Sunday, 21 January 2018

Moheli diving

The Comoros is not a well-known tourist destination, and Moheli, the smallest of the Union's three islands, is even less so. Even in Reunion friends and acquaintances would look at me blank-faced when I mentioned where my next dive destination was. To be honest with a total of only 400-500 visitors per year the island is definitely off the beaten path. At the time of writing getting to Moheli entails a domestic flight via Grande Comore (flights between Moheli and Mayotte are not currently operating); Grande Comore can be reached with flights from Reunion, Mayotte and Madagascar and from Europe via Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam or Addis Ababa.

Laka Lodge dive centre (on a windy day). As it's on the beach we patted down
our wetsuits every time to make sure no insect had taken refuge inside!

Unless you bring all your own equipment, any diving you do on Moheli will take place from the Dive Centre of Laka Lodge, a 3-star hotel located on the south coast of Moheli opposite the Marine Park of Moheli. The Park was created in 2001 and covers practically the entire southern coast of the island and encompasses 8 islets. 

sunset over some of the Marine Park islets

Diving is possible all year round and groups of up to 6 to 8 divers can be accommodated, although when we were there it was only ever just my husband and I or one other diver. All dives are without decompression for reasons of security as the nearest decompression chamber is in Mayotte. Depending on when you visit you may be accompanied by a dive master as opposed to an instructor, so try dives and training may not be possible year-round. We were there in January, but I believe September is actually the best time of year to dive Moheli in terms of weather conditions. Humpback whales can be seen from July to October.

map of Moheli showing the main dive sites

Below are a few photos from the nine dives we did there on six different dive spots. We also saw - but don't have decent photos of - barracudas, a small nurse shark, octopi and various mantis shrimps.

General view of the reefs, Glass Reef 

Moray eel, Glass reef

Leaf fish, Glass reef 

me looking at fan coral, Ras Kanzoni

me and a green turtle 

at Magic Rocks

at Mtsaka Point

Box fish, Mtsaka Point

at Mtsaka Point

rock shrimp, Magic Rocks

at Magic Rocks

cowrie shell with mantle, Masters 

scorpion fish at Mtsaka Point

Blue-spotted stingray, Masters

juvenile ribbon eel, Masters 

Guineafowl pufferfish, Glass Reef 

Lobster, Glass Reef 

Oriental sweetlips, Glass Reef

Coral, Glass Reef

two mangrove whiptail rays who had just finished mating

Puffer fish, Tombant des Phantomes 

Moray eel, Tombant des phantômes 

more lobsters, Tombant des Phantomes

The Comoros are of course well-known as being home to coelacanths but we had no such luck as of course we weren't diving that deep!

See also:

Further reading:

No comments:

Post a Comment