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Diving in the Seychelles

Diving in the Seychelles

Scuba diving in the Seychelles

Perhaps one of the most alluring characteristics of the Seychelles is the clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean which surround the islands. The stunning topography of expansive reefs, walls, pinnacles, drop offs, wrecks and canyons make for one of the most diverse marine environments around, teeming with both fish and coral life.

Coral bleaching in the Seychelles in 1998

In 1998, the coral reefs of the Seychelles were affected by the El Nino Southern Oscillation. The exact cause for this event is unknown but it is thought global warming was primarily to blame. The changes in the atmosphere caused an increase in sea temperatures, resulting in significant consequences for the surrounding coral and marine life. The warmer waters caused the coral to repel the bright algae (which gives the coral its vivid colours) from their tissues, thus causing them to take on a pale and white appearance (hence the commonly used term “coral bleaching"). The inner reefs were hit harder than the outer reefs, however the granitic nature of the reefs meant they were not as badly affected as first feared, and 11 years on from the event there has been a remarkable recovery and the diving generally remains excellent.
Diving is one of the Seychelles biggest draws.
With its perfect white beaches, warm blue ocean...
...and varied aquatic life...
...the islands really are a divers paradise.
The reefs here are recovering well after the beaching of the late 1990's.
There is plenty to explore...
...and and some great photographic opportunities.
If you're lucky you may spot one of the reefs transient visitors like the Hawksbill turtle...
... the oceans biggest fish, the Whale shark.

Diving is one of the Seychelles biggest draws.

With its perfect white beaches, warm blue ocean...

...and varied aquatic life...

...the islands really are a divers paradise.

The reefs here are recovering well after the beaching of the late 1990's.

There is plenty to explore...

...and and some great photographic opportunities.

If you're lucky you may spot one of the reefs transient visitors like the Hawksbill turtle...

... the oceans biggest fish, the Whale shark.

When to go scuba-diving in the Seychelles

With dive sites ranging in depth from 8m to 30m there are options for both beginners and experienced divers to enjoy. It is possible to dive throughout the year in the Seychelles – however waters are calmest during the months of March, April and May and September, October and November. During these months visibility can reach a staggering 30m and with water temperatures reaching 29oc it makes for a very pleasant and relaxed diving experience. The calmer waters also mean dive boats can reach the more remote sites, where encounters with mega fauna such as sharks and manta rays are common – these sites are particularly good for experienced divers.

During the months June, July and August the south-east monsoon brings stronger winds making access to the more remote dive sites difficult and unreliable. Cooler waters are blown in and temperatures drop to around 25oc. These cooler waters are filled with nutrient rich plankton so visibility can be significantly reduced; however these nutrients encourage the appearance of whale sharks, which can reach an incredible 10m in length. Local dive shops offer specific whale shark programmes during these months, so the chance to snorkel or even dive with these magnificent creatures is very high.

Marine life

Around the inner reefs, marine life you can expect to see among others includes – angelfish, butterflyfish, octopus, lionfish, nudibranchs and mantis shrimp. Slightly further out, napoleon and humphead wrasses, schools of humphead parrotfish, stingrays, reef sharks and green and hawksbill turtles are common.

Sailfish, silvertip, oceanic whitetip and nurse sharks, manta rays and whale sharks are more common around the remoter outer islands – you may even be able to spot the occasional hammerhead shark if you're lucky!

Where to dive in the Seychelles

Local dive companies offer relatively inexpensive options for individual dives, multiple dives or PADI courses, with all equipment of generally good quality and provided at a reasonable rate. We haven't dived with all the dive companies on the Seychelles, and we're certainly not qualified to 'vet' them for safety. However, possible dive centres that you may want to consider include:

Diving centres on Mahe Island

The Underwater Centre
Situated on Beau Vallon beach at the Coral Strand Hotel, the Underwater Centre was established in 1976. They provide multilingual dive instructors with an excellent knowledge of local dive sites and marine life. Their equipment is well maintained and of a high quality and can be rented at a reasonable rate. PADI courses are cheaper if pre-booked.

