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Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Taxi Boat
Taxi boats operating on Cote D'Or Beach provide a convenient means of accessing many of the islands around Praslin. Unfortunately, from reading articles in a number of forums it is clear that some visitors have had bad experiences with some of these taxi boats. Most if not all of these bad experiences could have been avoided if the visitors knew a few basic facts about the taxi boat industry.
Basically there are two groups of taxi boats operating in Cote D' Or, licenced and unlicenced. It is very easy to recognise a licenced taxi boat. Just look for the letters HC (which stands for Hire Craft) followed by a number (their registration number) on the side of the boat. The letters are big enough to be seen from a distance. One cannot assume that all licenced taxi boat operators are good and all unlicenced ones are bad. Unlicenced operators can often be cheaper because they do not have overheads such as licence and public liabilty insurance fees to worry about, but on the flip side it is fair to say that your risk of a bad experience is significantly reduced when you choose a licenced operator.
Another source of bad experience is advanced payment or deposit for services that are not fulfilled. Tourists are often approached by young man offering taxiboat rides. These guys can be divided into three groups:
Employees of licenced operator can usually be distinguished from the other two groups by their uniform (t-shirt) which bears the name of the company they work for. Whichever the case may be it is extremely important that you avoid giving deposits. The only exception will be if you are making a booking with the employee of a licenced taxi boat and they are prepared to provide you with a reciept bearing their company logo. This is usually done at the company's office or stall.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the prices quoted for products and services in Seychelles are usually very close to the best deal you can get. So it is unlikely that you will be able to negotiate a hugh bargain (>10%). So, if someone offers you a quote, then agrees to a significantly cheaper quote and ask you for a deposit, it is more than likely that you are not getting a genuine deal. So DO NOT EVER give a deposit for a heavily discounted trip offered by someone approaching you on the beach.