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PADI in Mauritius – a great place to dive!

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Three years ago when I first started writing about Mauritius as a diving destination PADI had the World’s largest Oceanographic state with a GPS Mauritius pin firmly planted in….. Majorca.

No more.

Mauritius has just overtaken South Africa as the PADI Dive Centre hub for the Indian Ocean Region with the most PADI centres.  It is also becoming a conservationist’s delight, with plastics control, recycling and environmental controls, coral re-growth and increasing juvenile hatchings as the controls on fishing on the reefs take effect.

Many people start diving at Flic and Flac, where year- round diving is difficult, there is a lot of landmass pollution because of the rivers, and the highest population on the island has also come with its own environmental problems for divers, with dead and dying corals and unbalanced marine life. Strangely this area has sadly become the most well -known for diving.

Now that the Northern Reefs are becoming better known, divers are coming for a month at a time and they may never dive the same reef twice in the North with the discovery of the exceptional diving around the Northern Islands.

Mauritius now has 40 registered PADI diving centres to South Africa’s 39. Previously unknown as a diving destination, Mauritius has become a popular place for tourists who want to Discover Scuba or take a PADI course or two.  I had a coffee at the Pereybere Beach Café with Anders Heegard who is the Regional Manager of PADI for the Indian Ocean and Africa, where he has been for two and a half years.

Anders Heegard and the Ocean Spirit Team

He started in Denmark with cold water diving, and decided to do a PADI qualification, which was readily available in Denmark.

From there his career in diving has trended steadily upwards. “I went from Dive Master, to Instructor to Course Director, to Dive Centre manager, part owner, and eventually I was approached by PADI to become a Regional Manager.’ Said Anders.

He is energetic, a passionate diver and a PADI guru.

His recommendation to young divers who want a career? “Keep training and strive to become a better diver with every dive. We never stop learning, and for a career in PADI, it’s about teaching people, knowing the system, it’s about knowing about the structure of the organization.”

This man has done an incredible amount of work for diving in the Indian Ocean in two and a half years, both with his presence in his region, his dedication to diving centre support to his indefatigable attention to detail in his PADI Pro posts on Social Media.

Anders sees Mauritius as a natural PADI training ground for divers. It’s is an obvious choice as a diving destination for training, with its benevolent climate, year- round warm water, excellent year -round visibility and its superb safety record, together with an abundance of places to stay from 5-star resorts to tiny AirBNB apartments, a great social life, and lots of things to do. With 40 PADI Diving Centres and 3 resident course directors, this is a great place to kick start a diving career.


Words: Jill Holloway

Copyright Ocean Spirit: www.osdiving.com

Pics: Ronan Joffrennau and Jill Holloway

Jill Holloway lives in Mauritius and at Sodwana Bay Isimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa. A PADI qualified Nitrox diver with over 1,500 dives, she is a passionate observer and preserver of the marine environment, and has a database of over 35,000 fish pics and hundreds of Gopro videos on fish behaviour, which she shares with her readers.

Dive Training Blogs

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 1

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Over the next seven days, join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy as we publish a Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Deptherapy made the very brave decision to book an expedition to our home in Egypt as soon as Roots Red Sea received their certificate from the Egyptian Authorities that the camp and dive centre was COVID secure. Roots is one of very few resorts to receive a certificate from the Egyptian Government.

We arrived in Roots the day after they re-opened.

Getting together an expedition was a major task. Very few Approved Medical Examiners’ of Divers or Dive Referees are conducting consultations at the moment. Availability of beneficiaries and the requirement to quarantine on return from Egypt affected the number of beneficiaries available.

There was also a requirement to pass a COVID PCR virus test within 72 hours of travelling.

We had decided on a small expedition and on the day of travel we had six flying to Egypt.  Unfortunately, Chris Middleton had to drop out the day before we travelled after emergency wisdom tooth surgery.

Our group comprised of Richard Cullen, Michael Hawley, Tom Oates, Tom Swarbrick, Keiron Bradbury and Corey Goodson.  Keiron was undertaking his RAID Master Rescue Course and, as it turned out, Corey was undertaking the RAID Open Water 20 course.

A deserted Gatwick Airport at 0900 on 10 October

Our outbound flight was before midday on Saturday 10 October and I must admit we were all shocked at how deserted was.  Checking in with easyJet took minutes and when we boarded the plane, we found it less than half full.

Corey is a paraplegic since a car accident two years ago while he was training prior to joining the Royal Anglian Regiment.  Corey has no sensation below the waist and is unable to use his legs.  The cabin crew on our flight were quite amazed to see the two Toms and Michael lift him from his wheelchair and place him in his seat for the flight.

Mask protocols were strictly observed by the team, the flight was uneventful, and the easyJet Cabin Crew superb. We also took a digital thermometer to check temperatures prior to flying.

Corey having a pre-flight temperature check

Hurghada Airport was very quiet and we moved through Immigration and collected our baggage in very quick time.

Two things to note:  If you are travelling to Hurghada you need to complete a COVID declaration for the Egyptian Authorities. If not, you have to fill out the rather lengthy form when you arrive.  You can undertake a COVID test on arrival at Hurghada Airport but the queues are long.  It costs much less than the tests we had done in the UK – BUT – you are required to be quarantined at your hotel until the test result comes through.  This means two days with no access to resort facilities.  If the test comes back as positive you have at least two weeks being confined to your room.

COVID guidelines

Transport to Roots was, as ever, on hand and we were soon at the camp and being briefed about the COVID arrangements.  A lot of work has been put in place to make Roots COVID compliant – and all at considerable expense.

None of the usual hugs with the Roots team and you have your temperature checked every morning and every time you return from the dive centre.  Your dive kit is sterilised every night ready for the next day’s diving.

Sterilised Dive Kit

We all felt very COVID secure.

Check back for tomorrow’s Blog and our first day diving…


Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at www.deptherapy.co.uk

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And the winner of our TUSA Paragon S Mask competition is…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a TUSA Paragon S Mask from our good friends at CPS Partnership!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only one winner!

And that winner is…

  • Lee Evans from the UK.

Congratulations Lee – your prize will be on its way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

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