Spot

N'Gouja


For many people, N’Gouja is the most beautiful beach in Mayotte. This large beach of golden sand, bordered by baobabs and luxuriant vegetation, opens on to calm waters and a particularly rich and well-preserved reef. It is known as an exceptional site for observing sea turtles (the vast majority are green sea turtles, but there are also hawksbill sea turtles), which come to feed on the seagrass and lay their eggs on the beach.
How to get there?

N’Gouja beach is at the southern tip of the island, between the bays of Kani and Mzouazia. By car, from Mamoudzou and the north, the shortest route is to follow the signs for Chirongui and then for Mzouazia (CCD4). From the main road on the hills above, a path leads down to a cul-de-sac at a car park just behind the beach. There is no public transport, but shared taxis and hitch-hiking will get you where you want to go.

Water entrance

You can enter the water anywhere along the beach, but at low tide, and to protect the seagrass, pass across the old jetty, opposite the access from the car park. On the beach, make sure you don’t tread on turtle nests (there are usually signs pointing them out). You can explore a wider area than what is shown on the map, of course, but be careful not to enter the total protection area to the far left of the beach as you are facing the ocean (information on site).

Aerial view


Exploration

The area to explore covers a wide area between the beach and the reef drop-off some 200 meters away. From the beach, you will cross a few dozen yards of seagrass (↕4-8ft/1-2m), and then the seabed is covered with coral (↕4-10ft/1-3m) as far as the reef drop-off (↕30ft/10m).



At high tide, the turtles feed on the seagrass, sometimes only a few meters from the beach. Despite the shallowness of the water, the turtles can be easily approached and observed (respect the observation instructions). At low tide, the sea draws back from the seagrass and the turtles move towards the reef, along the drop-off. Here the turtles are more timid, but the water (which is clearer than at the beach) and the large amount of coral and fish make it an ideal setting for photos.

Snorkeling Report N Gouja Mayotte
Green sea turtle at N'Gouja beach

While turtle-watching is the star attraction at N’Gouja beach, the other riches of the site should not be overlooked. Along a strip of ten or so meters along the reef drop-off (↕6-20ft/2-6m), the seabed is exceptional: hundreds of damselfish hidden in the colonies of acropora, clownfish in their anemone, shoals of surgeonfish, angelfish – the spectacle is endless.

Restaurants & accommodation

The only accommodation and restaurant available close to the site is Le Jardin Maoré hotel, which overlooks the beach.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    Beginner
  • Maximum depth
    10ft (3m) on the reef flat, 30ft (10m) on the reef drop-off
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Crown-of-thorns starfish
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium
  • Access costs
    Free
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes, moderately expensive
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling N'Gouja

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Green sea turtle
Chelonia mydas
Hawksbill sea turtle
Eretmochelys imbricata
Madagascar clownfish
Amphiprion latifasciatus
Powder blue tang
Acanthurus leucosternon
Yellowfin surgeonfish
Acanthurus xanthopterus
Blackwedged butterflyfish
Chaetodon falcula
Orbicular batfish
Platax orbicularis
Sixbar wrasse
Thalassoma hardwicke
Green Chromis
Chromis viridis
Sulphur damsel
Pomacentrus sulfureus
Black-sided hawkfish
Paracirrhites forsteri
Melon butterflyfish
Chaetodon trifasciatus
Giant clam
Tridacna sp.
Live sharksucker
Echeneis naucrates
Show all species
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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