Mayotte is situated in the Comoros archipelago, in the Mozambique Channel. The island is surrounded by a barrier reef over 100 miles long. Its warm waters, protected by ocean currents, are home to very varied underwater sea life.

There are turtles, dolphins, and whales from July to October. There is also plethora of fish (over 800 species) and coral (300 species), as well as the extremely rare dugong. There are less than twenty individual recorded animals around Mayotte.

Snorkeling with green sea turtles at N'Gouja Beach, Mayotte
N’Gouja Bay seagrass meadows, where green sea turtles can easily be seen, are a snorkeling must-do in Mayotte.

The island has a wide variety of snorkeling spots. You will probably start by exploring the seagrass beds and reef drop-offs that are easily accessible from the beaches. The most famous is N’Gouja, an excellent place to observe green turtles.

But you shouldn’t leave without taking an excursion by boat, which is the only way to reach the islets and reefs scattered throughout the lagoon, Ilots Choizil, Ilot de Sable Blanc du Nord, etc. Check out the immense barrier reef lying several miles from the coast, interspersed with channels.

Snorkeling the Mayotte lagoon islets
Accessible by boat only, the many islets in Mayotte’s lagoon, like the Ilots Choizil (left) and Ilot de Sable Blanc du Nord (right), are a famous snorkeling destination.

When to go snorkeling Mayotte

With an average temperature of 75°F (24°C) in the lagoon, snorkeling is possible in Mayotte all year round. From October to March, during the southern summer, temperatures are high (85-90°F/29-33°C on average), and rains are 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 the wind is more common.

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