SEYCHELLES TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS 2020

Tourist travel to Seychelles is now possible. Seychelles is accepting travellers from specific country of origin. List of allowed countries from which travellers are allowed to enter Seychelles are constantly reviewed by the government.

As of 1st August 2020

WHO CAN TRAVEL TO SEYCHELLES

Seychelles International Airport is open for scheduled commercial passenger flights.

Types of flights allowed to Seychelles

  • Private jets with passengers destined to authorized resorts, yachts or residential facilities
  • Chartered passengers flights with passengers from permitted countries under conditions set by the Department of Health and Department of Tourism.
  • Scheduled International Commercial Passenger flights.
  • Cargo flights.
  • Medical evacuation flights.
  • Flights making technical stops.
  • Special flights under agreements between Seychelles Government and other authorities.

Visitors may be permitted from approved countries. The list of approved countries is posted on the Department of Tourism and Department of Health websites, and will be revised periodically. Visitors should note that the COVID-19 outbreak is dynamic and the listing of countries may change. They must therefore ensure that flight and hotel bookings permit flexibility regarding cancellation or postponement at short notice.

List of Countries from which travelers are permitted in Seychelles:

List of countries from which travellers are permitted to enter Seychelles – changes to current list are effective from Thursday 1 October 2020

PERMITTED COUNTRIES – CATEGORY 1

AUSTRALIA LITHUANIA
AUSTRIA MALAYSIA
CAMBODIA MAURITIUS
CANADA MONACO
CHINA NEW ZEALAND
CYPRUS NORWAY
DENMARK PAKISTAN
EGYPT PORTUGAL
ESTONIA QATAR
FINLAND SINGAPORE
GERMANY SOUTH KOREA
ICELAND SRI LANKA
IRELAND SWEDEN
ITALY SWITZERLAND
LATVIA THAILAND
LIECHTENSTEIN VIETNAM

Changes to the list:

  • Australia, Liechtenstein, Republic of Korea added
  • Slovakia, Slovenia, United Arab Emirates removed

LIST OF PERMITTED COUNTRIES – CATEGORY 2

Austria Lithuania
Belgium Malaysia
Canada Malta
China Mauritius
Cuba Monaco
Cyprus Netherlands
Denmark New Zealand
Estonia Norway
Finland Slovakia
FRANCE Slovenia
France South Korea
Germany Sri Lanka
Greece Switzerland
Hungary Thailand
Iceland Tunisia
Ireland UAE
Italy UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Latvia UNITED KINGDOM

Seychellois Travellers and Persons holding Resident Permit

All Seychellois and persons holding resident permit who have spent at least 14 days in a permitted country immediately prior to travel may enter Seychelles and can stay in their own homes under passive surveillance for up to 14 days after arrival. (See also Guide for residents entering Seychelles published by the Department of Health).

Seychellois and persons holding resident permit currently in high risk countries may apply to enter Seychelles (application form is available on the Department of Health website and should be submitted to pha@health.gov.sc) and, if permitted to enter, will be required to undergo facility-based quarantine for a 14 day period and COVID-9 PCR tests at their cost.

 Entry by GOP Holders and dependents

Permission to enter by GOP Holders and dependents will first be cleared by Employment and Immigration. Conditions for their travel and entry will be similar to those of Seychellois as defined above.

Accommodation for the returning GOP Holder must be approved by the Public Health Authority.

COVID-19 TEST REQUIRED

Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test that is less than 72 hours prior to boarding the flight to Seychelles

Passengers must present proof of negative test results when checking-in for their flight to Seychelles. Airlines will not accept passengers for travel to Seychelles without the test result.

Aircraft/Airline are not to board any passengers or crew who are symptomatic of COVID-19.

Any passengers who arrives in Seychelles without proof of negative COVID 19 PCR test, will be turned back on the same aircraft.”

OTHER TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS FOR SEYCHELLES

  • Please arrive at the airport at least 4 hours prior to departure
  • Primarily undergo a temperature check before proceeding to the check-in counters.
  • Passengers are advised to maintain physical distancing of 1.5metres between each other when waiting in the check-in line.
  • Passengers must adhere to the distancing demarcated floor signs when handing over the necessary documents to the guest service agent at the check-in counter

For Air Seychelles:

The airline will try its best to allocate family members and individuals travelling together from the same household seats next to each other.

As a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19, the airline has introduced a new seating plan. Passengers will need to maintain their allocated seats upon check-in at all times with no further request to change seats in-flight.

Departure lounge

In addition to maintaining physical distancing, passengers will be required to observe the following measures when proceeding to the departure lounge:

Hand hygiene – Wash hands with water and soap or use an alcohol based hand sanitizing solution.

Respiratory etiquette – Ensure face mask is being worn at all times. Cover the mouth and nose with a paper towel cover or a flexed elbow when sneezing or coughing, even when wearing the mask.

Surfaces – Limit direct contact (touch) with any surfaces in the airport as much as possible.

Boarding

Passengers will be advised to board the aircraft by rows, in a specific numerical order, as per their assigned seat.

Each passenger will undergo one temperature screening at the aircraft door prior to final boarding approval is given.

To avoid physical contact with the cabin crew members, passengers must only display their boarding passes to the cabin crew team for verification when boarding the aircraft.

In adopting good hygiene protocols, passengers will be directed to use sanitizers readily made available before allocating their seats.

Passengers will also need to handle and stow their own hand luggage in the overhead compartments.

Passengers who do not adhere to the preventive measures can be refused access to board the aircraft cabin, or may be asked to disembark the aircraft before the aircraft doors are closed.

Passengers may be subject to additional actions as determined by the airline and the local authorities at the departure airport.

Onboard

To ensure the comfort and wellbeing of the passengers and to limit the contact between crew members, Air Seychelles is offering a reduced food and beverage service on all flights.

Meals and drinks will be pre-packed and sealed when possible to mitigate close contact between passengers and crew members.

Passengers will be allowed to remove their mask for consumption of food and beverage throughout the flight.

Immigration and Health cards will be made readily available in the seat pocket.

Crew members will wear masks at all times once onboard the aircraft and protective equipment will be used when necessary.

Landing and disembarkation

Prior to landing, Cabin Crew members will pass through the cabin to collect any general waste.

Passengers must refrain from making any physical contact with the crew member and delicately dispose their waste into the container provided.

Upon landing, passengers will need to adhere to the disembarkation instructions as advised by the cabin crew and observe the health and safety measures set by the authorities at the country of destination.”

FORMS FOR SEYCHELLES TRAVEL

Note it is a mandatory requirement to complete the Health Self-Assessment Form within 24 hours before arriving at the airport when travelling with Air Seychelles.  This should be submitted to visitor@health.gov.sc.

WEARING OF MASK

It is a mandatory requirement for each passenger entering the airport terminal to wear their own mask.

Exemption for wearing a face mask can be made in specific instances, such as for medical reason of which passengers must produce the relevant document as proof. Exemption can also be made for children below 6 years old.

SOURCE

https://www.airseychelles.com/en-sc/travel-safely-international-network

http://www.mfa.gov.sc/static.php?content_id=36&news_id=2102

http://tourism.gov.sc/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/List-of-Permitted-Countries-as-at-24th-September-2020-Category-1-and-Category-2.pdf (As of October 1, 2020)

Ethiopian New Year : Enkutatash


Ethiopia celebrates new year differently from the rest of the world. New year at Ethiopia is between September 11-12.

Ethiopian New Year is called Enkutatsha in Amharic (Ethiopian language) which means gift of the jewel. Ethiopia is predominantly Christian Orthodox and the new year is considered a religious holiday.

During Ethiopian new year, yellow daisies (Meskel flower) are used as decoration. This is because the holiday signifies the end of the rainy season where yellow daisies bloom in the fields.

