Eco-friendly Snorkelling in Mauritius

Snorkelling in Mauritius.
Surrounded by the warm Indian Ocean and coral reefs, Mauritius has abundant marine life, making it excellent for snorkeling and diving.

However, not every spot in Mauritius is ideal, for various reasons. For one, not every lagoon is as “calm” as it looks. At Post la Fayette for instance, a beautiful beach on the east coast, there are places with strong underwater currents that are not necessarily visible to the naked eye, and locals will discourage you from venturing out. At other places, climate change, human activity, and sea pollution have unfortunately damaged the reefs, leading to deterioration of the marine life. Listed below are some of the best spots for snorkelling in Mauritius:

Blue Bay Marine Park

The Blue Bay Marine Park is located on the south east of the island, close to the airport. The lagoon is not very deep, making it ideal for beginners or those feeling a bit apprehensive. The recovery from the 2013 murky water pollution has been slow and steady, making the area a great snorkelling spot still.

Coin de Mire

Known as Gunner’s Coin in English, Coin de Mire is an islet on the northern part of Mauritius. This islet is located outside of the reefs, and requires a boat to get there. The sea in that region can be slightly rough (at least by Mauritian standards, who are generally used to calm and flat waters).

Pointes aux Piments

The Pointes aux Piments beach spans a total of 3-4 km, and the quality of the beach, lagoon, and sand varies along this stretch. Some areas are not optimal for swimming, but a boat can take you out for snorkelling.

Flic-en-Flac

A major tourist hub, Flic-en-Flac is also one of the most popular and beautiful beaches on the island. It is a favourite for boat trips, because aside from snorkelling, there are plenty of opportunities for spotting dolphins and even swimming with them.

Iles aux cerfs

This islet is a popular activity as it offers a beautiful view of the south east of Mauritius complete with mountainous backdrops, and visitors can choose to tan on the catamaran and enjoy drinks and fresh seafood, or go snorkelling and diving in the lagoon, or go for a walk along the sandy beaches on the islet.

Le Morne

With the cultural Le Morne mountain (known as Le Morne Brabant) in the background, Le Morne lagoon is not only a beautiful shade of turquoise, but offers great snorkelling spots around Paradise Reef and Crystal Rock, in calm, clear water.

Turtle Bay Marine Park

This marine park is located in the northwestern part of Mauritius, and therefore protected from the South East Trade Winds, unlike Blue Bay. This marine park is surrounded by beautiful and colourful corals, and home to a large variety of fishes and turtles living in harmony.

Snorkelling in Mauritius Etiquette and Safety

  • Watch out for sea urchins, stonefish, and blue bottle jellyfish. Sea urchins are abundant, stonefish is rare, and the blue bottle jellyfish is seasonal and usually appears after cyclones or high tide.
  • Never place your feet on algae or corals.
  • Do not try to touch any marine life or pull them out of the ocean. This includes seashells and corals, whether alive or dead.
  • Do not feed the fish. They will eventually get used to human food, and stop feeding on algae, which in turn can become overgrown and smother the reefs.
  • Do not throw any garbage out into the sea, even if it’s “biodegradable”.
  • Wear reef-friendly sunscreen to avoid harming marine life. Avoid those that contain oxybenzone (or any other benzophenone), as they harm young corals and cannot be easily removed through water-treating processes.

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