Written by vc81 on 08 Oct, 2005
I worked for 3 months as a scientific diver in the Port Launay area of Mahe, and I found the range and diversity of dive sites very impressive. The coral reefs around Mahe are by no means the most colourful or diverse in the world,…Read More
I worked for 3 months as a scientific diver in the Port Launay area of Mahe, and I found the range and diversity of dive sites very impressive. The coral reefs around Mahe are by no means the most colourful or diverse in the world, and have been damaged by the tsunami, bleaching events, and construction work on the island. However, they are recovering, and there are still many coral varieties to be seen, along with thousands of species of tropical fish and invertebrates. Common fish include bumphead parrots, humphead wrasse, white tip reef sharks, eagle rays, frogfish, stonefish, puffer fish, whale sharks, and loads of angels and butterflies.
My top-five commercial sites around Mahe are:
L'ilot (18-20m): Dives here circumnavigate the tiny granitic islet on the north edge of Beau Vallon Bay. There is a beautiful garden of soft corals and giant clams, and loads of fish, including parrotfish, tunas, potato groupers, butterfly fish, angels, surgeons, eagle rays, and huge shoals of snappers that envelop you. There are often hawksbill turtles to be seen, and octopus, lobster, and eels. The mystical whale sharks also like to hang around here when they're in town.
Aquarium (12m): A great site, and the name doesn't lie. Two large coral bombies in Beau Vallon Bay, which are covered in millions of fish, especially little damsels, angels, anemone fish, butterflies, surgeons, and puffers. I have also seen green turtles here. It is very colouful, and perfect for inexperienced divers.
Shark Bank (35m, good from 18m): Massive granite boulders are surrounded by huge schools of fish, including snappers and barracudas and large numbers of bumpheads, eagle rays, and marbled sting rays. It is a great easy deep dive, with a real feel of the big blue about it.
Ennerdale Wreck (30m): In between Mahe and Praslin, this large wreck is not complete, but still very interesting to explore. There are fewer fish here than at other sites, but if you enjoy challenging dives, you will like battling your way around in the killer current often present here.
Baie Ternay (depending on tide down to 16m): This is a beautiful sheltered bay that is part of a marine park, so it has one of the best abundance and diversity levels of fish and coral. I regularly saw hawksbill turtles here, and it is possible to snorkle from the shore, where there are fish juveniles and sub-adults hiding in the sea grass, far onto the reef.
There are several operators in Beau Vallon. I can recommend the Underwater Centre at the Coral Strand Hotel (www.diveseychelles.com.sc) and Big Blue Divers farther up the beach at Vacoa Village (www.bigbluedivers.sc). Dives cost from about SR150 ($25) for short range, including equipment.
Underwater fanatics should plan their holiday to coincide with the week-long Seychelles Underwater festival (SUBIOS) held annually May, centred around Beau Vallon. There are many interesting lectures, movies, and displays given by visiting eminent scientists and filmmakers and water-sport events for adults and children.
Written by cjg1 on 29 Mar, 2011
The Seychelles had always been on my places to visit list and finally I made it to this beautiful place. My wife and I decided to visit for my Birthday week in February 2011. We picked the Hilton Northolme Resort as our hotel; the location…Read More
The Seychelles had always been on my places to visit list and finally I made it to this beautiful place. My wife and I decided to visit for my Birthday week in February 2011. We picked the Hilton Northolme Resort as our hotel; the location was beautiful and the stay was free (we had seven certs to use from a previous Hilton promotion).I couldn't have chosen a more beautiful and serene place to spend my vacation with my wife. The natural beauty of the place was awe inspiring; I was actually at a loss for words. From the high green cliffs to the crystal blue waters; everything was paradise to see. This was one of those memorable trips that has blown any previous trips out of the water.The best thing about Mahe is that you can do as much or as little as you want. There is so much to do on the beach or in the water: snorkel, scuba, sailing, swimming or just lounging on the beach with a drink.There are some beautiful spots on the island especially Beau Vallon Beach; on of the most popular stretches of beach on the island. My wife and I enjoyed our walks on the beach. Each stretch of sand had something differnt; sand color, rock formations, waves and water color. During our walks we found some beautiful shells as well as interesting granite rock clusters.Swimming was wonderful. The water was crystal clear and warm. We spent hours at the beach reveling in this natural beauty.Mahe is more than just the beach. The town of Victoria is a fun place to shop, dine and explore. Check out Little Ben, The History Museum, The Anglican Church or The Temple. Explore the Botanical Gardens for some unique and interesting plants and trees. Tour the Tea Plantation and sample some of the delicious locally grown Citronelle Tea.Mahe has some tasty food especially Creole. Don't be afraid to ask the locals where and what to eat; they won't steer you wrong. During our viist we met some of the friendliest and helpful people; even the cab drivers were incredibly nice. Close