Bon fires are burned by the streets, restaurants and other public areas as a new year tradition.

Similar to most holidays around the world, Ethiopian new year is celebrated with special food shared with family and friends, music, singing, and good holiday fun.

Ethiopia Calendar

Ethiopia does not follow the common (Gregorian) calendar as the rest of the world. New year in Ethiopia is between September 11 -12. Ethiopia calendar follows the Julian calendar which is 7 years and 8 months behind the common calendar. If we are in 2019, Ethiopian calendar is still in 2012 by September 12.

How to Greet “Happy New Year” in Ethiopia

Melkem Enkutatah!

Morocco: Ouazzane

Ouazzane Morocco

Travel to Ouazzane, Morocco if you are going to Chefcheouen and you like dried figs, dates and have an authentic Moroccan robe souvenir. Stop by Ouazzane to have a quiet and peaceful time away from the tourist.

Ouazzane is a province north of Morocco. It is near the more popular city of Morocco – Chefcheouen. Ouazzane is a small agricultural and artisan area. The artisans in Ouazzane weave and sew traditional Moroccan clothes that are long dresses with long sleeves. Best souvenir to buy in Ouazzane are dried fruits such as dates and fig which are done in the area and are very cheap. Other places in Morocco buy the cheap dried fruits and traditional clothes in Ouazzane and resell it at a higher price.

The province of Ouazzane is very religious and no alcoholic drinks are allowed. It is a very laid back province. Small streets at the Medina of Ouazzane are colored green giving its own unique charm.

Ouazzane, Morocco-2

What to buy in Ouazzane

Dried Fruits

Figs and dates are very cheap to buy in Ouazzane. These delicacies which are expensive in other areas. Ouazzane is the best place to go if you like sweet dried figs and dates.

  • Dried prunes
  • Dates
  • Dried Figs

Traditional Moroccan Clothes

Ouazzane is an artisan place of handwoven fabrics which are handsewn and embroidered into robes and dresses. the dresses and robes are long with long sleeves which can be worn during summer and winter. If you are looking for a souvenir of authentic handwoven and handmade traditional Moroccan clothes, Ouazzane is a good area to visit.

How to go to Ouazzane

Train-Bus

  • Take the ONCF train and go down at Souk Al Abraa station. If you are booking online select the station to Chefchaouen.
  • There is a connecting (Supratour) bus from the train. You can pay the connecting bus directly from train booking.
  • Take the bus going to Chefcheouen and go down at Ouazzane.

Bus

Another option to go to Ouazzane is by bus. There is the main bus station in Ouazzane that goes to Casablanca and vice-versa. Buses also go to Tangier.

Check previous post on Morocco: Public Transportation

Where to stay in Ouazzane

Ouazzane is not a tourist area. There are not many hotel options. Near the plaza area, there are some hotels. The hotels are small and basic, only offering a bedroom and toilet to stay for the night. There provide service, no restaurant, and no amenities in the hotel

Travel Tips

Good Points

  • There are no annoying freelance tourist guides offering their service
  • Taxi drivers are honest and fair – not giving a foreign rate
  • Experience a quiet authentic Moroccan town with no touristy frills

Not-So-Good-Points

  • Not many choices for hotels. There are only basic low standard hotels that do not serve breakfast, no room service, no wi-fi, no amenities. Think of basic rooms with bed and toilet for rent per night.
  • Not much choice for restaurants. There are only local spots to eat Moroccan dishes such as tajine and kebab.

Ouazzane Morocco

Game of Thrones film location at Morocco

Essos of Game of Thrones film location at Morocco

Essos of Game of Thrones film location at Morocco

Travelling Asian goes to Game of Thrones film location in Morocco.

Game of Thrones is a medieval fictional series of families from different continents battling for the throne to rule the Seven Kingdoms. One of the Seven Kingdoms is Essos, an area depicted in the series as desert-like, where Daenerys (Dragon Queen) built her army.

