I visited Mauritius twice in 2022, and unfortunately, on the first visit I got COVID, so I wasn’t able to do as much as I would have liked. But when we went back a couple of months later I was determined to get in the water and go diving.
We had done some research about the diving sites in Mauritius and learned that while most of the best diving sites are in the north, there were still some sites around the east that would be worth visiting. We were staying in the east on this trip and didn’t rent a car.
Picking a dive center in Mauritius
We dived with two companies in eastern Mauritius and being completely transparent, we did not like the first company that we went with. As relatively new divers (I’ve done about 30 dives over 3 years), there are a few things we look for in a diving center. The first thing we look for is a good overall vibe. We like to vibe well with the people who work there, and we want to go diving with people who are as stoked about diving as we are.
The second thing that we look for is small group sizes. I don’t like to dive in groups bigger than 4 people (5 with the dive master). At the first dive center, we visited we were told that their group sizes were no bigger than 4, but when we showed up on the day of the dives, we went with a group of 7.
Showing up and finding out that we’d be going down with 7 people was a bit overwhelming. Then they didn’t really listen to us or assist us with our wetsuits and weights that we’d need. Overall they seemed more annoyed that we were there.
After two dives with them, we decided that we didn’t want to do anymore. Instead, we chose to dive with a different company at our next hotel and the experience was so much better.
The first dive center was with Crystal Diving Center (in the east) and the second dive center was at Solana Beach Resort and it was called Prestigious Explorer.
Now let’s talk about what you’re really here for! The diving!
Eastern Mauritius Diving Guide
In eastern Mauritius, there is a reef that you have to ‘exit’ in order to get to most of the dives. There are a couple of dives within the reef, one of those is a drift dive that we ended up doing with Crystal Diving Center.
Belle Mare Pass
Belle Mare Pass is a drift dive in east Mauritius. You get dropped off within the reef and then drift through where you get picked up on the other side. In my opinion, I would say that this is an advanced dive. The current is very, very strong and at times you’re flying through so fast that you bang into each other and don’t have a chance to look around. You’ll be dragged along for most of the dive until you get to one point where our dive instructors had us all hold onto a big rock and let the current drag all around us. Overall I would describe my experience in this dive as stressful. Once again, the group was way too big, there was no order and everyone spent the entire time in each other’s way.
After you get out of the pass you’ll have an additional 20 minutes to explore at a much slower pace to finish the dive. During this time we saw a beautiful white leaf fish and a black blotched string ray.
Our overall dive time for the Belle Mare Pass was 51 minutes. Our max depth on the Belle Mare Pass was only 17.7 meters.
The first dive that we did with Crystal diving center was the Raunglarp Wreck. The wreck itself wasn’t very interesting as it was an extremely new wreck so it hadn’t really developed an ecosystem of its own yet. But the way the ship sat in the dark water, surrounded by bright white sand was really cool.
On this dive, we saw lots of puffer fish (they’re all over Mauritius!), a big moray eel, porcupine fish, and a beautiful broad-barred lionfish.
Our overall dive time was 43 minutes and our max depth was 28.8 meters.
Sea Fan Forest
The third and final dive that we did in eastern Mauritius was with the Prestigious Adventure diving center and they took us to the Sea Fan forest. That dive was amazing.
I had trouble descending, with my ears, and our guide came straight back up to my level to help me regulate my ears and come down safely. I did not feel like I would have gotten that same help and attention from the first dive company but I was so glad to have his help. Once I was able to descend it was breathtaking.
Neither of us had ever seen sea fans like that and they were incredible. We swam through the sea fans and were surrounded by fish at all times. And the thing that I really love about Mauritius is that the ocean is so dark, but the sand is stark white. The contrast is amazing.
On this dive, we saw a big moray and spotted a moray eel. We also saw big trigger fish and puffer fish. And lastly, we saw the biggest bannerfish that we had ever seen! Most of them were the size of my head at least!
Diving with Prestigious Adventures Diving Center
Diving with Prestigious was such a better experience and I would feel good recommending them to you. We had a small group and our dive master was so excited to show us Mauritius. He went through all of the fish we saw and explained the dive really well before we went.
Overall it was a great experience. The Sea Fan forest ended up being a 48-minute dive for us and we went to a max depth of 33 meters.
We dived with Prestigious while we were staying at Solana Beach. Read more about our experience here.
Where should you go diving in Mauritius?
After speaking with everyone in Mauritius and doing the dives that we did, I would have to recommend that you do some diving in the north as well. If we went back to Mauritius it would be specifically for diving in the north. I think that’s where their coolest dive sites are. We just didn’t have time to make that work on this trip.
Cost of diving in Mauritius
For two dives for two people with Crystal Diving, we paid $230. And then for the one dive that we did with Prestigious (for two people), we paid $174. Diving in Mauritius was obviously much, much more expensive than in Thailand. That’s why we only did 3 dives during our trip. We both would have loved to do more but travel in Mauritius was getting expensive.
The overall experience of diving in Mauritius
I really hope that this post has helped you plan for your own dives in Mauritius. When I was researching diving in Mauritius I felt like I was getting a lot of stock images and researched information. And not a lot of personal experience. I wanted to share my personal experience with diving in Mauritius and what you could expect based on that!
At the end of the day though, there is some beautiful diving in Mauritius. It’s definitely something that you should do during your trip!
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