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Last updated on September 27, 2020
The Ilot de Sable Blanc du Sud (“southern white-sand islet”) lies off the southeast coast of Mayotte. Surrounded by coral and sandy seabed, it offers a nice range of environments and varied marine life: butterflyfish, blue sea stars, giant clams and, if you’re lucky, an encounter with a regal or emperor angelfish.
Ilot de Sable Blanc du Sud is located on the barrier reef that surrounds Mayotte, to the southwest of the island, approximately 1 kilometer from Pointe Saziley. It is only reachable by boat. Keep in mind that there are two white-sand islets in Mayotte: the second (Ilot de Sable Blanc du Nord) is in the northeast of the lagoon, near Mtsamboro islet. This is one of the most popular excursions in Mayotte, and you will have no trouble finding guides or fishermen (mainly from Nyambadao) to take you.
You can enter the water anywhere along the shore, but we recommend, because of the proximity to the reef, choosing the west side of the islet (facing the main island).
The area to explore covers a wide area all around the islet. Near the islet, the water is shallow (↕4-8ft/1-2m), the seabed is mostly sandy, and the coral is rare, but you can still observe many fish species. You will need to go further (60 meters away west from the islet) to reach the coral areas (↕8-16ft/2-5m). The coral covering is not exceptional but relatively well preserved. In places, you will observe impressive table coral. It is easy to observe and get close to many fish species. Surgeonfish, butterflyfish, and pufferfish are easy to spot, and, with a little more perseverance, spectacular emperor or regal angelfish.
Move along the reef, but without drifting too far away from the islet, and watch out for boats, which can arrive in numbers at certain times of day. Follow the instructions of your tour guide, who can advise you on what to do depending on the conditions.
No food or water is available for purchase on the islet. 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.
Marine reserve with a vibrant reef drop off and many sea turtles
Free shore access
Reef drop off and sea turtles
Free shore access
Small islets fringed by a vibrant coral reef
Sand bank edged by a coral reef
Marine park with vibrant coral reef and sea turtles