Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on June 20, 2022
The black sand beach of Plage Gouéla shares the same features as much more famous N’Gouja (located approximately 3 miles away), but it is much quieter. Its reef drop-off is rich with life and well preserved and spotting green sea turtles is common, but the underwater visibility is sometimes bad.
Gouéla Beach is located on a small peninsula on southwest Mayotte, between Boueni Bay and Mzouazia Bay. By car, from Mamoudzou and the north, the shortest route is to follow the signs for Chirongui, then for Mzouazia (CCD4), and to finish for Bouéni (CCD6). The beach is located at the south entrance of the village, in front of the football field. There is a parking lot on the side of the road, near the path leading to the beach (2 minutes walk).
You can enter the water anywhere along the sandy beach. Once you are in the water, swim towards the reef. At low tide, because of the shallowness of the water, recommend you to wear water shoes to avoid any injuries.
The area to explore covers a wide area between the beach and the reef drop-off some 200 meters away. Starting from the beach, you will see a sandy seabed for the first 20 or 30 meters (↕4-8ft/1-2m). Coral formations then progressively appear (↕4-8ft/1-2m), until you reach the drop-off (↕30ft/10m).
On the drop-off, the seabed is exceptional. In the presence of the density and variety of the underwater life here, sometimes you will not know which way to look. Swim along the reef edge and, here and there, you will surely spot a reef triggerfish, a powder blue tang, a moray hidden in rocky crevices or small groups of skunk clownfish “playing” in their anemone.
In this area, like elsewhere in Mayotte Island, you have good chances to meet green sea turtles, especially in the rocky area on the south tip of the beach. However, if you want to be sure to meet those fascinating and friendly creatures, head instead to N’Gouja beach where they are particularly numerous and used to human presence.
The only accommodation available close to the site is La Case Robinson bungalows, which overlooks the beach. In the village of Bouéni, a 5 to 10 minute walk away by the shortest path, you will find more options.
Sea turtles are a familiar sight in Plage Gouéla. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to respect the following rules when observing them:
If you love snorkeling with sea turtle, N’Gouja Beach is by far the best spot to encounter them on the island.
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.
Marine reserve with a vibrant reef drop off and many sea turtles
Free shore access
Reef drop off and sea turtles
Free shore access
Sand bank edged by a coral reef
Small islets fringed by a vibrant coral reef
Marine park with vibrant coral reef and sea turtles