Seychelles & Madagascar with Aldabra Atoll
Before You Go
For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Snorkeling and diving activities may begin from the Zodiacs or from beaches. On shore excursions, you must be able to walk moderate distances over beaches and occasionally rough terrain, such as muddy trails with exposed roots, and steps without handrails. Average daily temperatures will range from the low to upper 80s°F, though high humidity can make it feel warmer.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Snorkeling activities may begin from the Zodiacs or from beaches. On shore excursions, you must be able to walk moderate distances over beaches and occasionally rough terrain, such as muddy trails with exposed roots and steps without handrails.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight to Mahé, Seychelles three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to the final destination allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Airlines change flight times frequently and if you booked your tickets through our air department, Zegrahm Expeditions will send you any updates as they are received from the carrier. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.
Please contact Zegrahm at 1.800.628.8747, 1.206.285.4000, or 22.214.171.1241 should you encounter significant delays or problems en route. Proceed to your airline’s ticket counter or flight gate for immediate assistance. Advise Zegrahm of all changes to your arrival into Mahé so that we may inform our Expedition Leader.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on group dates and for those who have booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, Eden Bleu.
If you are handling your own travel arrangements, please forward a copy of your itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.
For your international flights to Mahé, Seychelles and from Mauritius, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider or our air department if you are booking your international air arrangements through Zegrahm.
PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, which can be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.
We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage, as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend that you carry essential toiletries and prescription medications on board the plane, as well as a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary so that you will be more comfortable in the unlikely event your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.
The following are average high/low temperatures in October & November for selected locations on our itinerary:
Standard U.S. currency is used on board the Silver Discoverer. At the end of your voyage, you may settle your onboard account with your credit card. The Silver Discoverer will charge your credit card in U.S. dollars, and your bank will convert the charge to the currency it honors.
As of May 2018, the exchange rate is as follows:
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||13.76 Seychellois Rupee (SCR)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||3,240.00 Malagasy Ariary (MGA)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||0.84 Réunion Euro (EUR)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||34.45 Mauritian Rupee (MUR)|
ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency in some countries if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, although access to ATMs will be very limited. Please have some cash available as back-up. Also, ensure you have a four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMs. Please note that some vendors require your credit card PIN number in lieu of a signature. A currency exchange system will be available during the expedition.
You will receive your pre-departure documents via email—attached will be a complete packing list and gear certificate—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be emailed approximately one month prior to your departure.
Electricity in the Seychelles operates at 240V/50Hz with a type G electrical outlet. Electricity on board the Silver Discoverer is 110V/60Hz with a type A electrical outlet (standard U.S. outlet).
Most modern electronics (phones, computers, and tablets) are dual voltage and don’t require a converter and adapter. However, some small appliances such as travel irons, electric hairstyling tools, and clothing steamers may require a converter and adapter. Please check your equipment to ensure you bring what is necessary for your personal needs.
Flights to and from your home city are not included in the cost of expedition. If you need assistance purchasing international flights, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements.
You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Mahé, Seychelles and Mauritius/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house Air Department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
A yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into the Seychelles, Madagascar, and Mauritius if traveling from a yellow fever endemic country within six months of arrival. Please refer to the World Health Organization for a list of yellow fever endemic countries.
Yellow fever vaccinations, valid for life, must be given at official centers designated by your state’s health departments. The International Certificate of Vaccination must be validated by the center that administers the vaccine and carried with you on your trip. Your local or state health department can provide information regarding the locations and hours of yellow fever vaccination centers.
Malaria prohylaxis is recommended. Malaria risk exists throughout the year in Madagascar and highly chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum has been reported. We recommend you bring an adequate supply of both insect-bite relief products and insect repellent. The insect repellent should contain a high concentration of DEET.
No other vaccinations are required for this expedition at this time. However, it is strongly suggested that you have an up-to-date flu shot, hepatitis A vaccination, tetanus, and diphtheria inoculations. People who travel frequently to international destinations should also consider vaccinations or boosters against meningitis, typhoid, measles, and polio. Please check with your doctor or local travel clinic to determine what is right for you. Obtain inoculations at least four to six weeks before departure for shots to take effect.
