The Ilots Choizil are one of the finest sites in Mayotte: turquoise waters, banks of white sand, black rocks and green hills in the background. They are a few miles from the coast, and can only be reached by boat. The coral beds are relatively damaged, but abound in multi-colored fish, including clownfish and angelfish.

Snorkeling the Choizil Islets, Mayotte

How to get there?

The Ilots Choizil are located in the Mayotte lagoon, to the north-west of the island, some 3 miles off the coast. This is one of the most popular excursions in Mayotte, and you will have no trouble finding guides or fishermen to take you. The excursions to the Ilots Choizil generally also include a stop at the Ilot de Sable Blanc du Nord, and sometimes one of the beaches on Mtsamboro Island. The sandbank generally only emerges at low tide. If you are organizing your own trip, find out about tide times.

Water entrance

It is easy to get into the water from the white sandbank where you will land. The snorkeling spot extends all along the sandbank on the north-east coast, on the Mayotte side (the south-west side is more turbulent and exposed to waves).

Choizil Islets snorkeling map, Mayotte

Exploration

The area to explore covers a width of about 100m along the white sandbank, on the Mayotte side.

The first dozen yards or so from the beach (↕6-10ft/2-3m) are made up of damaged coral. In places, new colonies are taking root.

Regal angelfish at the Choizil Islets

It is quite easy to come across several species of angelfish and surgeonfish. As you move away from the shore, the water level soon becomes deeper (↕10-20ft/3-6m). The large blocks of coral drop abruptly down to the sandy sea bed. Look for the impressive sea anemones, where many skunk clownfish can be found hiding. To see turtles, which are not common here, go to N’Gouja or Trois Baobabs, which are accessible from the main island’s coast.

Corals at Ilot de Sable Blanc

Underwater visibility on this spot, far from the coasts, is generally excellent and the waters are protected from the waves. But you should avoid the area at the far right of the islets, as you are facing the ocean, since the currents crossing it are sometimes strong. Follow the instructions of your guide, who will advise you on what to do according to the prevailing conditions.

Restaurants and accommodation

No food or water is available for purchase on the islands. The tour organizers generally provide meals and drinks – ask them for more details.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Ilots Choizil
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Skunk clownfish Amphiprion akallopisos  
Emperor angelfish Pomacanthus imperator  
Regal angelfish Pygoplites diacanthus  
Palette surgeonfish Paracanthurus hepatus  
Scissortail sergeant Abudefduf sexfasciatus  
Sixbar wrasse Thalassoma hardwicke  
Acanthaster pourpre Acanthaster planci  
Sulphur damsel Pomacentrus sulfureus  
Green Chromis Chromis viridis  
Checkerboard wrasse Halichoeres hortulanus  

 

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Protected areaParc naturel marin de Mayotte
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersCrown-of-thorns starfish
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersNo
  • Access costsTour price
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

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.