1. The S Pass, 2. Falling aviator, 3. Saziley Reef, 4. Boat Pass, 5. Boa Bank, 6. Iris Bench, 7. Cocaine. Mayotte's natural reef and lagoon complex is the largest in the Indian Ocean and is located within France's largest Marine Natural Park. It is home to a plethora of habitats, including fringing reefs that line the shoreline for 195 kilometers, a lagoon with an average depth of 35 to 40 meters, internal reefs scattered throughout the lagoon, a 140-kilometer-long barrier reef interspersed with numerous reef passes, mangroves covering 735 hectares along the coast, and seagrass meadows covering 760 hectares. These vast expanses provide an almost limitless playground for divers, and it is no surprise that Mayotte is swiftly becoming a reference in the world of scuba diving. Here are top 10 best places for scuba diving in Mayotte.
The S Pass
The “S-Pass” is one of the best places for scuba diving in Mayotte. This place is a must-see when diving in Mayotte. This name is derived from the lovely winding shape of the river, which corresponds to the old meander of a river that connected the modern rivers of Majimbini, Gouloue, and Kwale. It is an excellent site for divers of all levels due to its size and design. Several buoys allow boats to strap on to the many diving areas dispersed across the 4-kilometer-long pass.
Local diving clubs choose which buoy to use based on the season, tides, wind, and currents, as well as the level of divers on board. Underwater diving sites are diverse and offer a diverse range of biodiversity in terms of both fauna and plants.
Through a plethora of tropical fish, you will encounter large groupers and an astounding amount of turtles. It’s a visual feast for the eyes!
Location: East of Mayotte
Falling aviator is ranked second on the list of best places for scuba diving in Mayotte. This diving site gets its name from its proximity to the end of the airstrip at Dzaoudzi airport, but it also has a spectacular drop that drops 62 meters.
Saziley Reef remains Mayotte’s unmissable diving location, with vertiginous drop-offs flirting with 90 meters and caverns. This or rather these diving locations, located in the extreme southeast of the island, will amaze those who explore them. They will discover a magnificent profusion of corals and a plethora of schools of rainbow fish beneath the mirror of the seas. Observe marine mammals frolicking in the lagoon and going through the passes, depending on the season. Whales give birth in the lagoon around August and stay there with their calves until October, which is the period it takes them to cross the oceans. Manta rays can be spotted from March to September, with the best months being June and July. The rays frequently congregate in groups of two or three individuals around the islets to feed on plankton at the surface.
This is an excellent location for learning to scuba dive, snorkeling in the colorful depths, earning degrees, and honing your skills. Share your love of the sea and animals with your children by taking them diving for unique encounters!
Location: South East of Mayotte
Boat Pass ranks 4th on the list of the best places for scuba diving in Mayotte. Mayotte is well-known for its spectacular drop-offs. Look forward to it because this dive location will include not one, but two consecutive drops. The first wall drops from 10 to 40 meters, then after a little landing softly sloping across the white sand, the second drop is provided to you to drive from 50 to 80 meters deep. Of course, this second portion is reserved for tek divers alone. The dive site is teeming with life; you’re likely to see parrotfish, lobsters, crabs, stingrays, enormous morays or turtles, or maybe a giant grouper.
This place is also well-known for the variety of its reef biodiversity! The underwater topography is defined by enormous canyons and deep trenches: here, the coral is in excellent condition and reveals some spectacular colors against a volcanic backdrop on a clear day.
Location: South of Mayotte
The Boa Bank, located in the south of the Choazyl islets, is one of the most spectacular dive locations in Mayotte. The dive location is teeming with fish, in addition to stunning soft corals and big gorgonians on the descent. This spectacular coral reef, full of fish, stretches from 5 to 30 meters deep. The best time to experience scuba diving in Boa Bank is from May to August because during this period the water is very clear.
Beautiful gorgonians can be seen at shallow depths, which will thrill underwater photographers. The flaws in the wall, as well as the lush foliage, provide a haven for a diverse range of fauna, including moray eels, nudibranchs, crabs, and many other species. Other subjects, such as stingrays with blue spots or lobsters, will also draw attention. Remember to keep an eye out in the blue because this dive site is a popular stop for giant pelagics.
Iris Bench is a wonderful scuba diving place in the North of Mayotte. This challenging dive is only for experienced divers. In reality, you’ll need to get to the bottom swiftly and then head against the stream. You will hang at the bottom and marvel at the sight of sharks swimming in the wide blue. The reef is teeming with magnificent corals and gorgonians. From July to October, you can also see whales and their calves close to the dive location.
This dive site is home to an abundance of gorgeous corals and rough reefs, as well as an abundance of healthy reef fish, including large schools of butterflies, parrots, and sweetlips darting beside you and many clownfish defensively guarding their anemones. You may also kayak over architectural coral bommies while keeping an eye out for green turtles and rays, all of which are common here. Due to the coral diversity, those with a keen eye can readily notice nudibranchs, anemone shrimps, and coral crabs attempting to blend in.
The Cocaine is a wonderful scuba diving place, which is located on the coral reef south of the settlement of M’Tsamboro and has a white sand bottom, hence the name. The depth can exceed 30 meters, and visibility is normally good. This Mayotte dive spot is particularly interesting since it has both dragon moray eels and leaf fish. You can also hang at the bottom and discover many beautiful coral reefs and colorful shoals of fish.
The water is cold, therefore the diver will need to wear a wet suit. The best time to dive here is from October to April when the water temperature is relatively warm. However, diving with a thicker wet suit is possible for the remaining months of May to September. The current at Cocaine can be very strong sometimes, thus it is best to examine this location from tidal stalls. If you have the opportunity to dive in Mayotte, this is an ideal place for you.
Location: North of Mayotte