Diving in Mauritius
Whilst diving is possible all year round in Mauritius, it tends to be more popular between the slightly warmer months in October to May, and the clearest water tends to be between April/May and September/October when the sea is calmer. Mauritius has many good quality, undamaged reefs, and unlike other busier scuba diving locations such as the Maldives, there is usually only one dive boat at a time in an area, creating a more personal diving experience. When choosing a diving school, it is important to look for members of the MSDA (Mauritius Scuba Diving Association) and the MMCS (Mauritius Marine Conservation Society) for a high standard of teaching and sustainable use of the reefs and Indian Ocean.
As far as diving locations go, the whole of the Mauritian coastline offers great diving, with dive sites easily accessible wherever you are staying. The underwater topography is varied across Mauritius, and it is the north west coastline that has a more sandy and gently shelving coral reef, arguably some of the best reefs are here, with excellent opportunities to spot tropical fish. The east coast is different, and slightly more dramatic with stronger currents and rocky boulders that fish hide behind; here you will find it more oceanic, with more open water, making it possible to see eagle rays, octopus, and other bigger fish.
There are several interesting features on the west coast, and at the bay of Tamarin and around the Riviere Noire area there are opportunities to see wild dolphins. A few kilometres up the coastline is Flic-en Flac. Here the underwater “Cathedral” begins at 18m and then drops to 27m between two cliffs. This rock formation has extensive caverns and arches and is known for its high density of fish in the area such as stonefish, lionfish and moray eels. For experienced divers, the wreck of the Tug II, sunk in 1982, lies at a depth of 19m. This wreck is small and attracts a wide variety of marine life, including the uncommon scorpion fish. Most hotels on the west coast such as the Beachcomber Paradis and Dinarobin hotels will offer diving expeditions at an additional cost, and can be trusted with supplying a qualified diving instructor. A Scott Dunn recommended diving school is the Blues Diving Centre that is affiliated with the Constance Prince Maurice hotel. Here the team offers experienced yet fun tuition, allowing even a complete beginner to enjoy diving in Mauritius.