There large areas of natural coral overflowing with marine life makes of Mauritius an exclusive place to discover the wonders of snorkeling.
If you are holidaying in Mauritius you’d most probably want to grab your snorkeling equipment and head to the beach.
Unlike Seychelles where the rise in the sea temperature caused by global warming to a massive whitening of its coral reefs, the marine fauna and flora of Mauritius Island is still well preserved.
Reunion Island on the other hand has very few coral reefs and the majority of its beaches are made up of volcanic ash. There are few places where you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
The lagoon is generally calm in the majority of places due to the fact that the island is surrounded by a coral reef. Mauritius is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Teeming with hundreds of colorful fish, underwater world of Mauritius is considered a natural wonder.
Coastal areas offer the best environment for all types of water sports. Snorkeling is the perfect way to take part in the pleasures of these incredible beauties of nature.
Mauritius: Marine Fauna and Flora
Mauritius has one of the most abundant marine life of the Indian Ocean. The moderate tropical sea temperature is ideal for the flourishing of the fauna and flora. It is not surprising at all that there is about four hundred and thirty different species of underwater creatures, including fish such as Parrot fish, Groupers, Napoleons, Sweet-lips, Angels, Trumpet, the clown fish, moray eels and lobsters.
More than two hundred different species of corals have been recorded by marine biologists. There is also a good number of sponges and sea anemones.
For fans of big game fishing, the deep water around the island teem with Tunas, Marlins, sharks and sea breams.
Dolphins can also be observed at certain spots including Tamarin and Flic en Flac. One can also see whales during their migration south of the island.
Mauritius: The Best Seasons for Snorkeling
Situated above the tropic of Capricorn, Mauritius enjoys a purely tropical climate. The water temperature averages the twenty-eight degrees Celsius in summer and twenty-one degrees Celsius in winter. The water temperature is therefore ideal for snorkeling throughout the year, even though summer months are considered the best.
In summer, warm water attracts an abundance of migrating fish. Marine plants also flourish during this season due to the availability of plenty of sunlight. During the summer season we can easily observe a wide variety of exotic fish due to the fact that reproduction occurs mainly during this period of time.
Mauritius: Best sites for snorkeling
There are many snorkeling sites scattered throughout the island. Beginners can easily learn to snorkel in the calm and shallow water of the lagoon. While experienced snorkelers can proceed directly to Snorkeling sites which are more adventurous such as caves, cliffs, wrecks, pinnacles and reefs. The most popular sites in Mauritius include “Colorado” and “Roche Zozo” outside Blue Bay on the south coast of Mauritius among others.
The east coast
The Blue Bay Beach is known for its clean soft white sandy beaches and clear coastline. Due to the location of Blue Bay, it is a very popular beach destination for tourists as well as locals. The best time to enjoy the beach is during the week as it is normally very crowded on weekdays.
Blue Bay is especially famous for snorkeling. Since 1997, an area of three hundred and fifty-three acres that is located across from the public beach became the first and so far the only marine park in Mauritius.
The reasons for the foundation of this marine park are exceptional and unique coral gardens. The Blue Bay Marine Park offers a rare blend of flora and fauna. The Coral rocks are in well-preserved form. The marine park is home for about Seventy-two species of coral and thirty-two fish species. Some corals are as old as eight hundred years.
The is a visitor center where you can get information on the park in front of the public beach.
The best way to access the park is to take a glass bottom boat. The journey takes about half an hour.
The West Coast
Flic en Flac
The beach of Flic en Flac covers a long part of the western Mauritian coast. Boasting an incredibly clear water and aquatic life outbreak is probably one of the best spots for snorkeling. It also offers perfect opportunities for sunbathing and endless walks. If you walk on the beach to the south, you will reach the next village Tamarin after about half an hour, where you will discover a beautiful beach and the best place to surf in Mauritius.
Beware of sea urchins. A good measure of protection is to wear swimming shoes.
At the northern end of the beach, you can find a beach volleyball net that belongs to Villa Caroline, one of the cheapest and most beautiful hotels in Mauritius.
Tamarin is a beautiful little village situated only five kilometers from Flic en Flac. The “natural aquarium” is a sight to be seen at Tamarin. It is one of the most beautiful seascapes of Mauritius.
The Mauritian Marine Conservation Society (MMCS) is working on making it the site the second marine national park.
Tamarin is also a very interesting place to watch sunset.
Trou aux Biches
Trou aux Biches is mostly known for sunbathing, Snorkeling and other kinds of sports activities. Some people even say it’s the most beautiful beach of Mauritius as beach which extends over more than a kilometer has one of the cleanest beach and clearest water. The proximity of the reef makes of Trou aux Biches an ideal place for snorkeling and diving.
Trou aux Biches also offers a lot of activities such as water skiing, parasailing, kayaking and big game fishing.
Situated on the southwestern tip of the island, Le Morne is probably the richest site in history and culture of Mauritius. Le Morne beach is located on the peninsula under the foot of Morne Brabant, a mountain of about 550 meters. Le Morne Brabant has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 2008.
Le Morne has a turquoise lagoon and very clear water which offers excellent visibility for snorkeling and diving.