Dive Sites of Alphonse (less than 20 minutes away)

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Dive Sites of Alphonse (less than 20 minutes away)

Sep 28, 2017

Alphonse Island in the Seychelles offers its guests a unique look into this stunning corner of the Indian Ocean. Located in the Outer Island of the Seychelles, Alphonse Island Lodge gives visitors the opportunity to explore the expansive beaches and coconut groves as well as a closer look at the underwater realm that surrounds the Island and its neighbours. One of the best ways to experience this underwater world, besides viewing it from above when kayaking or snorkelling, is diving into it at one of the exceptional scuba diving sites.

Arguably the best scuba diving destinations in the Seychelles, Alphonse is home to a PADI accredited Dive Centre - the only one in the Outer Islands. Diving excursions here are lead by a team of trained guides which have been diving this area since the Dive Centre opened. The team is therefore exceedingly knowledgeable about the different marine life, tides and special vantage points of each of the 30 dive sites around Alphonse.

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With so many exotic species to see and different sites to explore, let’s dive right into the Dive Sites of Alphonse Island (located less than 20 minutes away):

House Reef
Location: Alphonse Lagoon, in front of Dive Centre
Depth: 0 - 6m
House Reef is made up of a mini wall-like reef with many cuts and a sandy bottom. The main wall is made up of massive orange and blue Boulder Coral with smaller Branching and Plate Corals below. The shallows hold vivid pink Mushroom Coral which is also where you can find a variety of resident fish like brightly coloured Butterflyfish, Snapper and Damselfish. Schools of Surgeonfish and Bluefin Trevally can also be seen patrolling the outer wall and divers might even be surprised by a visit from a huge Giant Trevally. The coral caves here make excellent homes for several large Grouper while Shrimp-Goby and Pipefish favour the sandy bottom along with Sea Cucumbers and the occasional Stingray.
Currents at House Reef: Visibility is affected by the tidal movements here so be sure to check with the dive team for the best times to visit the site.
Special Feature: This site is ideal for Discover Scuba Diving / Try Dives and Refresher Courses. It gives divers a comfortable introduction before experiencing the amazing outer reefs of the Alphonse and St. François Atolls.

MoustacheTriggerfishBluelinedSnapper
Moustache Triggerfish and Bluelined Snapper

Pinnacles
Location: 15 minutes by boat, South-East Alphonse
Depth: 7 - 40m
The Pinnacles are 3 large coral formations at a depth of 25m reaching up to 15m which sticks out from the slope. A deep plateau drops off again at 40m and offers a lovely spot to hover and look out for Dogtooth Tuna, Potato Grouper and Silvertip, Bull and Grey Reef Sharks in the blue. At this depth the overhangs as well as the Pinnacles are covered in huge Sea Fans amongst which dense schools of Fusilier reside. The solid structures provide refuge from strong currents for schooling Bluelined, Black, Bohar and Humpback Snapper along with Nurse and Whitetip Reef Sharks. Some smaller species spotted here include the Tassled Scorpionfish, Lionfish and Nudibranch. A mini wall at 7 - 10m allows you to extend the dive and enjoy the colourful life of Branching Coral, Reef Fish and the occasional Stingray.
Currents at the Pinnacles: Currents at this site often switch which allows divers to move steadily to shallow waters.
Special Feature: Getting the time of day and tides right will result in the sighting of Sharks and Rays by simply waiting at the second drop-off. But otherwise, the scenery of the Pinnacles and the abundant life here still offers a wonderful diving experience.

Turtle Parade
Location: 15 minutes by boat, North-West Alphonse
Depth: 12 - 30m+
Turtle Parade holds a number of large fish-covered coral boulders on a plateau and a wall that goes down to 30m with several holes around the 15m mark. As the name would suggest, divers can expect to see many turtles during a single dive here. The site is also popular spot to see Giant Sweetlips, Grouper, many Moray Eels and also Lobsters. The wall holds a large number of purple Sea fans and is a great spot to stop and appreciate the scenery. From here you can also spot schools of Surgeonfish and Unicornfish while gazing into the blue awaiting that surprise visit from a Dogtooth Tuna or Eagle Ray.
Special Feature: Besides the chance to view many turtles, the site features a great drop-off and impressive Fan Corals all along the wall.