Game of Thrones season is ending May, 2019. Fans of the show can still relive their favorite moments at film locations of Game of Thrones. Fans of Game of Thrones have their favorite families or households. Those who are rooting for Daenerys or #TeamTargaryen would be happy to relive their favorite scenes at Essos.

There are several film location for Essos of Game of Thrones. Two of the film locations are in Morocco which are in Ait Ben Haddou and Essouira.

 

Photo from https://gameofthrones.fandom.com/

The Game of Thrones film location at Ait Ben Haddou is portrayed as Slaver’s Bay (Bay of Dragon) in the series. This location was used in the episode where Daenerys freed the Unsullied (slave) army.

What to See at Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco

Ait Ben Haddou became a popular tourist destination for fans of Game of Thrones. Other popular films shot at Ait Ben Haddou are Gladiator, Prince of Persia and The Mummy.

Another good reason to visit Ait Ben Haddou is that it is a UNESCO world heritage site representing the traditional earthen habitat of Morocco, built from the 17th century.

The Ksar (fortified village) of Ait Ben Haddou is made of mud and straw. Surrounded by towers and walls at the outer part to protect the homes inside. It used to be a caravan route of nomads travelling from Sahara desert, east Africa. The caravan used to stop at Ait Ben Haddou for rest and trade. At the moment, there are still few families living inside Ait Ben Haddou.

First impression upon seeing Ait Ben Haddou is that it looks like a giant sand castle. Moving closer and inside you would see the intricate designs of the towers and walls.

The structure is huge to fit in a village. The dwellings are small spaces, next to each other.

 

How to Go to Ait Ben Haddou from Marrakesh

Ait Ben Haddou is located at the province of Ouarzazate. There are a lot of buses going to Ouarzazate from Marrakesh. The most common bus is CTM with more available schedule. I prefer to use Supratour as it has more space and more comfortable. Cost of Supratour bus fare from Marrakesh to Ouarzazate is 80 Moroccan Dirhan (approximately 8 US Dollars). CTM bus fare is usually cheaper.

Approximate travel time from Marrakesh to Ouarzazate is 4 hours. Bus schedules are only during the morning until before noon. The route will traverse the Atlas mountains with an amazing view.

Where to Stay

There are a lot of hotel options at the town center of Ourazazate. I heard there are also some small hotels and riads around Ait Ben Haddou.

I recommend to stay at the town center of Ouarzazate as there are other things to visit such as the Kasbah, film museum and Atlas studio.

Travel Tips

  • Rent a Taxi. If you are staying for a few days at Ourzazate and want to visit interesting places around. You do not need to book a tour. Price of a tour will be double or more. There are several taxis parked near the CTM bus station. Price to rent a taxi for a day to Ait Ben Haddou and Atlas Studio is 300 Moroccan Dirham or approximately 30 US Dollars.
  • Tour guide is not necessary unless you are keen to know the history of Ait Ben Haddou. One and a half hour is enough to enjoy the place.
  • Home visit fee. There are still some families living in Ait Ben Haddou. Some will offer to show their home for a fee. If you accidentally go inside and start “exploring” their home, some home visit fee will be expected.

ETHIOPIA: Tourist Visa

Ethiopia tourist visa application is available online to all countries.
Ethiopia has eased its regulation for tourists entering the country. Online visa application and visa on arrival has been made easier. As Ethiopia is promoting the country’s tourism. It is now easier to go to Ethiopia as a tourist.
Since June 2018 Ethiopia has opened online visa application to all countries.

