The capital and the country’s main airport are located in Mahé, and anyone wishing to visit the other destinations of the archipelago, with a total of 115 islands, will pass through the island.

With many bays and coves, and several islands and isles near the coast, Mahé boasts a wide variety of snorkeling sites for all levels of ability. You can explore the shallow lagoons (Baie Lazare, Fairyland Beach) and the reef drop-offs near the shore (Anse Soleil, Anse Major), the barrier reefs a little further out to sea or the very rocky underwater seascapes made up of granite rocks all along the coasts.

Snorkeling Anse Soleil coral reef, Mahé
The seabed in Anse Soleil is partly covered with fine clumps of branch coral.

Mahé has a profusion of generally very well preserved coral, and remarkable underwater life, although some species (particularly turtles and rays) are less easy to observe here than in La Digue. Three National Parks (Sainte-Anne, Baie Ternay and Port Launay), accessible by boat, protect part of the reefs of the island.

Angelfish species spotted at Anse Soleil, Mahé
Several angelfish species can be spotted while snorkeling around Mahé, for example the semicircle angelfish (on the left, seen in Anse Royale) and the emperor angelfish (on the right, photographed in Baie Lazare).

When to go to snorkeling Mahé Island?

Mahe Island, like the other granite islands of the archipelago (La Digue and Praslin in particular), enjoy a tropical climate and pleasant temperatures all the year round. Unlike other groups of islands in the Seychelles (Aldabra or the Farquhar islands), they are not in the path of cyclones.

Snorkeling is possible all the year round, with average water temperatures of 82°F/28°C. From October to March, rains are more frequent (with a peak in January), the temperatures are highest (+/-86°F/30°C) and there is most humidity. From April to September there is a cooler and dryer period, but it is also windier (+/-75°F/24°C). As the wind has a certain amount of importance in snorkeling, you should remember that the prevailing wind is north-westerly from October to March and south-easterly from April to September (choose the most protected sites).

The inter-seasons (March to May and September to November) are the best periods for snorkeling, particularly since they are outside the peak tourist periods in December and in July and August.

Warm and sunny

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