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Green Turtle swimming over Coral Reef

Wonderland
Location: 15 minutes by boat, West Alphonse
Depth: 5 - 15m on the plateau | 30m+ on the slope
Wonderland is home to tall Spur and Groove formations which extend across a plateau to drop off at 15m. The 2 - 3m high spurs are normally surrounded by shoals of Anthia as well as many Moray Eels, Shrimps and Nudibranch within the coral crevices. Within the grooves schools of Humpback Snapper, Bigeye Bream, Titan Triggerfish as well as Green and Hawksbill Turtles take shelter from the currents. On the upper plateau, massive coral heads are home to schools of Bohar Snapper and Chub with Seychelles Anemonefish around their base. Closer to the drop-off, large Coral Head formations extend out from the reef and provide a safe ‘bed’ for sleeping Nurse Sharks. Be sure to keep an eye out as the small overhangs of the reef’s smoothed drop-off serve as the perfect hiding place for Lobsters, Crabs and Tassled Scorpionfish. The surrounding open blue water is where divers can spot the likes of large Bluefin and Giant Trevally along with Eagle Rays gliding on by.
Special Feature: Wonderland is an excellent spot for macro photographers and ideal for beginners as there is rarely any currents.

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Nudibranch

East Side Wall
Location: 5 minutes by boat, East of Alphonse Channel
Depth: 6 - 16m
East Side Wall holds a mini wall with a collection of overhangs of colorful Soft Corals that extend east from a cleaning station for Napoleon Wrasse and Bohar Snapper found at 12m. Directly at the mouth is where Napoleon Wrasse usually gather with Garden Eel and Sting Rays sitting in the sand below. The site holds a number of overhangs with beautifully coloured coral roofing which offers shelter to Giant Sweetlips and Camouflage Grouper. At the base of the wall divers will be able to view a variety of incredible macrolife like Nudibranch, Porcelain Crabs and the Seychelles Anemonefish. Potato Cod and Bigeye Trevally can be found lingering at 14m and tends to approach divers for a closer look themselves. Towards the east where the wall flattens out, you can will often see schooling Snapper and Vampire Triggerfish.
Special Feature: This is a shallow but exciting dive that can have some drift and the occasional surprise visit from Sharks that venture in from the deep adjacent Canal Lambort.

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Giant Sweetlips

West Side Wall
Location: 10 minutes by boat, West of Alphonse Channel
Depth: 6 - 16m
West Side Wall consists of a mini wall with lots of overhangs that create large, safe spaces for sleeping Nurse Sharks and docile Giant Sweetlips along with Lobsters and Giant and Blackcheek Moray Eels. This site is also a highlight for those who wish to view and photograph macrolife as it plays host to a variety of Porcelain Crabs, Squat and Cleaner Shrimps, Octopuses, Leaf Scorpionfish and various Nudibranchs and Flatworms. During the dive you might even stray into the territory of several Potato Grouper - but nothing to worry about, they are inquisitive but harmless. Along the mini wall divers also have the chance to spot Batfish, Bluefin Trevally and Oriental Sweetlips - a true feast for the eyes.
Special Feature: West SIde Wall is an easy and relaxing dive site ideal for beginners and those who wish to enjoy a wide variety of marine life, particularly macrolife.

