Maldives vs Seychelles Diving?

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a13firman

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I'm looking to spend a week in either location. Anyone have thoughts on which has better diving? Most of the articles I've seen discuss the snorkeling, which as we all know doesn't really mean the same for diving.
 

jeff_MA

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Just saw this post so a late reply.

Both areas are fairly large but I would definitely say that the Maldives has better diving. Much of the Seychelles coral has been impacted by climate change and storms. Maldives has good coral and sharks and mantas.
 

Christian

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Unfortunatelly dead coral is common in the Maldives too due to several bleaching episodes, the worst one in the 1998 El Nino. Then a smaller in 2010 and another more severe in 2015-2016. Very little live coral in the shallows. But below 4-5 meters there are healthy reefs.
With that said and the fact that I haven’t dived in the Seychelles, I would still dare to say that the Maldives generelly is the better option for diving unless you venture down to the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles.
And there are sharks, mantas and other big fish/rays fairly abundant near many of the Maldivian tourist resorts. But the best dive experience is to be had from a liveaboard.
 

xmass-Eve

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I was so disapointed in the Maldives: all coral is gone! We had one dive site where there was a bit of soft coral but for the rest...There are lots of fish, yes, and on the Raa Atoll we always have mantas, the whole year through but for the rest... Been there, done it, but I don't think I will ever go back.
It was also kinda boring being on a resort island. You can not go anywhere else and all is really expensive. The Maldives are so overrated!

On the other hand: I never have been in the Seychelles.
 

CWK

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Never been to Seychelles but I do go to the Maldives.

I don’t really look at corals much as most of the time I’m looking into the blue. Sometimes I quite like what I see.


Must try the Seychelles when I want to look at corals but I’m told that the red sea and r4 are great for that.
 

Christian

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I was so disapointed in the Maldives: all coral is gone! We had one dive site where there was a bit of soft coral but for the rest...There are lots of fish, yes, and on the Raa Atoll we always have mantas, the whole year through but for the rest... Been there, done it, but I don't think I will ever go back.
It was also kinda boring being on a resort island. You can not go anywhere else and all is really expensive. The Maldives are so overrated!

On the other hand: I never have been in the Seychelles.

Seychelles have faced the same bleaching episodes as the Maldives have, so the general situation is the same. It can differ locally though depending on currents and bottom topography near the reef. In my last visit to the Maldives only a few months ago we could find healthy reefs that had full coverage of live coral. That was current swept reefs in channels near deep water. Coral in shallow waters where mostly in very bad shape, which has been the case for quite some time in the Maldives. Lots of fish though and plenty of sharks and rays. If a Maldivian resort island is a good or bad experience is very personal. Some just love it, even go there w/o diving. Others find it boring. So it's completely up to personal preferences and I think everyone needs to respect that. Personally, I wouldn't go to the Maldives for diving only. I agree it's too expensive to what you get diving wise. But I have found it can be a great destination to go with extended family and throw in a few dives every now and then.
 

DaddyJr

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I have dived in both Seychelles and Maldives.

In the Maldives I twice stayed at one of its southern island resorts, so I was limited to diving at dive spots relatively close to that island resort, presumably, if I stayed at numerous resorts I would have had access to a greater variety of dive sites, but I didn't. That meant that my dive site options were limited. At the same time, given that Maldives are corraline islands only, it means that the undersea terrain is always coral and/or sand. Also, I was limited to only diving with the only PADI Dive Resort on the island.

Seychelles are a mix of granitic and corraline islands. So the undersea terrain you will encounter can be granitic rocks and also corals. And if you are staying on the main island of Mahe you will be spoilt for choice with regards to the number of dive sites you can go to. In the Beau Vallon region there are a handful of PADI Dive Resorts, so you can fish around for the best deal, go with one that you prefer or try out several of them.

I can't say that I noticed any difference with the corals due to the bleaching episodes. I wouldn't make that a factor in my decision. I last dived in Seychelles last month (Feb 2018) and my last dive in Maldvies was when I was last there in Jan 2017.

If your trip is limited to one week I would therefore vote for Seychelles and I would recommend that you stay in the Beau Vallon region which is where there is a high concentration of PADI Dive Resorts. Full disclosure, I am from Seychelles and so I may be biased :)
 

Umuntu

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@DaddyJr, why do you limit yourself so explicitly to PADI Dive operations? Although I often dive with PADI shops, I have no doubt that other dive operations can also provide an equally good service.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/perdix-ai/

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