Countries Eligible for Online Ethiopia Visa Application:
ALL Countries

Countries Eligible for Ethiopia Tourist Visa On Arrival: 

African Union Countries

  • All African Union Countries
  • Djibouti Exempted – Allowed to enter without visa
  • Kenya Exempted – Allowed to enter without visa

Asia & Pacific

  • Australia
  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

Europe

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

Middle East

  • Israel
  • Kuwait

Canada & North America

  • Canada
  • United States

South America

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Mexico

Other Countries 

  • Online Visa Application

Requirements for Ethiopia Tourist Visa

  • Recent passport-size photo of the applicant.
  • Passport of the visa applicant which is valid for at least 6 months from the intended date of entry to Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Tourist Visa Application Fee

  • Single Entry  – 30 days  – $ 52 (USD)
    Single Entry  – 90 days – $ 72 (USD)

You can check details and process Ethiopia visa application at Ethiopia immigration website.


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Morocco: Top Shopping in Casablanca

Alpha 55

Alpha 55 mall is like a mini department store for home, personal, school and office supplies. I personally like the decorations and stationery area. There are imported items with average prices.

Best to shop for:

  • Home supplies such as kitchenware, dining ware, bath and garden supplies
  • Decorations such as candles, table top and wall decorations
  • Small furniture such as coffee tables, chairs, portable closet
  • Cheap accessories such as necklace, bracelet, earring
  • Personal hygiene products such as facial and body creams, soaps, shampoos, hair dye, even nail products
  • School and office supplies, such as papers, pens folders, books, stationary.

Pricing:  Low to Mid-range

Alpha 55 Mall address: *Near the French consulate

Morocco Mall

Morocco mall is the largest shopping mall in Casablanca with wide range to choose from. Shops range from cheap to luxury brands. The top floor is mainly for the the luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Fendi, and others.  At the ground floor there is a shop called Marjane which is a grocery-department store that offers lower priced items. Mid-priced brands include H&M, Zara, Pull&Bear, Marwa, LC Waikiki and others.

Main attraction at Morroco mall is the large cylindrical indoor aquarium at the center of the ground floor. Different sea animals can be seen such as shark, manta ray, eels, and various fishes.

Restaurants are lined outside the Morocco mall facing the sea. The outside area can be windy and chilly especially at night.

At one end of the top floor, opposite the luxury shops is a fast food area, with popular franchises such as  McDonalds, Burger King, and KFC. There are shops for ice cream, asian food, sandwich, tacos, pizza, and moroccan food.

In front of Morocco mall, at the right side, before the entrance you can find the only IMAX cinema in Casablanca. English movies (with original English audio) are shown every Tuesdays and Thursdays. Imax Casablanca Schedule

FNAC

FNAC is a good shop for branded electronics such as phones, laptops, speakers, headsets. Most of electronic accessories can be found here. Second floor of FNAC is for books (mostly French and Arabic), there is a small section for classic English books. Stationery, notebooks, and writing supplies are also at the second floor of FNAC.

Yan&One

Yan&One is like a Sephora of Morocco, though I have only seen one shop in Casablanca. It is at the center of the ground floor of Morocco mall. Yan&One offers large selection of cosmetics and bath products. It has Yan&One products and imported brands from France, US, Korea, and UK.

Marjane

There is a Marjane grocery.department store at Morocco mall. Marjane is a one stop shop for:

  • Grocery, fresh food, bread, pastries, alcohol
  • Home supplies, kitchenware and equipment
  • Electronics – tv, laptop, mouse, speakers, cellphone
  • Repair tools –  super glue, screw drivers
  • Stationery – papers, folders, pens, books, pins, stablers, rulers, glue
  • Clothe – underwear, pyjamas, shirts, shorts, shoes, slippers, socks,

In general Morocco mall is best to shop for:

  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Accessories
  • Jewelries
  • Home Supplies
  • Electronics
  • Grocery
  • Telecommunication
  • Cinema
  • Restaurants

View Morocco mall shops and restaurants here.

Pricing: low to high-range

Morocco mall address:

Anfaplace Mall

Anfaplace mall is smaller than Morocco mall, with mid-range priced shops.

The advantage of Anfa mall is that it has a better sea view with direct access to the beach. It is 5 minutes walking distance to the corniche which is a long walkway by the sea with several restaurants with sea view.

There is a fastfood area at the top floor of Anfaplacce mall with a sea view.

