We're often asked “When is the best time to go to go on a Seychelles beach holiday?", and the answer is often complex. It will depend on many things including your interests, exactly where you want to visit and why you're travelling. However, often a concern about the climate / weather underlies the question of 'the best time to go'.
So below is a broad guide to the climate of the Seychelles. Please remember that these tropical islands have a completely different climate pattern than the rest of Africa, and that these notes on the weather come from our records and experience, not from a crystal ball. Weather patterns across Africa, and indeed the globe, are becoming increasingly unpredictable, probably due to global warming; we're seeing downpours in the middle of deserts and damaging droughts when rains should be falling.
Lying 4°-11° south of the Equator, in the western Indian Ocean, Seychelles has a tropical climate: warm and humid with strong maritime influences. The temperature is consistently 24-32°C, there is no distinct dry season and there is some humidity at all times.
Many of the granitic Inner Islands have dramatic terrain; Mahe boasting hills rising to 900m. The rainfall increases with altitude, though it is the trade winds that really dictate the islands' climate and name its seasons.
From May to October the south-east trade winds (Southeast Monsoon) bring a relatively dry period. Reaching its peak in July/August, there is little precipitation and temperatures average 27°C, though seas can be a little choppy.
By November (pre-Northwest Monsoon), the winds start to change, bringing light, warmer winds and the start of the main rainy season. During December to March (Northwest Monsoon), Seychelles gets extremely wet, especially in December and January, though the vegetation is lush, the winds generally light and the sun at its warmest. This is also the cyclone season, though only the most remote southern islands are within the cyclone belt.
This period is followed by the calmest, warmest month, April (Pre-Southeast Monsoon), as the winds die down and start to change direction.
The tropical trade winds not only define the seasons in Seychelles, they also determine where the seaweed drifts. Although naturally occurring and harmless, beached marine algae can detract from otherwise picture-perfect coastal scenes, and make swimming a little less pleasant, so its seasonal location may affect the area in which you’d prefer to stay.
Generally speaking, from May to September, the cooler, drier, south-east trade winds bring lively seas to south-west Mahé and result in seaweed being washed up onto the beaches of Praslin’s south coast.
Conversely, from October to April, the calm, warm, north-west trade winds litter Praslin’s Côte d’Or beaches with seaweed, and waves and currents are strong on Mahé’s north-west coast, such as at Beau Vallon. The presence of seaweed is more likely on Praslin’s lengthy coastal stretches than in the coves of Mahé and La Digue.
As weather patterns become less predictable, it is worth remembering that distances on these islands are short, so should the wind result in seaweed being on your closest beach, it’s never very far to nearby beaches without seaweed.
Weather in other African countries
For comparison, see similar climate charts and information for our other African destinations: