Many people come to Mauritius to relax in the sun on its gorgeous beaches, but I must admit that it’s actually what’s under the waves that most interests me. You see, this island in the Indian Ocean is home to some absolutely spectacular marine life, and if you’re up for scuba diving you can see some unforgettable things.
So, today I’ll be telling you all about Mauritius’s marine life – hopefully, this will give you some inspiration for your own trip.
Marine Mauritius: an introduction
Indian Ocean destinations are well-known for their marine life – a reputation that’s well deserved. Mauritius has a particularly exciting underwater world, largely thanks to the fact that it’s surrounded by a barrier reef. This means that the lagoons of the island are really well protected and have excellent diving conditions, while the dive sites outside it present challenges for more experienced divers looking for something a bit trickier.
Another bonus is that the water here is wonderfully warm no matter what time of year you visit, though as you’d no doubt expect it’s slightly warmer in summer, averaging around 28 degrees C compared to 21 degrees C in winter.
A guide to the different diving areas
In my opinion, one of the most exciting things about Mauritius’s marine life is the sheer diversity of it; depending on where you dive, you can have totally different experiences. Your hotel in Mauritius should also be able to advise on dive sites.
The west coast is one of the most popular spots for diving, thanks to its great mix of dive sites and its reliable conditions. All dives here take place outside the barrier reef and the sites are characterised by canyons, coves and chimneys – so it’s great if you’re looking for a little adventure.
Dives in the north and north-west are generally quite good for beginners, with decent dives to be had at a depth of just 13 m. Artificial reefs created by wrecks here help to ensure decent year-round diving, and there’s lots to see, including colourful corals.
The east is one of the best areas to dive if you’d like to see lots of different species, thanks to its high concentration of marine life. In fact, this area has lots of passes through the reef, which makes it easy to access the deep sea beyond – many people say the Belle Mare Pass is the most spectacular of all these.
Now you have an idea of what different parts of the coastline have to offer, let’s take a quick look at individual dive sites.
Holt’s Rock is on the west coast and its depth is 16 to 25 m. There’s a really enchanting mix of fish here, including crayfish, clown fish, lobsters, trigger fish and scorpion fish – to name but a few. Large blocks of coral help to shelter the area and support such a wide range of species.
If you’re into wreck diving, make sure you head down to Stella Maru. Sunk in December 1987, this ship sits upright on the ocean floor and provides a home for anglerfish and large stonefish, among others.
My final suggestion is the Cathedral. Located off Flic en Flac, this is one of the most famous dive sites in Mauritius, and it’s so named for the absolutely stunning wide cavern it opens out into, following an initially quite narrow dive. The light coming through the water really adds to the overall effect, making a dive here absolutely unforgettable.
Whether you’re into just lazing on the gorgeous white sands, or if you’re feeling a bit more active, Mauritius is the place for you. Travellers flock here from all over the world to soak up the sun, sand and sea. And it’s no surprise why! Come and see for yourself what Mauritius has to offer.
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