The island is surrounded by a coral fringing reef system with a diversity of marine life and divers can come face to face with pelagics like barracudas, eagle rays and sharks. Other encounters on the dive sites could be molluscs, turtles and an innumerable amount fish. Dolphins and four types of whale are frequently spotted on the surface.
Around the island, the reef breaks in several places. The largest break is along the black cliffs between Souillac and Le Bouchon on the southern coast and at Flic en Flac on the West Coast. Around these areas some of the nicest diving is found – along with reefs outside the isle of Cargados Carajos and Rodrigues Island. These islands are also surrounded by coral reefs, covered with similar vegetation and landscapes, and blessed with an equally tropical climate as the main island.
Diving is done all over – making diving very flexible, as it is possible to find lee side on windy days too.
Mauritius doesn’t really have a high or a low season and diving is done all year around. November through March is the best time for diving as this is when the waters are clearest. However, this is also the time where there are usually a few days of heavy rains. In July and August, the sea is often too rough for diving from the East Side of the island. The sea is calmer and warmer on the West Coast throughout the year. The East Coast however, has some of the best dive sites in Mauritius.
The less comfortable period is from January to April, where the long days can prove too hot and humid for some and there is a threat of cyclones is in the air.
East coast weather differs from that of the west coast – the former being much drier during January and February, when prevailing winds drive in from the east, race up the mountains and dump rain on central and western Mauritius. During these months, Light rains fall year round. The highest average daytime temperatures occur from January to April and top out around 35°C (95°F). The coolest period is from July to September, when temperatures average 24°C (75°F) during the day and 16°C (60°F) at night. Humidity is generally highest between October and June.
Visibility averages around 20-25m (66-82ft). In ideal conditions it may reach up to 40m (131ft).
Water temperatures are 20 to 30C (68 – 86F) in January to April and down to 20 to 25C (68 – 77F) from May to December. A 5mm wet suit is recommended for the warm season and up to 7mm wet suit (incl. hood, boots and gloves) is recommended insulation for the cold season.
Wreck Names and Locations:
Hassen Mia, Balaclava Water Lily, Trou Aux Biches Emily, Trou Aux Biches Stella Maru, Trou Aux Biches Silver Star, Grand Baie
The Sirius – an English warship lost during the Napolean Boneparte’s only naval victory at the Vieux Grand Port, situated near Mahebourg in the south of the island.
Le Saint Geran – this ship sank while returning from France, now immortalised in the book Paul et Virginie by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre.