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*From October 2017

Seychelles Travel Guide The Complete Guide to the Seychelles

Map of the Seychelles

Praslin


Diving & Snorkelling

Diving Around Praslin

From Praslin, you can reach around twenty diving sites, a few of which can be seen further down the page. There are a variety of long and short-range dives that you can find at the different diving centres for different prices. In general, you will be picked up by car from your hotel, ensuring you avoid the often time-consuming bus. Diving from Praslin is slightly different from on Mahé. The tide is often higher, the fish larger, and the dives more adventurous. A safety buoy should be obligatory on every dive, and you should make sure to pay particular attention during the dive.

St. Pierre

The tiny island of St. Pierre is a beautiful diving site at the heart of the Curieuse Marine Park. It can be reached by boat from the Côte d'Or in a few minutes. Here you can see beautiful, lush shoals at depths of up to 12 metres. ImageThe small island of St. Pierre is a great diving & snorkelling point. (© Jacques Vaysse)

Sister Reef

The Sister Reef does not exceed 24 metres in depth, and offers a unique diving experience with amazing rock formations and many fish. You may even see grey reef sharks, yellow fin tuna fish, and stingrays.

Ave Maria

Ave Maria is a small island located between Praslin and the Sister Island Atoll. Here, divers can achieve a maximum depth of about 20 metres. You can dive around Ave Maria or enjoy the more exciting sights such as deeper rocks with plentiful fish. Reef sharks, stingrays, batfish, lobsters, and octopuses can be seen here, along with barracuda. Even sea turtles sometimes make an appearance.

White Reef

The White Reef is really impressive, and lies approximately 200 metres away from the Ave Maria. Here, there is a huge collection of granite rocks with beautiful vegetation and large fish. With depths of up to 22 metres, there is much to discover, and with a little luck you might even see a giant sea bass! The different hiding places and dark corners also provide spots for snappers and fusiliers to hide. Visibility can vary depending on tide and currents.

South Marianne Island

South Marianne Island is perhaps the best diving spot in the Seychelles' Inner Islands, with an overwhelming variety and quantity of fish! Amongst others, grey reef sharks, eagle rays, turtles, barracudas, giant moray, and jackfish swim at this location. The journey to South Marianne takes about 30 minutes from the Côte d'Or, which can be slightly difficult for those who get seasick easily (depending on sea conditions). On the way, however, you are treated to views of Ave Maria, Coco Island, Grande and Petite Soeur, La Digue, and Félicité. Upon arrival, visitors are immediately greeted by various rock formations. The maximum depth here is 25 metres, and, as a word of warning, the currents are occasionally quite strong.

Aride Reef

In addition to South Marianne, Aride Reef is one of the most rewarding long-range dives. The visibility here is usually excellent down to a maximum depth of 22 metres. The trip takes approximately 25 minutes, and leads past St. Pierre, Curieuse, and of course Aride Island itself. As with the majority of sites around Praslin, granite rocks form the base of Aride Reef, but there are also encounters with large fish and, occasionally, grey reef sharks to enjoy. With some luck you may also see white tip reef sharks hidden in the ledges, along with moray eels, lobsters, and other sea creatures.

Booby Rock

Located near Aride is Booby Rock, which can be reached after about 15 minutes. The maximum depth of the water here is around 25 metres. Booby Rock shines throughout the year, with good visibility and a large array of smaller and larger fish. On the side that faces Mahé, there is also a small incision in the island (which can also be seen from the boat). This gorge continues underwater and is worth exploring. Sometimes you can even see groups of up to 15 grey reef sharks, which can exceed 2 metres in length! Besides that, you can see eagle rays, large lobsters, stingrays, octopuses, lionfish, turtles, amberjacks, slugs, white tip reef sharks, and more. A night-time dive here is a really unique experience, submerging the ocean in the glistening moonlight.

Channel Rock

It is almost possible to spot these rock formations on the surface between Praslin and La Digue. This diving spot is Channel Rock, and shouldn't be missed by any serious divers. The eagle ray can often be seen here, as can white tip reef sharks. This channel is also a great spot to see whale sharks during the summer and autumn, as well as abundant plankton.

Whale Rock

Beware of the strong currents! There are some places at Whale Rock where soft corals are predominant, while the abundance of marine life here is breathtaking. There is also a beautiful tunnel through which you can dive which is beautifully covered with sponges, sea squirts, sea fans, and anemones. Reef sharks can also be seen occasionally.

Coco Island

Coco Island is the epitome of a tropical island dream, and is its own nature reserve. In fact, visitors must pay a fee of €10 to the overseer if they wish to dive or snorkel. That said, it is well-worth the fee, as the coral reef here is home to a large number of different coral fish species.

ImageCoco Island

Amoujié Maman

The most demanding of all dives in the Inner Islands of the Seychelles is the Amoujié Maman. While an absolutely fascinating dive, only experienced divers should even attempt it. The granite formations here are similar to Shark Reef near Mahé, but significantly larger. The maximum depth here varies between 25 and 30 metres, but we recommend staying between the rocks at the 20 metres depth to avoid pushing your luck with the bends or with currents. The rock formations here are separated by wide, sandy areas that need to be swum over. That said, divers are rewarded for their effort by impressive, imposing views of the open blue sea.

It is important to pay attention here to avoid getting lost. Besides smaller species, there are a lot of larger fish here too, including great snappers, barracuda, king fish, sharks, eagle rays, and swordfish. In fact, this variety of marine life is the main reason that Amoujié Maman is so popular with local fishermen.

 

Snorkelling around Praslin

Some of the best snorkelling spots around Praslin are Anse Lazio and Anse Boudin, while we would also recommend taking a boat trip to St. Pierre.

 

Diving Centres

White Tip Divers | Website
Tel: +248 432 2282 | Anse Volbert/Cote d'Or |a French-run centre for beginners and professionals.
Octopus Diving Center | Website
Tel: +248 442 2602 | Anse Volbert, Beside the Berjaya Praslin Beach Hotel
Bleu Marine Diving Centre
Unlike the other centres, this establishment is not located on the Côte d'Or, but there is a pick-up service.

You can expect to pay between €50 and €60 per diving trip.

A multi-day safari with a yacht is a delightful alternative to staying on land, and promises to mix the pleasure of underwater adventures, island exploration, and relaxation. Depending on the package, you will likely visit several selected spots during your tour of the archipelago, ensuring you get to dive at several different locations.