Written by Rose Lowe and Emeric Jeffroy
With over 200 dive sites to choose from it’s not easy to pick the top 10 dive sites in Mauritius. So we asked local dive shop managers, Rose and Emeric to highlight a few of their personal favourites…
Shark Cathedral at Round Island
Maximum depth: 18m
Visibility: up to 80m
A giant basin reached through an overhanging swim-through, Shark Cathedral is a breath-taking dive site frequented by dozens of reef sharks. The current and swell can make this a challenging dive.
The site is known not only for sharks, but also for other larger pelagics and its pristine and healthy corals. Other marine life that can be spotted here includes barracuda, king fish, giant trevally and eagle rays
Batfish Wall at Snake Island
Maximum depth: 50m
Visibility: up to 50m
With visibility of up to 50m, this impressive wall dive boasts an abundance of life and untouched corals. The site takes its name from the huge schools of friendly Batfish (Platax) who follow divers along their dive. The wall can be dived at 18m, 30m, or 50m making it suitable for all levels.
Shark Arena (La Fosse) also known as Snake Canyon, at Snake Island
Maximum depth: 15m
Visibility: rarely less than 30m
Similar to Shark Cathedral but with much harsher swell, Shark Arena – although shallow – is only suitable for advanced divers, unless weather conditions are extremely calm. The highly oxygenated water created from the waves crashing against Snake Island create an ideal habitat for the dozens of reef sharks, who circle around the arena, creating an impressive diving experience. Sometimes up to 30 sharks can be spotted here at one time.
Snake & Round Islands are the most northern islands in Mauritius, and it’s generally where you can get the best visibility (rarely less than 30m).
Djabeda Wreck on Coin de Mire Island
Maximum depth: 34m
Visibility: up to 30m m
Located just off the bay at Coin de Mire Island, Djabeda is a large Japanese fishing boat sunk in 1998. The vessel is approximately 44m long, 10m high and 5m wide and stands upright in maximum of 34m depth, waiting for her visitors.
During its 20 years underwater it has built up a lot of life and is now home to many corals and fish alike including stone fish, moray eels, tuna and stingrays. There is some overhead penetration for more experienced divers, but the site can also be enjoyed from the outside for its amazing visibility and abundance of sea-life. The wreck is also occasionally visited by barracuda, sting rays, whales and dolphins.
Highlights include the huge anchor, marvelous soft corals, schooling fish, king fish, moray eels, trigger fish, stone fish, lion fish, parrot fish, leaf fish and sea slugs.
Confetti Bay at Coin de Mire Island
Maximum depth: 18m
Visibility: 20m m
Confetti bay belongs to Coin de Mire Island (Gunner’s coin) and is a sheltered spot, protected from the current. Divers of all abilities can enjoy this unbelievable underwater paradise.
A large variety of fishes can be seen here, such as trigger fish, stone fish, lion fish, parrot fish, leaf fish and sting rays.
Carpenter at Coin de Mire Island
Maximum depth: 18m
Visibility: Up to 30m
An impressive dive just off Coin de Mire Island, Carpenter boasts unusual and spectacular topography, making this dive a favourite for divers in the area. With sweeping walls, caverns and swim throughs, the through-current created from the location of the site at the peak of the Island attracts a wide array of life, including beautiful schools and barracuda.
The Wall at Coin de Mire Island
Maximum depth: 40m
The Wall dive at Coin de Mire Island is known for giving divers the chance of spotting some bigger pelagics, but is also teeming with octopus and lobster as well as many nudibranchs and shrimp for those macro lovers! With depths ranging from 12-40meters, this dive can be enjoyed by divers of varying abilities, and the usually calm conditions and excellent visibility make the topography even more impressive.
Maximum depth: 12m
A series of 5 patches of diverse coral, Merville Patches is home to hundreds of moral eels creeping beneath the surface of the coral. With various species of nudibranchs, leaf-fish and the occasional ghost pipe fish, as well as stingrays often flying by, this site is a favourite for beginners and underwater photographers alike.
Silver Star Wreck
Maximum depth: 38m
Visibility: up to 25m
Sunk in 1992 to create an artificial reef, Silver Star sits on the edge of a deep 50-80 meter reef (suitable for Technical Divers). The Wreck itself is an impressive 57 meters long and attracts an array of life from batfish (platax) to sting and eagle rays. There are ample opportunities for penetration for those qualified, but also can be enjoyed from the periphery as a stunning deep dive.
Grand Baie Aquarium
Maximum depth: 14m
Grand Baie Aquarium is known for its impressive topography and abundance of life. The reef at this site is divided by a canyon teeming with life including schools of tropical fish, crocodile fish, stone fish and leaf fish. With turtles and sting rays also often making an appearance, Grand Baie Aquarium is a favourite amongst local divers of all levels.
About the authors
Rose Lowe is the co-owner and Manager of Dodo Divers which she runs with her partner Anthony. Dodo Divers is based in Calodyne, North Mauritius, with bases at Zilwa Attitude and Paradise Cove Hotels. While Anthony manages the diving logistics, Rose is busy with marketing, bookings, and admin – of course diving at every opportunity she gets! She is a keen underwater photographer and above all enjoys the smaller (macro!) things in life.
Emeric Jeffroy has been diving in the North of Mauritius since 2010 with his partner Ludovic Cheneau. Together they run Emperator Dive Center, located in Anse la Raie where they offer trips to the dive sites above every week.