The stunning Seychelles offers a perfect mix of easy and adventurous dives with impressive granite landscapes and beautiful coral reefs hosting coral-covered walls and pinnacles. Dive remote uninhabited islands, snorkel with whale sharks and don’t miss Aldabra; a UNESCO World Heritage site with thousands of fish species.
Diving in Seychelles
An archipelago of 115 islands situated about a thousand miles east of Africa rests in the western Indian Ocean. The Seychelles are seemingly in the middle of nowhere and are a pristine remote paradise with white sand, palm trees and crystal clear turquoise water. Year round tropical climate, prolific life, calm conditions and warm water make it the perfect getaway for divers of all levels of experience.
With almost half of the country designated as national parks, marine life and corals are thriving. From the 41 granite islands to the 74 coral reef islands, there’s magical diving that rivals even the best destinations on Earth.
Much of the diving and everyday life happens around Mahé, La Digue and Praslin, though there are uninhabited islands further afield accessible by boat.
There’s opportunity everywhere for divers, with plenty of dive centers and dive resorts to choose from. Liveaboard fans can also opt for the few trips that take divers around these islands, especially the uncrowded remote outer islands.
The Seychelles are great for beginners to take their open water dive course due to shreds or diving conditions. Also, some sites that experience current provide opportunity to those wanting to undertake a drift diving specialty.
Best time to dive
Diving in the Seychelles is great all year round, thanks to its warm tropical climate, good visibility and mostly calm ocean. Air temperatures normally fluctuate between 26°C-28°C (79 °F-82°F) all year, and rarely exceed 33°C (91°F). March to May and September to November boast the calmest seas and best visibility, which can reach up to 30 meters (98 feet). Due to calmer seas, boats can venture to the more remote dive sites, where you’re more likely to spot the big boys, such as manta rays and sharks. Plus, the water temperature is pleasantly around 29°C (84°F).
From November to March, the rainy humid season occurs, while from June to September, due to prevailing southeast trade winds, there is a drier, cooler period. Strong winds during this time make access to remote sites difficult, and water temperatures drop to around 25°C (77°F). However, the incoming of colder water brings plankton, which affects visibility but also attracts whale sharks.
Types of diving
The Seychelles promises various kinds of diving around all its islands, including reef, drift, wreck, wall and some cave diving on sites that boast epic topography. Many spots are also popular for night dives.
Wreck diving is also available on The Ennerdale, Twin Barges, Dredger and Aldebaran which are weel known wrecks overflowing with life, and shouldn’t be missed.
What to see
Expect to see all manners and sizes of creatures including surgeonfish, lionfish, batfish, parrotfish, barracuda, angelfish, eels, humphead parrotfish, nudibranch, turtles and schools of fish such as snapper and jacks. All these are especially common around the inner reefs.
There are also plenty of reef sharks, with occasional bull shark sightings at deeper sites. Stingrays, mantas and eagle rays are also possible, particularly around the remote outer islands.
Whale sharks can be spotted as well, especially between September to November on the southern side of Mahé and at remote outer island sites.
Best places to dive
The Outer Islands
Made up of 74 coral atolls and reef islands, offer spectacular reef dives, in addition to impressive walls, caves, canyons and pinnacles, and there are a few wrecks here too. Astove is particularly good for walls and caves, while Aldabra Island is the largest raised coral atoll on Earth.
home to The Curieuse Marine National Park, is similarly perfect for colorful reef dives, as is Praslin Island. South Mariane Island nearby Praslin offers awesome walls and adventurous drift dives. Sister Bank at the Sister Islands is also a great drift dive, as well as the Pete Anse Severe site at La Digue.
La Digue also has dramatic topography, like caverns and swim-throughs, and is home to some amazing granite-based reef diving.
The main island of Mahé also hosts beautiful reef sites, along with drop-offs, swim-throughs, caves and some drift dives too. A couple of notable wreck dives off Mahé are Ennerdale and The Aldebaran.