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South Cave
Location: 10 minutes by boat, South Alphonse
Depth: 6 - 25m
South Cave is a huge overhang below a shallow wall that sits on the southernmost extreme of Alphonse Atoll. Surrounding the cave is a gentle sandy slope covered in Tubastrea colonies that continues to great depth. The cave is an oasis for reef life and serves as shelter for big Angelfish, Turtles, Grouper and Sharks. The dive starts or ends in a sandy area with isolated coral; heads where you can find species like Mantis Shrimp, schools of Snapper, Fusilier, Nudibranch, Emperor and Big Napoleon Wrasse.
Currents at South Cave: The currents can be quite strong which makes this a site for advanced divers. It can only be dived in good weather conditions.
Special Feature: Along with the diverse selection of species found here, South Cave holds beautiful pink, orange and white Sea Fans and Lace Coral which makes it a favoured spot for divers to stop and enjoy the scenery.

BlueStreakFusilier_2Blue Streak Fusilier

Grouper Gangway
Location: 15 minutes by boat, South-East Alphonse
Depth: 16 - 20m
The gentle rubble slope that swells along most of this side of the atoll is interrupted by a mini wall at 18m. Here the fish gather in abundance including many different species of Grouper and Scorpionfish as well Turtles and Whip or Manta Rays. This site also gives you the best chance of spotting a number of different Moray Eels including the Honeycomb Moray Eel. At certain times of the year, the reef is dominated by algae which brings with it a plethora of colourful herbivorous species such as Butterflyfish and Parrotfish. The flat bottom composition and concentrated marine life also makes it a popular hunting ground for Sharks like Nurse, Grey and Bull Sharks. The surface waters are often full of schooling Needlefish of considerable sizes and schools of Rainbow Runner have been known to pass by in the blue.
Special Feature: When the north-west monsoon blows strong, this is the best site to find calm, fish-filled and clear waters.

GiantMoray_3Giant Moray Eel

Channel
Location: 5 minutes by boat, South Alphonse
Depth: 5 - 20m
This dive takes you through the only break in the reefs of Alphonse Atoll. With the aim to dive the incoming tide, you start at the sandy outer drop-off where various Shark species, large Napoleon Wrasse and Grouper reside. From here, you fly over the reef and through the shallow channel - this route will take you past a Triggerfish nesting ground, an Ind-Pacific cleaning station, fields of Fire Coral and a large aggregation of Bohar Snapper.
Special Feature: Channel can be an especially exciting dive on a spring tide when the currents are strongest. Alternatively, you can choose to dive on one of the highlights during neap tide.

NurseShark_2Nurse Shark

Bluewater Stop
Location: 10 minutes by boat, West Alphonse
Depth: 12 - 30m
Bluewater Stop can be found on the westernmost point of Alphonse where the currents can get quite strong and scour the seabed. Due to this fact, most of the marne life is found between the depths of 12 - 20m along the drop-off. Schooling fish such as the impressive Bluefin Trevally are quite common with the addition of interesting macro-life like Leaf Scorpionfish. This site is also where divers will get to see more of the rare Moray Eel species found here.
Special Feature: Being located on the point of the Island, this site can be counted on for clean water and surprise encounters with pelagics from the open ocean.

BluefinTrevally_2Bluefin Trevally

Flyaway Highway
Location: 15 minutes by boat, North Alphonse
Depth: 15 - 30m
North Alphonse is known for the currents that move off the point of the Island. Quite unlike any other dive site, the drop-off at 16m is covered in black Tubastrea Corals and under the overhangs you can find Gorgonian Sea Fans and Black Corals. A number of large boulders at depth add to the mysterious nature of this different dive site. Special dive procedures are briefed due to strong currents at the site that might end your dive in the blue. But otherwise, the dive will shallow up on the bare plateau which is a haven for tiny Shrimp and Nudibranchs.
Special Feature: This is quite an unpredictable dive site where you don’t know whether you’ll see large, inquisitive Groupers, Sharks or macro-life - very exciting!

Seafan_4Gorgonian Sea Fan

Be sure to also explore more about the Dive Sites at Bijoutier Island and the Dive Sites of St. François.

Book your scuba diving experience today and explore the Alphonse dive sites right on your doorstep!



Tags:
Category: Scuba Diving

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