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Diving Seychelles

Whale shark © Pedro VieyraAmid today’s many crowded dive destinations, the Seychelles remains wonderfully off the beaten track, where the underwater world is pristine and protected.

Cocooned, since millennia, in splendid isolation, this spectacular array of steep granitic and flat coral islands offers exceptional diving opportunities for experienced and novice divers alike.

Although diving in Seychelles may be enjoyed year-round, the optimum diving periods are during the calm between the trade winds. From March to early May and from October to mid-December when the water temperature is around 29▫ C and visibility can be over 30 metres.

The ‘Inner Islands’ and their satellites provide imposing granite swim throughs, channels, hideouts and some spectacular wrecks where a diver can be surrounded by anything up to 800 different species of marine life. Among its renowned dive sites are Shark Bank with its legendary rocks and almost permanent schools of fish and Maryanne Island, a world-ranking shark dive.

Exploring the underwater world © Tony BaskeyfieldGranite reefs support myriad species including Soldier fish, Squirrel fish and Sweepers as well as Rays, Octopi, and, of course, Turtles. Even though, like many dive destinations worldwide, Seychelles’ corals were affected by the Al Nino phenomenon, there are encouraging signs of the corals revitalising and some wonderful growths still flourish.

Whale Sharks are common visitors to Seychelles waters between October and April, when it is often possible to swim with these gentle giants of the ocean.

The remoter, coralline, ‘Outer Islands’ hold the promise of spectacular cave and canyon dives. Amazing wall dives amid glorious corals where larger species of marine life inhabit waters where few have ventured. Certain of these islands now boast hotel resorts whose dive centres place these unforgettable sites within easy reach of the diver. There are also a number of live-aboard dive operators in Seychelles who combine cruising or island-hopping with a varied programme that will showcase the great diversity of dive sites on hand.

Brissare Rocks A lovers nest © Elizabeth Fideria

Those fortunate enough to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra, the largest raised coral atoll on earth, will find themselves in a truly unique environment. Here is an opportunity for current dives through the mouth of one of the most remarkable lagoons on the planet.

All diver training in Seychelles is conducted by internationally qualified instructors most of whom are members of PADI, the professional Association of Diving Instructors. As well as introductory courses for the beginner, keen participants can progress to the basic ‘SCUBA Diver Qualification or gain a full certification as an Open Water Diver.

Now, more than ever, is the time to visit Seychelles and to discover just how extraordinary – and affordable! – diving can be. All in one of the very last natural aquariums on our planet where pristine waters, leisurely diving schedules and an astonishing variety of marine life all conspire to offer one of the finest dive vacations around.

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