Seychelles scuba diving is just about as good as it gets. As one of the top 10 world diving sites, the Seychelles provide a most unforgettable underwater experience. Crystal clear waters, a variety of intriguing marine life, and seemingly countless amounts of coral reefs are just part of what makes Seychelles diving so rewarding. The famous French diver and scientist, Jacques Cousteau, filmed his underwater special "Monde du Silence" in the southern Seychelles Islands, so that should serve to give you an idea of how special a Seychelles dive can be. Beginners and advanced divers alike will find out firsthand that the Seychelles are a special place for diving when they include dive trips in their Seychelles vacation.
For those who are new to diving, and for those who may be a bit out of touch with the sport, there are training expeditions that can be arranged at the various dive shops found in the Seychelles. Generally, you'll start off with a few classes to familiarize yourself with the sport, and then it's off to calm waters to ease into things. Some people like to get ahead a bit and do some of the necessary classwork before they arrive, allowing for more time actually spent in the water. On initial dives for starters, you'll feel safe knowing that the certified crew has your best interest in mind. First time divers in the Seychelles can work up to full certification, which then allows them to do open water dives, or they can opt for a more basic qualification depending on their wants and needs.
A good amount of the Seychelles resorts have PADI certified dive shops, so if you are serious about diving in Seychelles, you might choose to book your stay at one that does. Most of the dive centers on the islands have modern equipment that you can rent, though if you are bringing your own gear, you might find it a bit difficult to track down repair centers, so you might take that into account. Seychelles diving can be enjoyed year round, so deciding when to go on your diving adventure is the least of your worries. However, there are months that are considered to be at least a bit better than others, and they are April, May, October, and November. These months are particularly noted for providing ideal visibility, which can be more than 100 feet!
While diving in Seychelles, you can choose to explore
either the Inner Islands or the Outer Islands. Of course,
you can also do both if you please. The Inner Islands,
like Mahe, Praslin,
and La Digue, all have priviliged
dive sites, and if you want to hit some of the smaller
islands, such as Aride, Marianne, and so on, you'll
probably stay on a live-aboard dive boat. Besides offering
true coral reefs, the granitic northern islands of the
Seychelles are also known for their granite reefs, which
form on submerged boulders. The fish species are especially
abundant around the Inner Islands, and you can expect
to see a variety of colorful sponges as well. Unlike the
Outer Islands, which are coralline islands, the Inner
Islands aren't known for having dive sites where
steep walls and underwater canyons can be explored, so
you might head further out to islands like Denis
Island and Aldabra if that
interests you. Aldabra Island (Aldabra Atoll) is known
for its sea turtles, which can be viewed both on land
and in the water. Denis Island offers dramatic ledges
that suddenly drop more than 6,000 feet into the abyss.
The Outer Islands are also where divers can expect to
see manta rays and stunningly gorgeous gorgonian fans.
There are a few different kinds of dives that you can do when vacationing in Seychelles, with wreck diving and drift diving are among the most popular. Wreck diving involves visiting submerged ships that have met their demise on the high seas. Near the Inner Islands, the Ennerdale Wreck is perhaps the most renowned wreck diving site in the Seychelles. The Outer Islands are more ideal for drift diving, as you can follow the current along the sea walls and canyon formations. Drift diving allows divers to literally "go with the flow", and the dive boat generally sticks by close overhead, letting the current move it along as well.
Green sea turtles, manta rays, gorgonian fans, and stunning coral reefs are just the beginning of what you might see when enjoying a Seychelles scuba diving trip. Sharks, barracuda, and grouper fish are common sightings especially around the Outer Islands. Should you plan your Seychelles diving adventure between the months of October and April, chances are you can see and even swim with whale sharks, which are more abundant during this time. Fish like yellow rubber lipped sweetlips and angel fish are just some of the fish species you might encounter, and plenty of island reefs in the Seychelles are home to creatures like spiny lobsters and octopus.
Include scuba diving in your Seychelles vacation, and you'll see just why this African island nation is highly revered in dive circles around the globe. Snorkeling is also a popular way to explore the underwater realm when in the Seychelles, but it just can't compare with the thrill of diving. Whether your Seychelles scuba diving trip lasts one day or covers a range of days, it will make for some glorious memories. Just remember that after your last dive, it's always a good idea to wait 24 hours before flying, so you'll just have to put that Seychelles helicopter trip off for an extra day!