Diving Mauritius

dvngThe Indian Ocean island of Mauritius has been named as the “Indian Ocean’s Best Dive Destination” at the 2013 World Travel Awards.

Mauritius has a perfect location for being a great dive site. Firstly, it is in the tropics, lying just above the Tropic of Capricorn in the southwest Indian Ocean and it is so far from the mainland of Africa that the waters are still very clear and unpolluted.

Secondly, Mauritius is almost completely surrounded by a coral reef which boasts an almost overwhelming variety of marine life. Also, because the water around the island is generally deeper than at other popular Indian Ocean dive locations, such as the Seychelles and the Maldives, there is less bleaching of the coral that is caused by the warming of the oceans.

There are a large number of diving companies’ resident on the island that offer dive courses which are suitable for those who have never donned scuba gear before to those divers with much experience who wish to extend their diving capabilities further.

The island’s west coast is usually most popular simply because it is more protected from the south easterly trade winds which can chop up the seas on the east coast where the combination of winds and currents can make diving a more dangerous pursuit.

There are a great number of well-known dive sites that are easily accessible from the island. Perhaps the best known of these is The Cathedral, which is a vast cave that is located off the Flic en Flac on the western shore. It is an amazing site as the dark cave is penetrated by long shafts of light which enter the cave through a small opening that is about 33 metres down the side of a steep wall.

There are also a number of sunken ships to explore. Some of these hark back a couple of centuries, but in more recent times more modern ships, such as the Silverstar, have been deliberately sunk in order to create artificial reefs. You need to be a more experienced diver to enjoy the deliberate wrecks as they tend to be in deeper water, for instance the Silverstar is on the bottom at 40 metres.

Other popular dive sites in Mauritius include the Whale Rock, the submerged crater near Ile Ronde and the Roche Zozo that is an underwater rock pinnacle and the wreck of the Sirius, a 19th century British frigate, which teems with marine life .

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