Diving Mahé

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Mahé, Seychelles


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Country: Seychelles  Area: Seychelles

Water Temp: 25 - 29°C (77 - 84°F)

Visibility: 5 - 25m (16 - 82 ft)

Depth Range: 10 - 40m (33 - 131 ft)

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Set into the beautiful blue sea along with another 114 islands, Mahe is a perfect divers destination. The Seychelles is made up of 115 islands in two distinct groups, the Outer Islands and the Inner Islands. Mahe is part of the Inner islands which are the remains of a submerged mountain range, the majority of which are granitic. Mahe is the largest and home to the countries international airport and tourism hub.

The Seychelles islands are famous for it’s unique sculptured granite rock formations that frame the unspoiled beautiful beaches. The Coco de Mer is the largest seed on earth that grows naturally only on a few places on earth on the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in the Seychelles. The Vallee de Mai is a forest of the Coco de Mer palm trees, and a UNESCO world heritage site. 

In Seychelles diving is never crowded with divers, but with fish! The dive sites are diverse with beautiful coral reefs, several wrecks, but also Seychelles famous sculpted granite rocks are found under water. These rocks provide a unique landscape, always with plenty of marine life and often a very colourful scenery, the rocks are blazing with colourful corals and critters. Turtles and rays or reef sharks can be seen on any of the dive sites. And many dive sites boast big schools of fish. The islands are located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, big marine animal encounters can be enjoyed anywhere.\

Fishes & Sponges, Credit

Seasonal  whale sharks can be seen predominantly along the coastline of the main island Mahe.

Not just home to spectacular underwater formations, Whale Sharks and excellent diving, Mahe also offers beautiful white sand beaches, dramatic granite mountains, and a treasure trove of flora and fauna. These include the rare and unique Jellyfish tree, the carnivorous Seychelles pitcher plant and the Seychelles Vanilla Orchid which are all found nowhere else in the world!

Whale Shark, Credit

Mahe and its surrounding islands offer some excellent diving, the underwater granite structures including impressive granite cliffs, sculpted by the sea with rocks covered with soft corals and sponges and a prolific marine wildlife, due to strict environmental protection measures.

 It is possible to dive year round, although the dive site quality may vary with the seasons. In general, the best conditions for diving occur during the transition periods of April / May and October / November. The water temperature is 29 º C and visibility extends beyond 30 metres.

There is a huge abundance of marine life in the seas around these islands you can find many species of reef fish amongst healthy colourful coral formations, octopus, lobsters and nudibranches all hiding in the granite cliffs and some bigger species in the deeper more remote sites such as Napolean wrasse, giant groupers, turtles, reef sharks and rays!

As well as all of those exciting marine life you also have the chance to see the biggest fish of all, the Whale Shark! These spectacular creatures can be found swimming amongst the islands from June to December and are most frequently seen in September and October.

Joining the school, Credit

Marine Conservation

Marine conservation is written with capital letters in the Seychelles. There are 6 marine national parks spread over various parts of Mahe, all around Silhouette, Curieuse near Praslin Island, and Ile Coco near La Digue Island. Additionally several island are managed by conservation organizations who include marine conservation in their programs.


The Seychelles climate is tropical with day temperatures year round between 28 and 32 degrees. And night temperatures ranging between 22 and 29 degrees. The climate is dominated by trade winds. From October through April the mild and warm north/west wind prevails and rain is most abundant during these months, and from May through September the cooler and stronger south/east monsoon wind is present. The water temperature ranges from 26 degrees Celcius from the months of June to August, slowly warming up to 30 degrees in the months of April and May.

Low season is generally during the months of February/March, June/July and beginning of December.

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Boat Diving

In the waters that surround Mahe, there is a huge diversity in dive sights. Dive sites range from 8 to 30 meters, and there are plenty of options for beginner through to expert divers. Approximately 25 sites are only a short distance from the island (under 15 minutes by boat), while another 50 require a full day excursion – often complete with tours of nearby islands including Praslin, La Digue and Silhouette.

Mahe underwater, Credit

In the inner reefs, divers are likely to encounter butterflyfish, octopus, nudibranches, mantis shrimp, lionfish and angelfish. These are generally the most popular sights, and are typically located around granite boulders. Night dives are also conducted here.

