DIVING

SCUBA DIVING AND SNORKELING | SEYCHELLES




Diving and snorkeling can be done on the Seychelles all year round, but the best visibility under water is during the monsoon season (March to May and September to November). Around the turn of the year the water surface is a little more turbulent, while during the south-east monsoon (May to September) there is a stronger wind and on the south-east coasts sea grass is often washed up, which makes these beaches unsuitable for snorkelling at this time. Water temperatures are always between 25 and 30°C near the surface. Only at greater diving depths, which can only be reached at the edge of the Seychelles Plateau and the Outer Islands, does the temperature drop below these values.

There is a wide range of dive operators on the islands. Dives from shore or live-aboard excursions are equally available. So no matter where you are, there is a good chance that you will be able to dive on the way.

Each dive centre has its preferred areas with incredible scenery or fascinating underwater world or both. Most dive centres are located directly on the beach. From here it is a "stone's throw" in the boat until you reach several dive sites. Not only the breathtaking nature will leave lasting memories of your diving excursion, the diving centers and organizers are always anxious to offer you the best service, including: no overcrowded boats.

A shallow water expedition to the Ste. Anne Marine National Park, surrounded by the splendour of the surrounding islands, gives you an insight into the impressive variety of fish. The various rock formations in the sea are home to an incredible variety of species. Turtle' Rocks, for example, lies off the east coast of Mahé. Here you can find stingrays, sharks and soldier fish. Around the 'Vista' and 'Sunset' Rocks in the northwest, however, there are crayfish, octopus, snappers and scorpion fish.

Advanced divers can look forward to the fascination of the 'Ennerdale', 'Twin Barges' and 'Dredger' wrecks, with their sharks, groupers, rays and pelagic fish. If you prefer drift diving, then the 'Lighthouse' with its impressive coral formations is the place to be. Not only known for its corals, you will also find graceful hawksbill turtles, schools of reef fish and moray eels.

As you head south to Mahé, you will be spoilt for choice between excellent diving sites such as the granite formation of 'Jail House' Rock or the beautiful corals of 'Alice in Wonderland'.

You can find diving areas practically everywhere. Near the granite islands, the sea is mostly not more than 30 metres deep and consists of coral reefs and rocky outcrops, between which countless colourful tropical fish cavort, but also every now and then a few sharks that may be curious but not aggressive. Near the Inner Islands, some coral reefs were bleached out by a temporary warming of the sea water as a result of the "El Niño effect", but in the meantime these formations have recovered quite well, and near the Outer Islands the effects were less pronounced anyway. One of the best diving areas is considered to be that of Island Desroches

Some dive operators offer additional activities like beach BBQs or picnics on a small hidden beach where you can relax and swap diving stories. Others offer exciting night dives in the moonlit ocean. It is worth combining dives with such additional activities, as they enrich the experience.

Live-Aboard dive operators offer you the possibility to go further out than Praslin and La Digue and also visit magical sounding islands like Desroches. Diving in the fascinating gorges and caves off Desroches, or amidst the countless corals and steep drop-offs of Alphonse is incomparable.

Apart from the dive sites there are also wonderful snorkeling areas, even if you don't find them right in front of the hotel. The highly interesting reefs are usually only accessible by boat, but the rocky sides of the sandy bays can also be reached from the shore. Beautiful snorkelling areas around Mahé are the Sainte-Anne Marine National Park, Baie Ternay, Anse Soleil and Petite Anse. From Praslin the flanks of the bay of Anse LazioWe recommend the area in front of Anse La Farine and the coastal section opposite the island of Curieuse. Before La Digue you can snorkel very well on the west side. The coral islands of Denis and Desroches are also recommended.

Divers and snorkelers are required to observe the regulations for the protection of nature under water. The rule is simple: nothing may be taken - except photos. Of course it is also forbidden to damage coral reefs while diving. Harpoons are strictly forbidden. Decompression chambers are available at the hospital of Victoria and on the island Silhouette.

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