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Diving in The Seychelles

Pelagic fish, rare tortoises and towering fan coral are the irresistible draw cards for divers to the Seychelles.

Diving in The Seychelles

Quick facts

About a thousand miles due east of Africa, way out in the middle of the western Indian Ocean, you’ll find an archipelago of 115 islands. With nicknames such as “the honeymoon islands” and “the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean,” it’s a fair bet that you’ll also find something really special in the Seychelles. How about pristine white sand beaches fringed with coconut palms and bathed by impossibly clear cerulean water? How about some of the most luxurious resorts imaginable? Or the eclectic Creole-Indian-Asian-French-influenced cuisine? You’ll have to be ready to share the place though. With the Seychelles’ enlightened approach to balancing conservation and construction, nearly half of the country is preserved as national parks. As a result, the endemic flora and fauna flourishes. There are two main island groups: The 41 inner granite islands and the 74 outer coral atolls and reef islands. The “main” islands are Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue, which nearly the entire population calls home. At the other end of the scale are the many uninhabited islands only accessible by boat. And, as you have probably guessed by now, the scuba diving is about as good as it gets…

Recommended training

The PADI Underwater Naturalist course is sure to get you motivated and ready for a trip to the Seychelles. The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course and the PADI Drift Diver Specialty course will add to your dive experiences by opening up some of the more remote current swept sites.

When to go

With an average temperature of 27° C/81° F, and a relatively narrow annual range, it’s almost always perfect beach weather. It does rain, but showers tend to be brief and localized. The driest months are between May and September.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

  • La Digue

    La Digue’s sandy beaches touch the brilliant blue of the Indian Ocean, within which waits pristine dives and warm, clear water teeming with marine life.

  • Mahé

    With more than 75 dive locales to explore, Mahé in the Seychelles is the most diverse and welcoming of the Inner Islands. Expect to see towering fan corals, rare macro life and even whale sharks.

  • Praslin

    Kick back and relax on the stunning beaches of Praslin or dip into its turquoise waters for a chance encounter with a whale shark or to enjoy beautiful coral reefs.

USD 1,119Per trip
USD 1,119Per trip
USD 1,880Per trip
One Tree Island – For divers focused on finding fish, this could well be one of the finest. The relatively shallow site, which boasts generally good visibility, sits on a granite substrate, which is as popular with moray eels and stingrays as it is with divers. Myriad reef fish vie for divers’ attention and huge hump-head parrotfish munch on the coral itself. If you’re observant, and a little lucky, you might also find the elusive ghost pipefish hanging upside down while pretending to be a bit of sea grass. Trois Bancs– When conditions are right off the west coast of Mahé, divers in the know head offshore to these three granite-based reefs. Here they drift over steep drop offs, along vertical walls, under massive ledges and through small caves. The currents here can be strong, and they attract big pelagics, turtles and reef sharks. Whale sharks are also known to put in an appearance in season. North Island – North of Silhouette Island lies the appropriately named North Island. It’s renowned by local divers for it’s fantastic coral reefs. Multiple pinnacles reach to the surface from a sandy bottom. The full cast of reef fish is fond of the site too, and divers regularly encounter whitetip reef sharks, stingrays and nurse sharks. This is the kind of place where you’ll enjoy your safety stop on the reef as much as any other part of the dive. Napoleon – This is one of the best dives off Alphonse Island. Strong currents wash the dramatic wall and divers are hard pressed to make up their mind between the macro and the manta rays. The best solution is to pay attention to both, never forgetting to tear your focus from the coral face to keep an occasional eye on the big blue where the big animals cruise. This place is pristine.

What to see

Emperor angelfish are the epitome of grace and beauty on the reefs. Whale sharks visit in September and October; meeting one on a dive is unforgettable. Turtles, rays and sharks liven up dives throughout the year.

Calendar

For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Country

The archipelago collection of islands is situated in the Indian Ocean slightly off the East coast of Africa and the capital of the 115 island nation is Victoria on the island of Mahe. The history of the country is littered with intrigue and adventure as the strategic location of the islands made them a safe haven for pirates until the French invasion in 1756. In 1903, the country was ceded to the British and in 1976 gained independence within the Commonwealth.

The temperature is fairly consistent in the tropical forests of the Seychelles and may vary between 75 to 86°F (24 to 30°C) and in the summer months of December to April you can expect 80% humidity levels. The fragile biodiversity of the Seychelles is highly protected and orchids, the ‘love-nut’ palm as well as other endemic flora and fauna are safely ensconced in nature reserves, some of which are entire islets themselves.

Other attractions

The granite studded beaches of the Seychelles and the resorts that are surrounded by Creole-styled houses make for a trip of a lifetime. Golf courses and a myriad of watersports keep divers entertained whilst they get through the hours between dives. 16 islands offer accommodation and activities whilst there are some that are wildlife reserves only. Eclectic art studios and galleries are scattered across the islands with tours and viewings available almost every day of the year with masterpieces on show that encapsulate the way of life in the Indian Ocean paradise.

Getting there

The Seychelles is in a rather remote location but numerous big European and Middle Eastern cities have flights into Seychelles International Airport (SEZ) Mahé. Once on the islands, charters and ferry boats are readily available from the main resorts and hotels.

UTC+04:00

Time zone

SCR

Currency

+428

Calling code

240 V

Electric volt

G

Plug type

SEZ

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.