Snorkel Trip with Geoli Charters (Praslin)
There was 100% chance of rain according to Google but we awoke to sunshine, yay! We were picked up by van a little after 9am at our hotel, the driver was running late because the first couple wasn’t ready. Total of six of us on the boat, us plus an Italian couple and a French couple. Definitely recommended to use the included pick up as there was no easy place to park, plus the boat dropped us off in a different bay!
After a 10 minute boat ride we reached the first dive spot off the east coast of Praslin. I had Dramamine at the ready just in case the waves were too intense on the inter-island trips but I felt fine. The diving around this spot had a good amount of fish, but much of the coral was dead.
Our next stop was Curieuse Marine National Park, just across the channel from Praslin. We got dropped off and hung out on the beach for 45 minutes, then walked with our guide Ryan to the reserve area where all the tortoises hang out. Along the way we passed by some great viewpoints and a mangrove forest with an extensive boardwalk and placards with information.
For lunch we enjoyed a bbq of fish, chicken and cucumber salad along with a local Seybrew (our first of the trip). It tasted like a typical lager, refreshing on a hot day. At this point Eric was eager to do more snorkeling as rain clouds had started to form but we were left to explore / hang out for another hour after lunch.
Once we got on the boat again, it was a longer trek to St Pierre Island where lots of boats were moored and people were snorkeling but you could see through the glass bottom that all the coral was dead. The island above was scenic so we snapped a few photos and continued to a different spot for our second dive, near Anse La Farine.
The second spot was amazing! It felt like being in a fish tank – so many types of fish. We even saw two sea turtles under the boat on the approach. The photos would have been better if it was sunny but the clouds meant less chance of a sunburn.
We snorkeled for a bit even after it started raining, then ended the trip with a rum punch, and very wet boat ride to the nearest road on Praslin, and then a rather soggy transfer back to the hotel. We paid in rupees on the boat, 3300src for both of us ($230). All told I think this was worth a day trip but the ‘down time’ was too much for us – we would have preferred a third snorkeling spot and less beach time. Our guide was fantastic though and very knowledgeable.
Half-Day Snorkel Trip with Lizzy Tours (La Digue)
On the day of our scheduled tour, we awoke to steady rain. I Whatsapped the tour company to see if the snorkel trip would still be on and they said no, so we rescheduled for the following day. The next day we biked over to the marina and left our bikes with a ton of others, found the captain, and at 9:30am our group of 10 boarded the boat.
Our first stop was Felicite Island, about a 15 minute ride to the east of La Digue. At this first stop we saw lots of fish and the water was pretty clear. We passed Coco Island but didn’t stop there because the captain said the reef was badly damaged after the tsunami in 2006 and hadn’t recovered, so snorkeling was better elsewhere.
Big Sister island, our second stop, was my favorite, not only because you were surrounded by fish the moment you jumped in the water but I saw my first sea turtle!!! My heart nearly stopped I was so excited. The clarity here was the best of all three stops and some of the coral is starting to return.
Our last stop was Little Sister and by now my eyes were burning from the salt water so it was a short dive for me. The coral was better here but the water clarity was pretty cloudy at the surface, so you needed to dive down a few feet to see better. Still saw lots of interesting fish though.
At 1000scr per person ($70) for three hours, I think this is a solid option to do some extra snorkeling on La Digue. The crew was friendly and helpful as well. Note that the website says credit is accepted but we needed to pay in cash on the day. Thankfully there are a couple ATMs near the jetty.