DIVING AND SNORKELING IN SEYCHELLES
Diving in Seychelles is your portal to a vast, extraordinary world and one that promises marine extravaganzas as diverse and vibrant as they are unique. The Seychelles archipelago’s 115 granitic and coralline islands are sprinkled like emeralds over one million square kilometers of the Indian Ocean between 4 and 10 degrees south of the equator, forming a sparkling archipelago widely believed to be the most beautiful on earth. The 43 granitic islands cluster around the principal island of Mahé while the more numerous coral islands, extend in an arc towards Madagascar. In this area of perpetual summer, Seychelles’ enjoys comfortable year-round temperatures of between 24ºC to 30ºC and lies outside the cyclone belt, offering year-round diving and snorkeling for novices and experts alike. Colorful reef fish, octopus, lobster and turtle are abundant in the waters of the Inner Islands and around their ancient granite boulders reefs while more adventurous dives offshore include the famous ‘Ennerdale’ wreck and rocky pinnacles which are the haunt of larger groupers and stingrays. You can also experience the thrill of swimming with whale sharks, those gentle giants of the sea that are regular visitors to Seychelles waters or diving the spectacular coral walls of the Outer Islands from one of the liveaboards. The dedicated and accredited diving centers of most hotels and island resorts offer everything from one-day introductory courses to international diving instructor certificates. The beauty of the Seychelles underwater experience is that the abundance of marine life in clear waters means that snorkeling can be every bit as rewarding as taking the plunge into the deep, with an ever-present kaleidoscope of marine life on parade close to shore in impressive displays of color. Snorkeling equipment is available for sale or rent at most dive centers.
The Inner Islands’ marine life reveals an abundance of fish even on shallow inshore reefs and features different types of Butterflyfish and Angelfish, Soldierfish, Squirrelfish and Sweepers among many others. The island reefs are also havening for many invertebrates including Octopus, Spiny Lobster and a plethora of Nudibranchs, such as the Spanish Dancer. Sites with regular current flows support fan corals and colorful tree coral formations while more remote sites shelter the larger fish species, such as the Napoleon Wrasse, Giant Grouper, Reef Sharks and Ribbon-tailed Stingrays. Most spectacular are the plankton-eating Whale Sharks found around the Inner Islands, with peak sightings from August to October.
Marine life around the relatively isolated Outer Islands tends to be even more prolific, with frequent sightings of many of the larger grouper species, particularly the spotted Potato Bass as well as Grey Reef, Silver Tip, Nurse and the occasional Hammerhead Shark. A number of rare exotics have been identified from this area such as the African Pygmy Angelfish thought to exist only in small numbers at depth off Mauritius and now found regularly in easy diving depths off Astove. The cartoon-like Yellow Rubber Lipped Sweetlips is another firm favorite while elusive Long-Nosed Hawkfish can be easily found in most Gorgonian fan areas.
…thanks to seychelles.travel