Mayotte is situated in the Comoros archipelago, in the Mozambique Channel, and has one of the biggest lagoons in the world (425mi²/1100km²), surrounded by a barrier reef over 100 miles (160km) long. Its warm waters, protected by ocean currents, are home to very varied underwater sea life: turtles, dolphins, whales (from July to October), a plethora of fish (over 800 species) and coral (300 species), as well as the extremely rare dugong (less than twenty recorded individual animals).

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The island has a wide variety of snorkeling spots. Although you will probably start by exploring the seagrass and reef drop-offs that are easily accessible from the beaches (the most famous of which is N’Gouja, an excellent place to observe green turtles), you shouldn’t leave without taking an excursion by boat, which is the only way to reach the islets and reefs dispersed throughout the lagoon (Îlots Choizil, Ilot de Sable Blanc du Nord, etc.) or the immense barrier reef (lying several miles from the coast), interspersed with channels.

Snorkeling Report Mayotte
Coral reef at Ilot de Sable Blanc du Nord, Mayotte brown lemur at N'Gouja, and terns at Îlots Choizil
When to go to Mayotte?

With an average temperature of 75°F (24°C) in the lagoon, snorkeling is possible in Mayotte all the year round. From October to March, during the southern summer, temperatures are high (85-90°F/29-33°C on average) and rains abundant (with a peak in January-February). After heavy rain, the coastal waters are charged with sediment, making visibility poorer. From April to September, temperatures are cooler (74-79°F/23-26°C) and the waters are generally clear, but wind is more common.

CDC Mayotte EN

Where to spot them?

Green sea turtle

You can't miss them at N'Gouja, common at Tahiti Plage and Gouéla

Skunk clownfish

Common at Ilots Choizil and Tahiti Plage

Emperor angelfish

Common on reef drop-offs

Powder blue tang

On all spots

Blue tang

On all spots

Yellow longnose butterflyfish

On all spots

Sixbar wrasse

On all spots

Black-sided hawkfish

On all spots

Madagascar clownfish

Frequent at N'Gouja