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La Digue, Seychelles Travel Guide
 
Last Updated: Nov-08-2011, Hits: 10,484, Rating: 0, Reviews: 0, Votes: 0 Bookmark and Share
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La Digue, Seychelles Travel Guide Hotels and Lodging (21)
Restaurants (11)
Bars and Nightlife (1)
Attractions (19)
Services (5)
Maps (2)
Links (1)
Africa Travel Forum (6)
 
Location: Africa
Geography: Island, Beach
Vacation Type: Romantic, Relaxation
Popularity: Off-the-Beaten Path, Moderate Tourism
Costs: Moderate
Attractions: Scuba & Snorkeling

Facts and Stats:
Population: Approximately 2,000
Land Area: 4 square miles
Country Dialing Code: 248
Languages: Creole, English, and French
Electricity: 220V
Currency: Seychellois rupee (SCR)
Time Zone: SCT (UTC +4)
Current Time:

Introduction:
La Digue is the 4th largest inhabited island in the Seychelles and is known for its dramatic beaches that feature granite rock formations. Despite its beauty, La Digue is sleepier and slower than Mahe and Praslin. Scenery, relaxation and water sports are the main draws.

Geography:
Located 4 degrees south of the equator, La Digue is one of Seychelles' inner islands and is the third most populated. The town of Baie Ste Anne on Praslin Island is only about 3.5 miles to west, and Felicite Island lies just over 2 miles to the northeast. The island itself is only about 3 miles long and 2 miles wide a the widest point.

Most of the population resides in the settlement of La Passe in the lowlands on the west coast. As you head east, the elevation rises quickly peaking at Nid Aigle (Eagle's Nest) at 1092 feet above sea level. The island is fringed by a number of picture perfect beaches including Source D'Argent, one of the most photographed beaches in the world.

Brief History:
La Digue was named after a ship in the fleet of Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, a French explorer who visited the Seychelles in 1768. Only 2 years later, the islands were settled by a small party of French, Indians and Africans.

When Napoleon was defeated, the islands were ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris in 1814. The population of the islands was approximately 3,500 at this time.

The Seychelles remained under British rule until they achieved independence in 1976, and became a republic within the British Commonwealth.

Until recently, copra (coconut meat) and vanilla extraction were the main economic drivers on La Digue. Today, the island is supported almost entirely by tourism.

People & Culture:
The Seychelles don't have the lengthy history that many nations have, however, their culture has many influences including French, British, African, and Indian and can be best described as Creole in nature.

To visit La Digue is to take a step back in time. There are very few automobiles and the main form of taxi service is still provided by ox cart. The Digueois, as La Digue's residents are known, are viewed as rustic by their cosmopolitan counterparts on Mahe. The Digueois would counter that they are perfectly content to not be running in the rat race. It makes for the kind of place that you can leave your bicycle unattended all day and it will still be there when you get back.

While there isn't much in the way of cultural attractions on La Digue, many of the larger accomodations and restaurants feature special BBQ or buffet night with local musicians.

The Digueois are almost entirely Roman Catholic. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning masses are popular events.

Food & Nightlife:
Most of the restaurants on the island serve Creole cuisine, although many of them also offer some international fare. A number of the restaurants can provide vegetarian dishes with advanced notice.

There is very little nightlife on the island. The community center hosts live music and dance parties on the weekends. These are mostly attended by locals, but visitors are welcome.

Money & Costs:
La Digue is considerably less expensive than many other locations in the Seychelles due to the fact that most of the lodging bed & breakfast and inn style accomodations.

Not long ago, visitors to the Seychelles were not allowed to pay with Seychelles Rupees (SCR) and had to pay with Euros, US Dollars, etc. Visitors are now allowed to make payments for services/products in Seychelles Rupees, although exchanging foreign currency must only be done at banks and the Bureau de Change. It is a criminal offence to exchange money anywhere outside these establishments. Coins come in 5, 10, 25 cents, and 1 and 5 Rupee denominations. Notes come in 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 Rupee denominations.

At this time, La Digue has 4 banks and 3 ATMs available.

Most places include a 5-10% service charge, so tipping is not usually necessary. If it is not included as a service charge, or service was exceptional, tips are welcome.

Entry Requirements:
A visa is not required to visit the island. In order to enter the Seychelles, a valid passport, onward/return ticket, the local address where the visitor will stay, and proof of sufficient funds are required.

Getting There & Around:
To get to La Digue, you will first fly in to Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) on Mahe Island. There are a number of major airlines that service the airport. There is no airport on La Digue, although there is a helipad for helicopters. Arriving by helicopter is the fastest and most expensive method.

The other option is to take a 30 minute fast ferry from Praslin Island. To get to Praslin, you can fly or take a 45 minute fast ferry from Mahe. If you fly to Praslin, you will need to take a 20 minute taxi from the airport to Baie Ste Anne to catch the ferry to La Digue.

When you arrive, you will want to hire a taxi (ox cart) to take you to your accomodations. Many of hotels/inns will either include a bicycle or offer rental services. Bicycles are the main form of transporation, although you can walk nearly anywhere on the island in an hour or less. For more information about transportation, please see the services section of this travel guide.

Weather:
La Digue enjoys a hot, tropical climate with temperatures that don't vary much by season or hour of the day. The rainiest months are November-March.

Below are the current conditions and weather forecast for La Digue, Seychelles.


The table below shows the average high and low temperatures.

Month Avg High Avg Low Avg Rainfall
January 85 75 15.2 inches
February 86 76 10.8 inches
March 87 76 8.9 inches
April 88 77 7.2 inches
May 86 77 6.4 inches
June 84 76 3.9 inches
July 82 75 3.3 inches
August 83 75 3 inches
September 84 75 5.2 inches
October 85 75 6.4 inches
November 86 75 8.8 inches
December 86 75 13 inches

Tips & Additional Information:
  • The emergency phone number is 999.
  • The island is free of malaria and yellow fever.
  • The tap water in La Digue is safe to drink, however, it is chlorinated. Bottled water is a better option for drinking water. The tap water is fine for everything else.
  • La Digue is very safe, however, you should always use common sense with regards to your belongings.
  • The Seychelles has Palm Spiders which are harmless, but very large reaching spans up to 8 inches. Their webs can span from the top of a telephone pole to the ground and may contain a number of spiders.
  • La Digue has no poisonous or dangerous animals or insects.
  • Cell phone service is available on the island.
  • While many of the lodging options do not offer internet, there are internet cafes available. See our hotels and lodging section of this guide to find out which places offer internet.





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