Website: Telephone: +(248) 345445
Email:
divesey@seychelles.net

Big Blue Divers
Also located on Beau Vallon beach, Big Blue Divers is a small team of professionals who have been operating for over 10 years. They have good knowledge of the dive sites and prepare and carry all your equipment out and back from the boat. Once a week they organise a day trip, often to the beautiful Baie Ternay Marine Park, where diving is combined with a Creole style BBQ on a secluded beach for lunch. Non-divers are welcome on these trips to snorkel or swim while others are diving.

Website: www.bigbluedivers.net Telephone: +(248) 261106
Email: bigblue@seychelles.net

Diving centres on Praslin Island

Octopus Diving Centre
Located on Anse Volbert on the Côte d'Or, Octopus has two speed boats which can each hold 11 people. They offer full and half day excursions, which can include a Creole BBQ as part of the boat trip which can be enjoyed by divers and non-divers alike.

Website: www.octopusdiver.com, Telephone: +(248) 232602
Email: octopus.seychelles@gmail.com

Diving centres on La Digue Island

Azzurra Pro Dive
Situated at Anse Reunion, next to the La Digue Island Lodge, Azzurra has professional multilingual friendly staff. They operate a small dive groups with a maximum of 6 divers to one guide. First dives depart at 9:30am, including a 45 minute surface interval and a second dive, returning at 1:30pm. The second excursion of the day departs at 2:30pm and returns at 4pm.

Website:www.ladigue.sc Telephone: +(248) 292525
Email: reservation@ladigue.sc

Our top picks for holidays to Seychelles

We'll always tailor-make your Beach for you. Here are some of our favourites to inspire you.


Itinerary image

Boxfish Island Holiday

8 days • 2 locations
MAHÉ AIRPORT TO MAHÉ AIRPORT

Discover Mahé and Praslin Islands on this slightly offbeat and excellent value Seychelles trip combining green mountains, local culture and time on the beach.

US$2,490 - US$3,160 per person

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Squirrelfish island holiday

6 days • 2 locations
MAHÉ AIRPORT TO MAHÉ AIRPORT

Combine laid-back La Digue and a hidden corner of Mahé Island, staying in two very luxurious hotels with the option to simply do nothing or explore these stunning islands.

US$2,360 - US$2,700 per person

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Fairy Tern Island Holiday

3 days • 1 locations
MAHÉ AIRPORT TO MAHÉ AIRPORT

The aptly named Bird Island is a birder's paradise, the home, breeding ground and migrant stop off for hundreds of species and countless thousands of individuals.

US$1,310 - US$1,310 per person

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Damselfish island holiday

4 days • 1 locations
MAHÉ AIRPORT TO MAHÉ AIRPORT

Laid-back luxury on the private Denis Island. Surrounded by protected waters with commendable focus on sustainability, this is perfect spot to disconnect from the world after a safari.

US$3,040 - US$3,890 per person

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Triggerfish island holiday

4 days • 1 locations
MAHÉ AIRPORT TO MAHÉ AIRPORT

Desroches is beautifully rugged and remote island atoll with stunning villas, slick Four Seasons service and exciting array of adventures above and below the waves.

US$6,840 - US$8,190 per person

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Hawkfish Island holiday

4 days • 1 locations
MAHÉ AIRPORT TO MAHÉ AIRPORT

Fregate is an idyllic private island skirted by white sand and coral reefs that’s home to just 16 villas and incredible wildlife. The perfect mix of romance, indulgence, adventure and conservation.

US$12,680 - US$19,080 per person

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Dragonfish Island Holiday

4 days • 1 locations
MAHÉ AIRPORT TO MAHÉ AIRPORT

Indulge yourself at one of the most exclusive retreats in the world. Fabulously luxurious yet incredibly laidback, there’s nowhere quite like North Island.

US$23,400 - US$26,690 per person

View all holidays in Seychelles

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