As the world begins to open up, the Seychelles is leading the effort to bring back tourists. Here’s what you can expect when scuba diving Alphonse Island in the Seychelles.
Alphonse Island is a luxurious private-island resort situated in the outer islands of the Seychelles Archipelago. Diving around Alphonse Island means seeing an abundance of marine life — and an absence of crowds. It is not uncommon that divers could be the only ones in the area. The coral is healthy and unbleached, and the area is ready to welcome divers from all experience levels. Here are some of our picks for dive sites around Alphonse Island.
There are numerous reefs near Alphonse Island that offer excellent diving, all accessible via boat in under 30 minutes. The house reef is excellent for try-dives or refreshers while offering plenty to see.
Pinnacles consists of three large pinnacles that reach up to 50 feet (15 m), with a maximum depth of around 82 feet (25 m). The drop-off is the perfect place to spot dogtooth tuna, silvertip, bull, and gray reef sharks. Nurse and whitetip reef sharks often frequent this dive site as well.
West Side Wall provides ample opportunities to see macro life. It is between 20 to 53 feet (6 to 16 m) deep, making it perfect for photography. An abundance of nudibranchs, flatworms, leaf scorpionfish, octopus, crabs, and shrimp hang around on this dive site.
Bijoutier Island is a short boat ride away from Alphonse Island.
Napoleon is an open-water reef with many deep crevices and large coral formations. Nurse sharks and octopus often hide among the coral with emperor and yellow spot emperor fish swimming around in abundance. The reef is between 53 to 100 feet (16 to 30 m) deep, and hammerhead sharks, whitetip reef sharks, silvertips and green humphead parrotfish patrol the drop-off.
Secret Reef lies between 50 to 82 feet (15 to 25 m), and you can spot schools of snapper, emperor fish, jacks, and barracuda here.
St. François is another nearby island. Aquarium-like conditions make for easy and relaxed diving.
Three Sisters lies between 50 to 82 feet (15 to 25 m) deep. Three coral patches are home to a variety of groupers and snappers. Garden eels peek out from the sand and a cleaning station in the east, at around 43 feet (13 m), attracts yellowfin goatfish, blackspot snappers, bluestripe snappers, and Napoleon wrasse.
West End offers the best chance to see manta rays and green sea turtles. The site lies between 40 to 130 feet (12 to 40 m), with most marine life congregating around 52 feet (16 m).
Best time to visit the Seychelles
The Seychelles are affected by two trade winds. The northwest trade wind is present between November and March, while the southeast wind blows from May to September. The best travel (and diving) times are between April and May or October and November when the winds are less intense.
Dive sites around Alphonse Island boast up to 100 feet (30 m) visibility in warm, tropical waters. The dive sites offer a wide variety of diving with numerous tropical fish species, coral, macro life, and pelagic species. Dive sites around the outside islands are relatively close to Alphonse Island — and perhaps the best part is the absence of crowds.