La Digue is synonymous with a laid-back way of life. People go there to forget about the mundane schedules of their daily life and spend a few days relaxing in the tranquil environment. However, that's not all as the little island can also boost up your adrenaline levels by providing you great opportunities for scuba diving, in the form of some well known and some not so well known spots, and irrespective of whether you are an expert in the field of diving or still a newbie.
Given below is a list of some fascinating diving spots around La Digue.
Popular Diving Spots in La Digue
1. Ave Maria
Located north-west of the coast of La Digue, this is one of the most popular diving spots around the island. It is well suited for all kinds of divers and due to the presence of a plethora of marine life which includes parrotfish, batfish, napoleon wrasses, sea anemones, giant moray eels, eagle rays, sting rays, reef sharks, lobsters, octopuses, turtles occasionally and beautiful corals. The terrain at this site is characterised by the presence of granite rocks and has a maximum depth of around 25m with the presence of currents. Visibility varies from 10 to 30m depending on the season. Ave Maria is easily accessible by boat from La Digue.
2. White Bank
This is another great scuba diving spot west of Ave Maria, close to Praslin island. Characterised by the presence of granite rocks which form dark corners, tunnels and nooks, it provides a perfect hideout for fishes like snappers, fusiliers, jackfish along with giant sea basses and guitar sharks. At White Bank, drivers can achieve a maximum depth of around 22m.
3. Channel Rock
Channel Rock has always fascinated divers due to the presence of plenty of whale sharks! The site has a maximum depth of 25m along with a terrain that is sandy and has powerful currents, so it's more for the experienced diver. Apart from whale sharks, expect to see eagle rays, white tip reef sharks, napoleon fish, hump head fish, surgeon fish, groupers, snappers, sponges and also some small reef fish.
4. Anse Marron Bank
As the name suggests, this diving site is close to Anse Marron and lies on the south-western part off La Digue. Scuba divers at Anse Marron Bank can dive between depths of 10-26m, and there are strong currents favouring drift diving. In between the granite formations and coral reefs here, which form caves and arches in some places, look out for grey reef sharks and some other species of large and small fish.
5. Pate Anse Severe
Lying a little offshore from Anse Severe in the north of the island, Pate Anse Severe is also an ,excellent scuba diving spot, providing you opportunities to witness underwater creatures like octopus, sea turtles, sea anemones and various fish species such as stonefish, shoals of snappers, schools of eagle rays, moorish idols, clownfish and surgeonfish. In Pate Anse Severe, there are some currents but these aren't very strong, and it has a maximum depth of 16m, so it is rather shallow compared to other sites.
6. Shark Rock and Cayman Rock
These two diving sites are located just beside each other on the south-western side off La Digue. They are slightly farther from the island as compared to the sites above but rest assured, they won't disappoint you. If you choose to dive there, get ready to be welcomed by stingrays, eagle rays, reef sharks, barracudas, jackfish and many more. The good news is that this place is well suited for both novices and veterans in scuba diving and has a maximum achievable depth of 20m.
7. Marriane Rock
Marriage Rock lies on the south-eastern side off Felicite island, away from La Digue, but it's worth the travel due to the abundance of underwater life like large moray eels, shoals of batfish, old hawksbill turtles, schools of big-eye snappers and yellow snappers, fusiliers, lobsters, and so on. The terrain at this spot is sandy with some granite rocks forming swim-throughs where you might find fishes hiding. Divers can dive here between the depths of 12 to 20m. Close to Marriane Rock, South Marriane is also a great spot for scuba diving, with a greater depth of 23m, beautiful underwater topography and plenty of marine creatures like giant morays, jackfish, grey reef sharks, etc.
8. Sister Rock
Located on the northern part off Sister islands, and north-east from La Digue, Sister Rock is another popular diving site with a maximum depth of 24m. Here you can find yellowfin tuna, porcupine stingrays, grey reef sharks along with nice rock formations. However, at this spot, visibility can vary from time to time, and sometimes powerful drifts can be present. Around Sister Rock, there are some other equally good diving spots like North Sister Bank and East Sister Rock with some unique and rare creatures like clown triggerfish, Armitage angelfish and marbled grouper.
9. South Felicite Rock
This interesting scuba diving spot lies just south of Felicite island, east of La Digue and has vast mineral canyons and interconnected gullies. Expect to see nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays, convict tangs, bump head parrotfish, hawksbill turtles, wrasses and colourful corals. Divers here can reach depths of up to 23m, but one needs to beware of the strong drifts.
10. Coco Island
Coco Island is a tiny island north east of La Digue, near Felicite island and offers an astonishing variety of marine flora and fauna. Divers diving around the island frequently spots deep red anthias, pick-handle barracudas, blue damselfish, powder blue tangs, pristine coral reefs, etc. The place even has a marine park which is enough evidence of the marine life that it boasts of. However, an entry fee of SCR 158 has to be paid by scuba divers and snorkellers here which is usually included in the price of the diving trip. The depth of the site is around 18m.
Dive Operators In La Digue
In La Digue, there are only two dive operators:
1. Trek Divers, La Passe
Pocket pinch: SCR 2500 for a one day trip
2. Azzurra Pro Dive Centre (La Digue Island Lodge), Anse Reunion
Pocket pinch: SCR 700 to SCR 1100
Both of these dive operators will take you to all the previously stated diving sites. However, the faraway sites are less visited, sometimes once a week only. So, if you want to dive at those spots, make prior enquiries and plan accordingly. Costs will vary depending on the particular package that you choose. Some packages that include hotel accommodation along with multiple dive excursions will cost more, while some that include only a single dive will cost far less.
Best Time For Diving in La Digue
Just like the rest of Seychelles, in La Digue also scuba diving is feasible throughout the year. Hoe the best time is the transitional months of April-May and October-November when both the south-east trade winds and north-west monsoon winds are absent and the underwater conditions are apt for diving with water temperature of around 29 degrees Celsius and visibility as high as 30m and furthermore, plankton is also relatively less in seawater during these months.
Hopefully, all the above information would be helpful if you have plans to go diving when in La Digue. In fact, why shouldn't you? The underwater seascapes, the various species of submarine life that you will witness while scuba diving will be a lifetime experience and you will go home with so many pleasant memories!