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Grande Soeur (also known as East Sister) is located approximately 6 kilometers off the northern tip of La Digue. With Petite Soeur (or West Sister), they form the “Sisters Islands”. These two tiny private islands are covered by lush vegetation and surrounded by well-preserved coral reefs. The beach situated on the west side of Grande Soeur is, for many people, the most beautiful beach in the Seychelles. Marine life is exceptionally abundant on the coral reef stretching in front of it: sea turtles resting serenely under the surface, hundreds of tropical fish and, and even small white-tip sharks swimming along the seabed.
To get to Grande Soeur, you can choose from three main options.
The first one is to stay in Le Château de Feuilles in Praslin, which is managing the private island. It will gives you access to the island. This is by far the best option, but also the most expensive one. The second is to take part of a full day excursion (10am-3pm), including barbecue and full access to the island for the day. The cost for this tour (only on week-ends) is SCR1500 per person, including the boat transfer (all bookings with Le Chateau de Feuilles). At last, if you have the chance to visit the Seychelles with a boat, you have the possibility to request an authorization to moor next to the island and snorkel the reef.
Enter the water directly from the beach (if you are on the island), or from your boat.
The area to explore covers the 100 meters wide coral reef stretching along the beach located on the west side of the island. As you move away from the beach, you cross 50 meters of sandy seabed with scattered coral areas (↕0.5-1,5m), which grow denser as you move closer to the reef edge.
The reef flat is shallow but covered by well-preserved hard coral. As you move along the reef, it is easy to come across several species of butterflyfish and surgeonfish (often seen in large schools grazing on the coral beds). You might see dozens of other species in the area, particularly pufferfish, parrotfish and angelfish.
On the reef drop-off, the water becomes suddenly much deeper (↕3-6m). This is the area where you will have the best chance to encounter hawksbill sea turtles, especially if you visit the area during the week. They have long been used to human presence and rest quietly just under the surface. In this deeper areas, you may also get the chance to see a white-tip shark patrolling serenely just above the seabed.
Hawksbill sea turtles are a familiar sight in La Digue and its neighboring islands, like Grande Soeur. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to respect the following rules when observing them:
On La Digue main island, Anse Patates and Anse Caiman (both with free shore access) are also excellent snorkeling spots to encounter hawksbill sea turtles.
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.
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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.
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