Seychelles, with 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean offers diverse and impressive diving opportunities. The Inner Islands, remains of a submerged mountain range, rest on a shallow plateau with prolific marine life. The Outer Islands to the south of the archipelago are all coralline or sand cays and mainly uninhabited, presenting the experienced diver with excellent opportunities to explore where few have gone before.
Both Mahe and Praslin have nice beaches and good diving. In Mahe you find most diving in Beau Vallon. In Praslin you can dive from Anse Volbert. You can choose between wreck diving, coral gardens, granite boulders, or the beautiful marine park. There are good snorkeling places outside La Digue and Bird island. It's very common to see Hawksbills turtles and sometimes green turtles. Here there are lot of eagle rays, but also others species like devil rays and marble rays. You can see bump-head parrotfish, barracudas, sharks, lots of small colorful fish, scorpion fish, lion fish and hard corals.
You will find most of the dive shops in Mahe on the beach in Beau Vallon. There are also one on Eden Island outside Victoria. Another one in the luxury hotel in Port Launey. In Praslin you will find the dive shop on the beach. There are dive shops on La Digue but they do the same dive sites as Praslin but they are more expensive. A dive cost around 45 Euro.
For many years Seychelles was stricken of coral bleaching. But today they have very healthy coral reefs. Maybe they are not famous for a special dive site but you get a lot of variety here. They have a marine park which is full of marine life.
Most of the divesites takes around 15 minutes to reach by boat. There are a few smaller wrecks, coral gardens and closer to shore there is big granite boulders. There is a marine park at Cape Terney that is full of life and healthy hard corals. There are some drift dives too, but most of the dives are nice reefs.
You will almost always see turtles and rays. It's also common to dive with smaller sharks as white tip, nursery shark and lemon shark. Sometimes even grey sharks. You'll see lots of tropical fish too, scorpion fish and schools of trevallies. In the marine park and Lilo it's common to see bump-head parrot fishe, octopus, nudibranchs, different eels, etc. Between August-October is the season for whale shark and Manta rays.
In Seychelles they do not offer whale shark dives, instead you can see them on an organized snorkel trip with the Underwater Center which is working with MCSS. MCSS study whale shark behavior and will take you out under controlled forms so you don't disturb them.
The most popular and the best dive site is the Marine Park in Cape Ternay. L'ilot and Lighthouse are the perfect dive sites when it's whale shark season because these are they favorite place to hang out. Shark Banks is another dive sites for advanced divers to see many sharks and schools of fish. Aquarium is the dive site everyone goes to because it's an easy dive and you will most probably meet a turtle that lives here and is not afraid of divers
You have the calmest sea between April-May and October-November. The temperatures vary between 27-32°C. Some of the dives sites can have a lot of current. Visibility can be up to 25 m, but it varies a bit every day. In whale shark season will the plankton give you a really bad visibility.
(By Susanne Stigsson)
Seychelles contains 115 islands in the Indian ocean outside Africans east coast. Most of the islands are uninhabited, and most people live on the biggest island, Mahe. These islands are either granite islands or coral islands. The islands have white soft sandy beaches with turquoise water, which makes them look like it's a paradise. It's famous for all the nice beaches with palm trees, but also its wild life. On bird island you can find the world biggest tortoise Esmeralda. But you see the tortoise on several of the other islands too. When it's the right season it's a good place to spot whale sharks and sometimes Manta rays. Seychelles also have the famous Coco de mer palm tree.
All major flights go to Mahe island. From here you can go via small planes to the other islands. It's very easy to take ferries to the inner islands from Mahe. But for the outer islands you need to go by plane. On Mahe and Praslin it's easy and cheap to use the buses. But don't expect them to go on a schedule. On the other island you can walk or hire a bike.
Seychelles is a typical honeymoon island, so there are a lot of expensive nice hotels. But if you arrive without anything booked you will find a lot of cheap B&B. On the smaller island you will most probably find just one luxury hotel.
On Mahe can you visit the the plantage. It's a very green island with a mountain that's good for trekking. Go to La Digue, rent a bike and you will see the hole island in one day. On Bird island you will see millions of sooty terns and the gigantic tortoise. You are not allowed to dive here but the snorkeling is amazing, and you will see green turtles, rays, Picasso trigger fish, guitar shark and black tip sharks. The big tortoise can also been seen at Curieuse island which you can visit by taking a boat from Praslin. On Praslin and Curieuse islands you can see the famous Coco de mer, a really big coconut that looks like a bum.
(By Susanne Stigsson)