What was your most exciting diving experience
A guide to Mauritius diving
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Diving in Mauritius was an unexpected surprise for me. Actually, everything in Mauritius was unexpected. Somehow the island had never crossed my mind as a destination - only for honeymooners and it seemed way too expensive to me. But even if it is a honeymoon paradise and not that cheap, I quickly realized that Mauritius diving is reason enough to come here.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DIVING IN MAURITIUS
What makes diving in Mauritius so special?
“Mauritius was made first and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius”
I think Mark Twain put his head under water before declaring the island a model for heaven. As well as offering luxury for honeymooners, Mauritius is wonderfully wild and remote, making it a great destination for the adventurous. There is also a huge variety of species above and below the surface of the water - perfect for nature lovers and water mermaids.
For divers, this means some of the most exciting marine life the Indian Ocean has to offer. There is a large selection of hard and soft corals and great macro critters such as leaf fish, nudibranchs and yes, my darling - frogfish. But even if you prefer something bigger, then you are right for diving in Mauritius, because there are dolphins, sharks and even humpback and sperm whales. And of course, mackerel, octopus, endemic species of angelfish and butterflyfish, and so much more.
Another highlight is that Wreck diving in Mauritius. There are around 100 registered wrecks around the island dormant in the depths. Most of the time, they can only be reached via waypoints with an experienced captain, which makes the whole thing a bit like a treasure hunt. Many of the wrecks are in very good condition and are now home to various marine life.
There are also a couple of really good diving schools across the country, accommodations that range from the absolute luxury hotels to inexpensive guest houses, and food so good that you have to burn off calories with an extra dive the next day. Not to mention the rum ...
Best time to travel to Mauritius for diving
The water temperature in Mauritius is between all year round 23 ° C and 28 ° C. July and August are usually the coldest months and February and March are the warmest. Then, however, it is also cyclone season, which some would prefer to avoid. As an alternative, you can pack a 5 mm suit and enjoy the mild winter in Mauritius (our summer months).
Visibility is another reason diving is so popular in Mauritius - 40 meters is not uncommon here!
If you want to see whales then you should plan your trip between August and November as that is the time for Humpback whales. Sperm whales you can even see it all year round. Of course there is no guarantee, but with a little luck you will be rewarded with these majestic underwater giants!
Great dive sites in Mauritius
There are many dive sites in Mauritius that offer something for divers of all levels. Some of the best diving spots are in the east of the island around Belle Mare as well as in the north. Since dive centers usually dive in one area to avoid high fuel costs and long boat trips, you should decide in advance where you want to dive and look for accommodation nearby.
For me there are still so many dive sites to discover in Mauritius, but here are some of my favorites in the north:
The Silver Star was sunk in 1992 to create an artificial reef that is now inhabited by numerous marine life. She lies on her stern and reaches one Depth of 39 m. You need at least an AOW to dive here, even better one Deep diver specialty (Deep Diver Specialty Course) so you can explore them from head to toe.
The dive site is ideal for lovers of wrecks & marine life as it is usually surrounded by barracudas, mackerel and batfish. And as with many wrecks, the chances of finding frogfish are good - keep your eyes open!
The Stella Maru was a Japanese trawler that was sunk on sandy bottom next to a reef in 1987. She goes up to 26 m deepso you can also get one here AOW or have to be a deep diver to see them.
You can dive the Stella Maru all year round and the visibility is usually pretty good. A variety of reef fish and critters have settled on and around the wreck.
The Catamawar was my favorite wreck in Mauritius. I liked the geometric lines and the fact that much of it can even be explored with just an OW. she lies between 12 m and 23 m.
There are puffer fish, frogfish and schools of smaller reef fish. Every now and then you should look into the blue from the wreck - we discovered a beautiful guitar shark!
Together with the Grand Baie Aquarium (this is a dive site not an aquarium!), Ti Corail is considered to be thanks to its breathtaking reef one of the best dive sites in Mauritius. With a maximum depth of 14 m, it is also a perfect place for beginners. Photographers can rejoice because Ti Corail is also a macro paradise. There are tube eels and moray eels, as well as some resident leaf fish.
Note: After the devastating oil spill caused by MV Wakashio, which ran aground on the east coast of Mauritius in 2020, many feared that the coral reefs around the island would be destroyed. Fortunately, the Mauritians came together to contain the damage, leaving 96% of the reefs in Mauritius unscathed.
My favorite diving school Mauritius
After a lot of planning and research, I ended up diving at Crystal Divers in Mauritius.
The dive center is run by Emma and Tony Andrews and is available as a PADI 5 * IDC Center classified, one of the highest awards a diving center can get. Not only does that mean they offer great courses for all levels, but they also have a great IDC (Instructor Development Course) program. They are also the only diving center in Mauritius that has been awarded the PADI Green Star Award. Environmental protection and sustainability when diving and above the water surface are very important here!
Crystal Divers is in Bain Boeuf in the north of the island and they have partner centers in Bali and in South Africa. The dive center has a state-of-the-art pool that is perfect for confined water training, a cozy “classroom”, an equipment room and a small Airbnb - a real boutique dive resort.
Their own boat is called TEANA (a name made up of the initials of Tony, Emma and their three girls), which lies in Cap Malheureux. This little cove is famous for its church with the red roof and a stand that makes the most delicious rotis on the island - the best post-scuba snack anywhere!
Crystal Divers Mauritius offers various diving packages that always include bottles, equipment, a boat ride, and water and snacks between dives. The great thing is that you can choose between 1, 2 or 3 dives per day depending on your budget and how much time you have.
Most of the diving takes place in the north, northeast and northwest of the island. If you want to dive further south, it is better if you move and Crystal Divers can recommend a local dive center for you.
How do I get to Mauritius?
If you are from Europe or South Africa you are in luck as there are many direct flights to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, the international airport of Mauritius. Air Mauritius, Lufthansa, Air France and Condor bring you there directly from Frankfurt or Johannesburg.
At the moment a 2-week hotel quarantine is mandatory to come to Mauritius and there is a limited number of flights.
Once you have arrived, you should remember that Mauritius is not just an island, but also a country and quite large at that. The best way to get from A to B is by rental car, because taxis can be quite a budget in the long run and unfortunately there is no well-developed network of public transport.
Mauritius Hotels & Accommodations
So because the island is quite large and public transport is very limited, I recommend booking a hotel in Mauritius that is close to your diving center.
If you dive with Crystal Divers, you can book a room directly at the diving center. If you want a little more hotel comfort, then take a look at the beautiful Veranda Paul et Virginie Hotel & Spa, which is nearby.
For diving in the east of Mauritius, I recommend the Tropical Attitude Hotel as a base.
Off to the Pinterest board!
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