Slightly further afield, you are likely to see stingrays, reef sharks, sea turtles and parrot fish. However, you are most likely to see megafauna (sharks, sailfish, manta rays) at the sights located further afield that surround the most remote outer islands.

Fishes hiding, Credit

Two favourite dive sights include Port Launay Marine National Park and Shark Bank. The former is famed for the frequency of whale shark sightings, the beauty of the beaches and the vibrant marine life. Shallow reefs and gentle lagoons make this a good spot for snorkelers and divers alike. Shark Bank by contrast is better suited for advance divers, given the strong current that exists. Here, you are likely to see reef sharks, whale sharks, brissant rays, barracuda, batfish and yellow snapper. 

Brisare Rocks, Mahe, Credit

Liveaboard Diving

A few liveaboard companies run tours throughout the Seychelles. Visiting the region by liveaboard allows guests to dive around Mahe, while also visiting the more remote sites around the outer islands more thoroughly. Most tours will dive around Praslin, La Digue, Curieuse, Little Sister and Grand Sister. Other tours focus more exclusively on whale shark interactions. For all tours, Mahe is most typically the point of departure, and tours last upwards of a week. 

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How to Get there

Seychelles international airport is located on Mahe, and can be reached with it’s national carrier Air Seychelles, but also Etihad, Emirates, Condor, and Air Lanka. Domestic flights take you to the inner islands Praslin, La Digue, Bird Island, and Denis Island, and the outer islands Desroches and Alphonse. Helicopters will bring you to several other inner islands. From Mahe a ferry service is available to the islands Praslin and La Digue. The islands Mahe, and Praslin have an excellent bus service with regular departures and convenient bus stops. On La Digue the bicycle is the preferred method of transportation.

Ferry from Praslin to Mahe, Credit

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Where to Eat & Drink

The Seychelles are no destination for abundant night life. Restaurants can be found on Mahe in Victoria, and in the popular area of Beau Vallon Beach, with a few spread over other parts of the island and in the hotels. Also on the artificially build Eden Island which is connected through a bridge with Mahe several restaurants can be found around the marina. On Praslin most restaurants can be found in the popular area of Cote D’or beach, and on La Digue mostly in hotels and guesthouses. All other islands only have one resort with restaurant and bar.

Pizza, Credit

A few Night clubs can be found on Mahe and Praslin island.

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Other Activities

 Places to visit are:

• The Vallee de Mai with the famous Coco de Mer, the biggest seed on earth.

• The capital of the Seychelles Victoria on Mahe, the fish/vegetable/fruits market.

• Botanical garden in Victoria

• Jardin du Roi a spice garden and nature trail in Anse Royal in the south of Mahe.

• Visit the many beautiful beaches framed by beautifully sculpted rocks, on all and any of the granite inner islands.

Whale Shark Watching, Mahe, Credit

• Hiking trails along the coast and to the mountain tops.

• Island visits or island hopping to nearby islands

• Big Game Fishing and any other fishing, catch and release is often promoted.

• Visit of nature reserves to see birds and tortoises in their natural surroundings, and unique plants and creatures. As well as seasonally nesting turtles.

• Visit museums and art galleries of renown local artists.

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The Seychelles are thought to be an expensive destination with only 5 star hotels. You can find many small establishments with good value too.      

Anse Intendance, Mahé, Seychelles, Credit

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Rating 4/10

Diving on a graveyard..'

Mahé15 Apr 2017 - 23 Apr 2017 with Dive Seychelles Underwater Centre

Forget the advertising.... no more whale shark since 7 years.... a lot of the coral grounds around mahe are just piles of dead coral, overgrown by seeweed. together with the disappearing polyps the fish life is also less than expected ! So , above the water the seychelles are still the pristine islands as everyone knows from the postcards, under water global warming is distroying most of the beauty.... perhaps the islands further away are less touched ?

The dive center was,ok, but no possibilities for noght diving, wreck diving, nitrox,....


Luke Goodrige

That is so sad! And great that you posted such an honest report up on here,


Nick T. Morrison

That sucks! I see DR.com guys have now removed Whale Sharks from the calendar now. Good job Philippe :)

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