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Last updated on January 8, 2024
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
No food or water is available for purchase on the islands. The tour organizers generally provide meals and drinks – ask them for more details.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Sand bank edged by a coral reef
Reef drop off and sea turtles
Free shore access
Marine reserve with a vibrant reef drop off and many sea turtles
Free shore access
Marine park with vibrant coral reef and sea turtles