Protect yourself against the strong sun. Drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty. By preventing dehydration, you may prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun. Bring a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as pharmacies are not found in the remote areas of this expedition.
During our program, all food and drink taken as part of our itinerary and at our hotels are perfectly safe. However, tap water is best avoided; bottled water will be provided and we encourage reusing water plastic bottles from the ship to refill with water for excursions going ashore.
In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of your expedition includes $75,000 in emergency evacuation and $50,000 in medical expense. Details of this policy are available online at www.travelguard.com/zegrahm.
The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.
Internet & Phone
The Silver Discoverer has computers with Internet access as well as Wi-Fi throughout the ship. Please note that Internet connections aboard the ship are low-bandwidth and intermittent at best.
Your final documentation will include contact information for the ship, including phone numbers and email addresses.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00 a.m. on the North American west coast:
|7:00 a.m.||Seattle, WA (PDT)|
|10:00 a.m.||New York, NY (EDT)|
|5:00 p.m.||Madagascar (EAT)|
|6:00 p.m.||Mauritius, & Réunion (MUT)|
Should you have any dietary needs, please let us know on the Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately kosher meals cannot be accommodated.
Clothing on Board
The ship is air-conditioned and heated throughout, with individual controls in each cabin. Comfortable and casual clothing, in the expedition spirit, is recommended.
Typically, there are two occasions on board when you may wish to wear slightly more formal attire: the captain’s welcome aboard and farewell cocktail parties followed by dinner. On these two occasions, women may choose to wear a dress or other appropriate attire and men may dress business casual. The degree of dress is in accordance with one’s personal preference.
Sporty summer-weight clothing is a good basis for your wardrobe. Loose, lightweight, wash-and-wear slacks, skirts, shorts, blouses, shirts, and T-shirts made of natural fibers are recommended. For protection against insect bites, long pants and long-sleeved shirts are useful as well. The sun can be strong, so bring adequate sun-protective clothing and gear, wear hats, and use sun block, as we will be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Also, keep in mind that we may encounter a rain shower or two on our excursions.
Shore excursions will involve a moderate amount of walking over uneven trails. Sturdy walking shoes with thick soles or light hiking boots are recommended for walking on the often-rough terrain. If you have weak ankles, high-top hiking boots will provide better support than shoes. Make sure your shoes or boots are well broken-in before your trip.
Sport sandals with a sturdy sole are the best type of footwear for frequent wet landings, especially where there are rocky and/or coral covered beaches. They provide excellent protection and dry quickly. Other footwear you may wish to bring includes canvas sneakers that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty. You will want to wear pants that are easy to roll up, shorts, or a sarong for wet landings.
Passport & Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for at least six months after your return home, through May 6, 2019. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of five blank pages available for entry/exit stamps in your passport. As of January 1, 2016, the US State Department has eliminated the application to insert additional pages into your passport. If you require additional pages, a new passport must be obtained. We suggest that you carry extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport’s information page when you travel.
A visitor permit is required of U.S. nationals for entry into the Seychelles and will be granted upon arrival.
A visa is required of U.S. nationals for entry into Madagascar. Visas for Madagascar will be obtained on board the Silver Discoverer and will be charged to your onboard account. Visas cost approximately $50 USD.
A visa is not required of U.S. nationals for entry into Réunion or Mauritius.
If you are traveling independently of the group or to any other countries prior to or after the voyage, check the entry and visa requirements with the local consulates of each country you plan on visiting.
PLEASE NOTE: Nationals of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.
Payments & Cancellations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Airfare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
- 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
- 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
- 1 through 119 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.
With Our Compliments
We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. A gift certificate to our Zegrahm Store will offer you the opportunity to purchase essential trip gear from our store. The certificate will be emailed to you approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificate for more details.