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: 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 around 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 being 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.) or the immense barrier reef, lying several miles from the coast, interspersed with channels.
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 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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You can’t miss them at N’Gouja beach, which is the best spot to see sea turtles in Mayotte; also found at Plage Gouéla and Tahiti Plage
Frequently sighted at Ilots Choizil, Tahiti Plage and N’Gouja
Common, particularly on reef drop offs
Found all around the island; common on patch reefs (Ilots Choizil, Ilot de Sable Blanc du Nord…)
On all reef spots
On all spots
Often seen on N’Gouja beach reef drop off
Marine reserve with a vibrant reef drop off and many sea turtles
Level: Free shore access Resort nearby
Sand bank edged by a coral reef
Small islets fringed by a vibrant coral reef
Reef drop off and sea turtles
Level: Free shore access
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