Lazare Bay, graced with a lagoon and lined with palm trees, is one of the finest beaches in Mahé. Partly protected by a barrier reef, it includes an excellent spot for snorkeling, where you can explore both the lagoon and the outer face of the reef. Here you will find, in particular, several species of angelfish and impressive shoals of green humphead parrotfish.

View of Baie Lazare beach, Seychelles

How to get there?

Lazare Bay is on a small peninsula to the far south-west of the island of Mahé. From Victoria, cross the island from east to west via Fairview and Souvenir towards Anse Boileau, then continue south along the West Coast Road. Soon after the Anse à la Mouche, turn right onto the Anse Soleil Road, then ask for directions to Anse Gouvernement. A narrow, shaded road runs down to finish behind the beach. This is the only public access to Lazare Bay beach. From the airport, the shortest route goes through Anse Royale. It takes about thirty minutes by car in both cases.

Baie Lazare snorkeling map, Mahe, Seychelles

Water entrance

We recommend exploring the far west of the bay, near Anse Gouvernement. This is the most accessible spot, the safest and one of the most interesting areas for underwater life.
You will be free to swim between the beach and the coral reef, which are about 150 meters apart. The further you go to the left as you face the sea, the nearer you come to a channel (see map below), which is a much less safe area. Enter the water from the sandy beach, opposite the car park, near the granite rocks encircling the bay.

Exploration

Lazare Bay is next to a small “lagoon”, sheltered by a coral barrier. But you can generally cross the barrier at high tide, making it possible to explore the reef drop-off facing the open sea.

Snorkeling with threespot angelfish at Baie Lazare, Seychelles

For the first 30 yards from the beach you cross a sandy bed, sprinkled with coral (2-6ft/0.5-2m), which becomes more and more dense as you get closer to the barrier reef. At the reef, at high tide, the water level falls (2-3ft/0.5-1m), but you can still move on to the reef drop-off.

The reef plateau is shallow but inhabited by multitudes of hard coral. Their condition varies (in some places the sea bed has none). As you explore, it is easy to come across several species of angelfish (semicircle, threespot and emperor), a large number of butterflyfish and particularly colourful surgeonfish. At the reef drop-off, you may get the chance to see a shoal of green humphead parrotfish. They can grow up to 3ft/1.30 metres long, and as they are particularly impressive, as they devour food along the sea bed with their strong jaws.

Sarcophyton on Baie Lazare reef, Seychelles

At certain periods of the year, the bay is covered in seaweed, which is particular prevalent at low tide. From June to October, this side of the island is exposed to winds, and sea conditions deteriorate. Snorkeling is not recommended in this period.

Don’t hesitate to combine this visit with an exploration of Lazare Bay, a few minutes’ drive from Anse Soleil. It is only a mile away, but on foot it can be gruelling due to the steep climb.

Restaurants & accommodation

Lazare Bay beach is mainly occupied by the Kempinski Seychelles Resort, giving direct access to the snorkeling spot. You can have a meal there, even if you are not staying at the hotel. Around Anse Gouvernement Road (the public access to the beach), you will find other places to eat, although options are limited.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Baie Lazare
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Emperor angelfish Pomacanthus imperator  
Semicircle angelfish Pomacanthus semicirculatus  
Threespot angelfish Apolemichthys trimaculatus  
Scrawled butterflyfish Chaetodon meyeri  
Yellowhead butterflyfish Chaetodon xanthocephalus  
Green humphead parrotfish Bolbometopon muricatum  
Steephead parrotfish Chlorurus strongylocephalus  
Elegant unicornfish Naso elegans  
Lined surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus  
Sixbar wrasse Thalassoma hardwicke  
Barred thicklip wrasse Hemigymnus fasciatus  
Green birdmouth wrasse Gomphosus caeruleus  
Scissortail sergeant Abudefduf sexfasciatus  
Blue-spotted spinefoot Siganus corallinus  
Moorish idol Zanclus cornutus  
Bluespotted grouper Cephalopholis argus  
Poisson-flûte Fistularia commersonii  
Indo-Pacific sergeant Abudefduf vaigiensis  
Chevron butterflyfish Chaetodon trifascialis  

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth20ft (6m)
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes, expensive
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.