Mayotte diving is an incredible plenitude of corals of all shapes and a wide mixture of tropical fish in an enormous tidal pond with safe water. The other identity of this tidal pond is to have a twofold boundary reef: one far from the shore of 3 to 15 km, persistently around the island, cut by a few passes. There are also deep water diving sites available for experienced divers. These sites have depth of over 200 feet and at some points reaches to about 300 feet. So get your snorkel mask on and dive into the clear waters of Mayotte. There are other islands and spots nearby, which include famous Bambo and Chaozil.
Like alternate islands of the Comoros, Mayotte is of volcanic birthplace. The landscape is mesmerizing and there are profound bayous lined with mangroves, rough capes, promontories and an isolate of sandy shorelines of all sizes and all shading, white sand to dark sand through the ‘ocher, dim, cocoa . For more than a million years; Mayotte was encompassed by a bordering reef, which then developed into a boundary reef, in addition to a variety of other things, the progressive sinking of the island.
In Mayotte, the indisputable star is the lagoon, one of the largest and richest in the world. Mayotte is one of the few islands to have a double barrier reef. The big barrier that separates the lagoon from the sea is an unforgettable diving spot.
Mayotte is largely undiscovered by tourists, and even those within the scuba diving world. Thus, new dive sites are yet to be discovered in the world’s largest lagoon and double barrier reef that surrounds Mayotte and its islets. Types of diving include drift diving, shark diving, reef diving, shore diving, night diving, and even children’s diving. From beginner to advanced, there are dive sites suitable for all divers in Mayotte, so everyone will surely feel welcomed by the warm blue waters.
Marine life within Mayotte’s lagoon includes many species of predatory fish such as mackerels and jacks, to shoals of smaller fish. The reefs are also abundant in eels, sharks, turtles, rays, and corals–including brain coral.
Mayotte has about a dozen marked dive sites within the lagoon’s double barrier reef, some of which are only known by the local operators. Each year, divers are discovering new and exciting dive sites, which currently sprinkle the island on nearly all sides. Dive sites can be found in the Northwest, around the many islets, and along Mayotte’s East Central coastline. Some are accessible right from shore, while others require a short boat ride to get to the offshore site.
Some of the favorite dive spots in Mayotte include N’Gouja, Mbouini, and Bambo Island. N’Goula is a great place to observe turtles. Only a few hundred meters from the beach, the dive site of N’gouja is a falling reef dive accessible from shore. It is located in the village of Kani-Keli. Mbouini is an island off the beach which offers interesting diving accessible by boat. Bambo Island is a playground for discovery, as it is located on the lagoon just a few hundred meters off the village of Bambo. It is accessible from the beach, although divers may compete with yacht traffic and kayaks. There are tons of tiny coves cut into the rocks, where small oysters are (watch out and don’t get cut). The black rocks are actually made of lava, which escape erosion due to their hardness. Bambo Island is one of the finest dropoffs in Mayotte.
The most popular dive spot, however, is called the “S” Pass, or Le Passe S. This passage winds (literally in the shape of an S) between the lagoon and the open sea, where the mouth of a river existed a few million years ago. There are so many nooks and crannies jam packed with the coral reef, that this dive site is a diver’s dream. Divers should note, however, that the “S” Pass lies within the protected marine reserve and hunting and fishing are strictly monitored.
Forming a portion of the barrier reef in Mayotte, the clear water of the “mini lagoon” provides at least three different navigation routes through the deep natural pool that is as shallow as 5 meters. Small white tip reef sharks frequent the lagoon, as well as eels and rays.
Other “Passes” include the Passe Bandrele – Les Ancres site. This dive is accessible by boat just 10 minutes or less off shore and the shallow dive depths of 10-18 meters (32-60 feet) make it accessible to beginners and children as well. The visibility is excellent on the lagoon dive, and there is also night dives and snorkeling available. Reef marine life is excellent, offering an abundance of creatures to follow.
M’tsangamouji is a dive site accessible via the shore in Mayotte. Due to some currents, it is both ideal for drift diving and limited to intermediate or advanced divers. The visibility is about 18 meters and the depths reach to about 45 meters. The marine life is abundant with many of fish, and occasional sharks.
Located in the nature reserve, the Maore Garden dive site is a shallow shore dive that only reaches depths of about 9-20 meters (25-60 feet). The visibility is low at times, about 1-10 meters. Sea turtles are among some of the marine life available to see at this dive site. The lagoon is famous and is among the largest in the world.
The sites of Choazil and Boa Bench are located only about 20 minutes north of Mayotte and an exciting place to watch marine life swim by. Kingfish, wahoo, tuna, sharks and reef fish are all abundant. In Choazil, depths range from 5-30 m, although deep water divers will see lion fish and other animals on the sea bottom at 50 meters. At Boa Bench, there is a plateau where blue-spotted stingrays, triggerfish, and other pelagics frequent the waters.
Located on the Northwest coast of Mayotte is one of most uniquely-named lagoon sites. The crystal clear water and white sandy beaches house a dive site appropriately named “Cocaine,” which extends from the surface down to depths of 45 meters. There are many eels as well as shoals of small fish being devoured by predators such as jacks and mackerels.
But not all sites are so interestingly named. In recent years, divers have discovered an area halfway into the lagoon where there is a underwater coral archipelago, and some divers simply call it the site of Discolored Water. The water actually appears discolored, but the visibility is good to great – up to 40 meters. Brain coral abounds, and fish include jacks, mackerels, rainbow runners and shoals of fusiliers. On the white sand, stingrays and garden eels also lurk.
As you sit on sandy shores and dive a blue lagoon, you’re likely to forget that you’re in Africa. The underwater seascape seems borderless and wide open as it spreads across the globe. Plus, wherever you go in Mayotte, the nearly 20 dive operators and well-suited tourist accommodations offer one of the most comfortable dive vacations in all of Africa. The overall experience, perhaps, can be summed in a word: lovely!