Mauritius is an exotic oasis situated in the middle of the Indian-Ocean. The island is surrounded by coral reef flocking with schools of fish, colorful aquatic plants and crustaceans of all kinds. Shipwrecks from the 18th and 19th century, acting as artificial reefs, shelter a spectrum of aquatic fauna and flora. Diving in Mauritius is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. Under ideal conditions it is possible to come across species like harmless reef sharks, dolphins, tuna fish, endemic fish species, eels, sea turtles, lobsters, only to name a few.
Perfect for year-round diving
Because of the tropical climate which the island enjoys, diving is a year-round activity. In winter the average sea temperature during the day is about 26 °C and suitable for any divers. Thus, Scuba diving is one of the most popular holiday aquatic activities on the island.
Mauritius is known for its impressive coral reef, the third largest in the world. The barrier almost completely surrounds the 330 km of the Mauritian coast-line and the crystal clear water of the Indian Ocean is well known for hosting a large variety of aquatic biodiversity. The coral reef off Mauritius is considered one of the largest uninterrupted reefs on the planet with a length of about 160 km.
Aquatic Fauna and Flora
The warm Mauritian seascape is home to an astonishing diversity of marine flora and fauna with about 1000 species and new species are discovered each year. A fascinating underwater paysae awaits you.
The marine biodiversity of the island is still largely intact contributing in promoting Mauritius as one of the most famous destinations among divers around the world. Some new diving spots around the northern islands have recently been discovered, for the greater delight of diving enthusiasts.
Diving has been practiced for a long time in Mauritius, some diving schools are more than 30 years old! To ensure the safety of divers and tourists, various organizations have emerged and also militate for the protection of the marine ecosystem.
What you need to know about scuba diving in Mauritius
MSDA (Mauritius Scuba Diving Association)
Founded in 1989, the MSDA is the National Federation of Scuba Diving. This organisation is the regulator of all diving activities around the island. It also has as an objective the promotion of the Mauritian marine environment on an international scale.
The MSDA also cooperates with many international scuba diving associations to ensure that local dive centers align with international standards and training such as PADI, NAUI, BSAC and CMAS.
Before choosing a diving spot, here is a little overview of the meteorological conditions of the different regions of the island.
The north and west of Mauritius present the best conditions. If conditions are perfect, you can dive 300 days a year in the northern and western region.
Due to the discontinuity of the coral reef, the southern region is not suitable for scuba diving. The eastern part of the island is particularly appreciated for certain spots, but it should be noted that the South East trade winds can cause particularly bad weather at times.
Do not hesitate to consult the weather before your dive trip. However, Mauritius enjoys excellent marine conditions for diving during the day and as well as during the night.
Water temperatures varies according the region, but the temperature averages 25 °C is winter. Obviously you can expect a warmer water temperature in summer, it however rarely exceeds 29 °C.
Where to dive in Mauritius?
The northwestern part of the island has diversified dive sites in addition to ideal weather conditions. Peter Holt’s majestic volcanic rocks is one of those places you should definitely include on your diving bucketlist. Colorful Gorgonians adorn the rocks, perfect for underwater photography.
Whale Rocks is another site in the norhtern region that has an amazing diversity of reef life. The large coral tables form a real aquatic garden on both sides where you can dive. The deepest spot go down up to 40 meters deep but is a perfect representation of the natural wonders of the region.
The west and southwest of Mauritius are two of the most satisfying places for scuba diving. In addition to the dolphins that can be easily be observed, the west coast reveals two diving spots of international renown.
Located opposite the village of Flic en Flac, a short boat ride will take you to Rempart Serpent. At a depth of 25 meters, this level 1 dive site is over 100 meters long and has a wide variety of fish and shellfish. This is one of the first diving sites to be discovered in Mauritius. The water is so pristine that its shape can be easily distinguished from the surface on a clear day.
The Cathedral is another level 1 dive site well known among the Mauritian diving community. However, the spot is recommended for more experienced divers. The Cathedral has become famous due to its remarkable structure. You will dive in the middle of a crossing in a kind of aquatic passage animated by fish of all sizes.
Catamaran trips are more famous than dive trips in this part of the island. Nevertheless, there are some dive sites appreciated by connoisseurs of the discipline. We speak of Roche Zozo and Colorado which are the two most famous diving sites located a few minutes by boat from the mystical village of Mahébourg. You can also explore the wreck of the Sirius inhabited by a wide variety of crustaceans and fish.
The northern islands
Several islands and islets can be found off the north coast of the island. However, until recently, scuba diving was not a widespread activity in this region. The discovery of several dive sites in the north has made it into a popular diving spot.
About 30 minutes away from Grand Baie by boat, t 4 beautiful dive sites are located in between the gunner’s quoin, Round Island and Flat Island. You can discover a great diversity of fish including pelagic species. The Shark Pit is also one of the most desired spots to dive by thrill seekers.