Peaceful, beautiful, tropical: these are the words that often come to mind when people reminisce about time spent in Mahé, the largest island of the gorgeous Seychelles archipelago. Nestled on all sides by the glorious Indian Ocean, Mahé is one of Africa’s most precious gems.
Situated about 1,500 kilometres east of the continent’s mainland and about 1,800 kilometres northeast of Madagascar, the Seychelles truly provide visitors with an isolated and relaxing getaway.
The island of Mahé is home to the Seychelles’ capital of Victoria, but the city itself is not generally what attracts people. Rather, guests to the island typically enjoy exploring the many-coloured waters, discovering rare and exotic plants and orchids in the jungle or botanical gardens, relaxing on stunning beaches, and even snorkelling with whale sharks.
Mahé is fairly young in terms of human settlement, with genuine discovery and exploration only occurring on the island in the 18th century. This is perhaps a key factor in allowing it to remain such an unspoiled destination of natural beauty.
Recognising all that the island can offer to visitors, several cruise lines make a point of including Mahé in packages that sail along the east coast of Africa. Companies with itineraries that feature Mahé include Princess Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Silversea Cruises.
Cruise ships dock at the commercial/cargo port within the Port of Victoria on the island’s northeast shore. Taxis are available to take cruise guests from port to their sites of interest.
As a primarily cargo-based port, there are few permanent facilities available for visitors. However, when cruise ships dock, temporary shops are often set up in tents on the pier, allowing guests to buy any necessities they might need. The city centre and all its amenities are only a short drive or 20 minute walk away.
How To Get Around
Taxis are readily available to take you around the city if you do not feel like walking. Travelling between the small neighbouring islands is possible via ferry, shuttle plane, or helicopter, depending on which islands you would like to explore.
Travel times from the port:
It is a 19 minute journey to Victoria Clock Tower and the Natural History Museum
It is a 23 minute journey to Victoria Market
It is a 33 minute journey to the Botanical Gardens.
It is an 8 minute journey to the Botanical Gardens
It is a 29 minute journey to Morne Blanc and Morne Seychelles National Park
It is a 36 minute journey to Anse Intendance.
Other travel times:
It is a 60 minute journey between Mahé and Praslin via a Cat Cocos ferry
It is a 15 minute journey between Praslin and La Digue via Inter Island Ferry Services.
It is a 15 minute journey between Mahé and Praslin with Air Seychelles.
Currency – The currency in Mahé is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR). A rupee is comprised of 100 cents. Banknotes in circulation are the 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 rupee notes. Coins are 5, 10, and 25 cents, and 1 and 5 rupee coins.
Time Zone – Mahé runs on Seychelles Time (SCT), which is 4 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – The Seychelles enjoy a warm and tropical climate all year long. For the warmest and least windy conditions, as well as the best times of year for being in the water, April/May and October/November are typically great months to visit. However, any time of year presents guests with wonderful weather to enjoy this idyllic destination.
Anse Intendance – Mahé is home to many beautiful beaches, but Anse Intedance is easily one of the best. Expansive and impressive, this stretch of the island’s south coast is renowned for its cleanliness, delicate white sand, and gorgeously coloured water.
Morne Blanc – Embark on an uphill hike through exotic mountainous forest. The 40-or-so minute journey might get you sweaty, but the brilliant views from the top will make it all worthwhile. Dress appropriately, bring plenty of water, and prepare to be amazed by the incomparable beauty of the Seychelles on full display.
Seychelles National Botanical Gardens – Over 100 years old, this garden is a quaint and immaculate display of some of the Seychelles’ unique and beautiful flowers, trees, and other plants. Don’t be surprised to discover the occasional tortoise or fruit bat along the way.
Seychelles Natural History Museum – This cute and intriguing museum is quite small but still very much worth a visit. Guests who have a keen interest or passion for nature and science shouldn’t skip this place. Through its exhibits, dioramas and other documentation, this museum will both charm and educate you.