Have you ever heard of Mauritius? Well, Mauritius is an incredible island in the Indian Ocean about 500 miles east of Madagascar with an area of 720 square miles.The island is rather mountainous. Almost 75% of the island is covered with mountains and hills. The area is rich in tropical forests. The tropical and subtropical vegetation is very wealthy. The nature is very beautiful full of rare plant species. However, nothing can be compared with the wonderful waters of the island.
The water area of Mauritius can be named a real museum. This museum is full of ancient ship wrecks, caverns, cliff faces and coral reefs. While diving in the waters of Mauritius you may run into sharks, whales, dolphins, barracuda, tuna, rays, eels, turtles, bass, red-snapper, lobsters, lionfish, parrotfish, sergeant-major fish, crabs and boxfish (remember our favorite hero in the cartoon “Finding Nemo”). The rich vegetation will make your dive a real adventure.
Mauritius is a great diving spot in the Indian Ocean. All divers all over the world come here for scuba diving. The main reason for this is that the weather is nice all year round, and you may dive whenever you want, no matter whether it’s winter or summer.
Divers themselves claim that the best season for scuba diving is from November to March. The temperature of the water as well as the visibility is what each diver would like to have. Summer is also a good time to enjoy scuba diving, but there’s one problem: cyclones are very frequent during summer months. Tropical storms may occur and last for days.
I’d not advise you to dive from January to April. The days are hot and damp, the water is rough. Cyclones are also frequent.
As I’ve already mentioned visibility in the underwater is about 20 – 25 meters. In a favorable weather it can become 40 meters. Water temperature ranges from 20°C to 30°C depending on the season.
The weather is more or less calmer in the west coast of the island. That is why the west coast is considered a better diving destination than the east one. The east coast is a colder and rougher area, which is caused by the Trade Winds. However, no one can ignore the picturesque and splendid diving sites of the east coast.
There’s a coral fringing reef system all around the island. The system breaks in several places. The largest break is between the Souillac and the Bouchon and Flic and Flac. Souillac and Bouchon are on the Southern coast, while the Flic and Flac is on the West coast. An unbelievable view opens within this break. However, only experienced and professional divers are advised to dive this reef.
Each geographical zone of the island has its own peculiarities and characteristic features.
The South-West coast is rich in dolphins. There are two famous diving sites to admire at Flic and Flac: the Cathedral and the Rempart Serpent. The Cathedral is a miraculous combination of cavities, caves and arches. Rempart Serpent is worth seeing for the diversity of its fauna: scorpionfishes, stonefishes, lionfishes, moray eels and so on and so forth. This area has also shipwrecks really worth diving: “Tug II“ and the “Kei Sei 113“. The two of them are located at Flic-en-Flac. Besides these two crafts there’s also “Hoi Siong”, which has recently sunk off the coast of Ile aux Bénitiers. These are wrecks that can be easily dived, but there are also several shipwrecks that are nearly impossible to dive, especially if you’re not an experienced diver: the “St-Gabriel”, the “Orient”, and the “Carp“. The three of them are too deep for diving.
The North Coast of Mauritius is also full of scuba diving sites, such as Peter Holt’s Rock, Stenopus Reef and Roches Baleines. Diving in these sites you’ll witness real wonders that are hidden under the water. The flora and fauna of the area is unique, let alone the shipwrecks that have become attractions for all the divers: “Hassen Mian”, “Stella Maru”, “Silver Star”, “Amar”, “Star Hope”, “Water Lily” and “Emily”.
The East coast is a real diving place for extreme diving. You should be a real professional to be allowed to dive in here. The reefs are difficult to dive, besides sharks and whales may accompany you during your underwater journey.
This is only a little part of all the diving sites you may come across in Mauritius. When in Mauritius you can contact a scuba diving center and get advice according to your physical state.
However, you shouldn’t worry if you don’t know how to dive as Mauritius offers numerous shallow diving sites for the beginners. Besides, the scuba diving centers provide groups of professional divers, who accompany you during the marine journey, supporting you every single second. There are also centers that organize scuba diving lessons for those who are eager to learn the tricks of diving.
In my opinion Mauritius scuba diving is a must for each and every diver. Half of the island’s beauty is sheltered under its waters. You do want to miss it, do you?