Anfaplace is best to shop for:

  • Virgin – It has more choices of electronics brands than FNAC (Morocco mall)
  • Clothes, shoes, bags, accessories
  • Carrefour – grocery

View Anfaplace mall shops and restaurants here.

Pricing: Mid-range

Anfaplace mall address:

Boulevard Al Massira / Maarif

Branded

Near twin center along boulevard Al Massira is a row of branded mid-high priced shops such as LC Waikiki, Addidas, Zara, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Aldo, and Parfois. There is Massimo Dutti which is more pricey. More shops can be found at the small streets adjacent to boulevard Al Massira.

Boulevard Al Massira Khadra – Branded shops location:

Non-Branded

If you take the Maarif exit from inside the Twin Center there is an area of more local shops with low-priced (non–branded) items. Walking around the area you can find shops for shoes, clothes, accessories and jewelry.

Maarif local shopping location:

Bookstore – Maarif

At the back of Mcdonalds, Maarif there is a bookstore with large selection. Mostly in French and Arabic and few English books.

 Maarif Bookstore location:

Morocco: Visa

Applying for tourist visa to Morocco.

Morocco is a popular tourist travel destination. It helps that Morocco is among the most open nations in Africa providing visa free entry for most countries.

Morocco offers tourist visa free for 90 days (unless otherwise stated) for nationals in the following countries:

  • All European Union citizens
  •  Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Gabon
  • Guinea, Hong Kong (30 days)
  • Iceland, Indonesia
  • Ivory Coast
  • Japan, Kuwait
  • Liechtenstein
  • Macau
  • Mali
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Singapore (30 days)
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States
  • Venezuela

Citizens of other countries can get their visa at Morocco embassies in their countries or nearest country.

*Source: https://www.aeroportdecasablanca.com/visa_on_arrival_morocco.php

Ethiopia: Networking

Useful Expat Online Networking in Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Internations

  • Useful for networking with fellow expats seeking and sharing advice
  • Good to find accommodation for rent
  • Job section is mostly used for freelancers seeking job or for families seeking house help
  • Network can be specific for Addis Ababa

Expat.com

  • Useful for networking with fellow expats seeking and sharing advice
  • Good to find accommodation for rent
  • Job section is mostly used for freelancers seeking job or for families seeking house help
  • Network is for the whole country of Ethiopia and cannot be specified by city

Facebook Groups

Ethiopia: Visa Extension

How to extend tourist visa from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Original passport
  • Photocopy of latest visa
  • Photocopy of first entry visa
  • Photocopy of ID
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Visa extension form

PROCESS

  1. Go to immigration
  2. Visa extension office is in the right area upon entrance
  3. Get visa extension form from photocopier for ETB 20 fee
  4. Fill-out form
  5. Photocopy required documents
  6. Go to the queue for the document check and endorsement. Normally visa extension is only up to 30 days. Depending on the mood of the officer in charge you can appeal for up to 90 days. Note that visa extension is not extended from the latest visa. The count of days will begin from the date you file your visa extension. I also suggest going to the counter to the right when you enter the room. The more senior officers are usually there
  7. After your documents have been approved. Go inside to queue to take your photo.
  8. After the photo. Proceed to pay at the table at the center of the room.
  9. Then they will tell you to go to a room to give your passport and documents
  10. They will tell you to go back the next day to pick up your passport with visa. Remember to ask at what time you should go back.
  11. Passport pick-up is at the window outside across the photocopier

FEES

  1. The first visa is USD 100 for 30 days
  2. Second visa extension is USD 150 for another 30 days

I tried to ask up to – how many times it is allowed to extend the tourist visa, however, the immigration officer only said “No” and the next time I asked immigration officer only shook her head. 

PHONE NUMBER

+251 (0) 116-650-297

Be patient when calling. It usually takes long before they answer the phone.

ADDRESS

Tell taxi driver “Immigration Addis” and they will know where it is.