With 330 kilometres of coastline encircled by a coral barrier reef that protects the turquoise lagoons of the island, Mauritius offers exclusive diving experiences to its visitors all year round.
With its safe lagoons stretching up to the barrier reef, its passes, drop-offs and wrecks, the island provides a wide variety of dives for both beginners and those with more experience.
What is great about diving in Mauritius is the proximity to shore. Although most of the more challenging dive sites are found outside of the barrier reef, they are still invariably reached with a 20-minute boat ride.
What’s more, Mauritian and Rodriguan dive centres place a lot of emphasis on the preservation of the Indian Ocean’s fragile, sub-aquatic landscape. You won’t find yourself clamouring for space at a crowded dive site here. Nor will you see boats being anchored – thus potentially breaking up a precious section of coral. Mooring buoys are used instead, in line with Mauritius Scuba Diving Association (MSDA) guidelines.
North and west coast: The lagoons are large and the water very calm for the swimmer along the northern beaches and the west coast. Behind the barrier reef, the experienced scuba diver can find some spectacular underwater caves and large coral blocks.
East coast: On the east coast, the underwater life is more varied thanks to greater water circulation in the lagoon. Old shipwrecks are a regular attraction for the scuba diver here.
Specials: Night diving, 'honeymoon' diving and training sessions, of international standards, are all available in Mauritius.
Dive centres: There are 30 diving centres operating independently or within hotel premises throughout Mauritius and Rodrigues.
Tourists are informed that health services are not free in Mauritius. The use of the hyperbaric decompression chamber is chargeable and tourists will have to pay the appropriate fee before treatment is received. The cost for treatment carried out in the hyperbaric decompression chamber is 10,000 MUR per session. It is recommended that tourists are accompanied by their diving instructor / dive leader upon admission at the hospital.
North / north-west region
A wide variety of dives: The northern region offers some fascinating dives from depths of just 13 metres. Colourful corals, abundant aquatic life and wrecks scuttled in order to create artificial reefs all provide a platform for year-round diving here.
West / south-west region
Canyons, caves and chimneys: The west is the lee shore of Mauritius and, as such, enjoys the benefits of a year-round micro-climate. In this area, all dives are performed outside the barrier reef. The underwater landscapes of Flic en Flac have been formed by the currents; here, one will discover canyons, chimneys and an impressive array of caves. Further down, close to the Morne mountain and up to Black River, the coral sites are more colourful than on the east coast and are often visited by dolphins.
East / south-east region
A spectacular concentration of species: Just off the east coast, the beautiful lagoon that runs along the coast is scattered with numerous passes through the reef, providing easy access to the deep sea. These areas are rich in plankton and attract a wide variety of pelagic species. Of all the passes, the Belle Mare Pass is arguably the most stunning. Diving here is a real experience due to the strong currents that exist around it and the spectacular concentration of fish and invertebrate life it draws as a result.
Visit our Diving centers directory.
Security & Training
Diving with an affiliated centre is a guarantee for safer dives. Today, the Mauritian Scuba Diving Association (MSDA) oversees the 30 or so diving centres that are spread across Mauritius and Rodrigues.
All of these centres are affiliated to international organisations such as the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and the World Confederation of Underwater Activities (CMAS), which deliver internationally-recognised training and diplomas.
A decompression chamber is available at the Candos hospital near the city of Quatre Bornes (tel: +230 427 5131).
If you have any decompression concerns following a dive, do not hesitate to contact the diving centre or call the emergency service of SAMU by dialling 114.