few weeks. For now, let’s get into some pre-trip planning details.
Nairobi, Kenya to Seychelles: Some pre-flight details
Seychelles is an island nation made up of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Getting there from Nairobi was quite easy and fast via a direct flight on Kenya Airways. If you plan to visit, it is important to note that, at the time of this writing, Kenya Airways only operates this route about 3 times a week. So plan your travel days effectively.
As of May 2022, fully vaccinated travellers (i.e. complete shots of your vaccine type and a booster) do not need to present a PCR to visit Seychelles.
Kenya to Seychelles travel requirements: Travel Insurance
Travellers, however, must present travel insurance that has coverage for Covid-19 to be allowed to board the flight and to get the Health Travel Authorization (HTA) document detailed below. I got my insurance from SafetyWing for only $12. The process of getting it was swift (less than 15 minutes after payment) and SafetyWing issues a letter stating what is covered.
Kenya to Seychelles travel requirements: Health Travel Authorization
Seychelles now requires all travellers to get an HTA before arrival in the country. Visitors are expected to apply through this site and it costs €10 per person.
To apply, you would need the following:
- Copy of your passport biodata page
- A passport photograph
- Negative PCR test certificate or Vaccination Certificate
- Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate (if travelling from a country where this is prevalent)
- Return flight ticket
- Travel Insurance
- Confirmed accommodation bookings for your entire stay
Though not compulsory, I included several additional documents, such as my Kenyan residence permit, employment letter, work ID card, tax and marriage certificate and so on. I treated this as a visa application process and got my HTA in less than an hour.
The application can be made from 72hours up to 3 hours before departure. If you apply last minute, you would have to pay €70 to get the authorization processed within an hour.
Nigerian in Seychelles: Visa & entry requirements
Seychelles is visa-free for all nationalities, including Nigerian citizens. This is conditional upon the presentation of a valid passport, return or onward flight ticket, travel insurance (covering expenses related to coronavirus), approved HTA, accommodation booking and sufficient funds ($150 per day) for the entire duration of your holiday.
As a Nigerian (or African passport holder) travelling to Seychelles, you should prepare yourself to go through extra scrutiny at the Seychelles port of entry and have the complete requirements for entry.
Before travelling, I read that several Nigerian travellers are pulled aside to be searched, taken to the ATM to review their account balances or asked to show how much cash they have travelled with.
I have also read that the Seychelles Immigration Officers will sometimes withhold the traveller’s passport and only give it back upon departure. I did experience some of these but for the most part, it wasn’t my worst immigration experience.
Nigerian in Seychelles: My immigration experience
Once I got past the temperature scanner, an official stopped me (literally jumped in front of me) as I made my way to the immigration desk. He asked for my passport and asked me to step aside for a full-body scan. I noticed that this was the case for all Black travellers on the flight.
After the scan, I proceeded to the desk, where another official asked to see my booking details, before calling each hotel to confirm my stay.
On the upside, the Immigration Officer was not hostile toward me. Once he confirmed my accommodations, he asked about other details of my trip, then stamped my passport and handed it back to me.
While I did not have to show details of my financial status or my yellow card certificate, I would advise that every Nigerian traveller should have compliant records to avoid being deported.
Kenya to Seychelles: Booking accommodations & activities
For accommodation, I booked all my stays via booking.com. The Seychelles government requires travellers to only book approved hotels that have been certified. I didn’t know this before booking but luckily all the accommodation options I chose were on the certified list.
I want to believe that all options displayed on booking.com are certified but it might be worth your while to confirm this before you travel.
Getting around in Seychelles
Most people advise visitors to rent a car in Seychelles (particularly in Mahe and Praslin). This is great advice as taxis are quite expensive but it was not an option for me. In Mahe, I didn’t do much, so I went around in a taxi when I needed to or just walked to places around my lodge.
Public buses in Mahe are also available to visitors (with luggage restrictions) and they’re easy to use to get around.
To travel between Mahe, La Digue and Praslin, I booked ferry tickets via SeyFerry.com. I will include the costs for these in the travel cost breakdown post. Within La Digue, I walked everywhere (although renting a bike is more ideal) and in Praslin, I hired a private guide and driver for my time there.
Finally, to wrap up this post, here are some frequently asked questions about travelling from Nigeria or Kenya to Seychelles. If you have any other questions, please leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you.
Nigeria & Kenya to Seychelles – FAQ
How long can a Nigerian stay in Seychelles?
It is ultimately up to the Immigration Officer to determine how long a traveller can stay in the country. Ideally, visitors can be stamped in for a maximum of 90 days at no cost. I was stamped in for the exact duration of my trip.
What is the best time to visit Seychelles?
Seychelles is a great year-round destination though, April, May, October and November are considered the best months to visit.
Is Seychelles expensive to visit?
Yes, it is quite expensive to visit Seychelles. This is not a backpacker’s paradise, however, the country can be visited relatively cheaply if you decided to cut costs here and there.
Can you visit Seychelles on a budget?
A budget trip is quite relative here as it is usually higher than budget trips in several other locations. But yes, there are ways to cut down costs, which I will highlight in a separate article.
How much does it cost to travel from Kenya to Seychelles?
I have a comprehensive travel cost breakdown post about this. You can check it out here.
How many days do I need in Seychelles?
I think one week in Seychelles is a good minimum time to spend in the country. This allows you to spend time on different islands which gives you a better appreciation of the island nation.
What else would you like to know about Seychelles and/or my trip? Please leave your comments in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to include details in the coming posts…