Why is November a Good Time to Visit the Indian Ocean Islands?
November can be a good month to visit the Indian Ocean Islands for a variety of reasons, although it’s important to remember that conditions are never guaranteed. It’s the beginning of the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, which means that the weather is generally warm and sunny. There’s also usually less rainfall in November than in other months of the year, making it a good time to enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and hiking. Let’s look at the different island destinations.
- Weather – November in Mauritius is generally warm and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 28 degrees Celsius. It’s one of the best months to visit Mauritius due to the sunny weather and an average water temperature of around 27°C. November usually experiences lower rainfall compared to the preceding months, making it drier and more comfortable to explore the island.
- Crowds – November falls just before the peak tourist season in Mauritius, which means fewer crowds and more tranquility.
- Marine Activities – The month of November is good for water sports. The sea conditions are generally favourable for water activities like snorkeling, diving, and sailing.
- Weather – Zanzibar also has warm and sunny weather in November, with average temperatures ranging from 26°C to 32°C. However, November is the tail end of the short rainy season in Zanzibar. So there is a slightly higher chance of rain in November than in other months of the summer season.
- Events – The International Triathlon & Marathon is hosted in Zanzibar every year and attracts competitors from all over the world. The triathlon and marathon take place in some of Zanzibar’s most scenic locations, making it a great event for both participants and spectators.
- End of Rainy Season – November marks the transition from the northwest monsoon to the southeast trade winds, signaling the end of the rainy season. While there may still be some showers, overall rainfall decreases. The average temperature ranges from 27°C to 32°C, and the water temperature is around 29°C.
- Wildlife – November is the nesting season for hawksbill turtles in some areas of Seychelles, offering a chance to witness this natural phenomenon.
- Weather – November heralds in the spring season in Réunion. The weather is mild, and the island is lush and green. This French island in the Indian Ocean has a more temperate climate than the other Indian Ocean island destinations. The average temperature ranges from 22°C to 28°C, and the water temperature is around 25°C.
- Hiking Conditions – The cooler temperatures and lower rainfall make November a good time for hiking in Réunion’s stunning landscapes, including the volcanic peaks.
- Floral Blooms – Spring brings blooming vegetation, adorning the island with colourful flowers, adding to its natural beauty.
- Weather – November is part of the dry season in the Maldives. While it’s technically the transition period between the southwest and northeast monsoons, it generally experiences less rainfall compared to the wetter months. The average temperature ranges from 28°C to 33°C, and the water temperature is around 29°C.
- Marine Life – The seas are often calm and clear during November, making it an excellent time for underwater activities such as snorkeling and diving. The visibility is typically good, allowing you to explore the colourful coral reefs and interesting marine life.
- Low Crowds – November falls between the peak and off-peak periods. This results in fewer tourists and a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere.
- Special Events – The Republic Day celebrations take place on 11th November commemorating the republican government replacing the Sultanate rule in 1968. It’s also the time when new Maldivian presidents are appointed, every five years. This is a wonderful time to try traditional foods, such as huni hakuru folhi, a type of coconut cake; bodibaiy, a sweet rice snack; and masroshi, a fish-stuffed pancake.
Here are a few activities to enjoy in Mauritius, Zanzibar, Seychelles, the Maldives, and Reunion in November:
- Mauritius – Go swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and diving at the many beautiful beaches. Visit the Black River Gorges National Park for hiking and wildlife watching.
- Zanzibar – Visit Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich history and culture. Relax on the bleached beaches of Nungwi or Kendwa. Take a boat trip to see dolphins and turtles.
- Seychelles – Visit the stunning beaches of Anse Lazio and Anse Source d’Argent. Go snorkeling and diving at the coral reefs around the islands. Visit the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its coco de mer palms.
- Maldives – Go swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and diving in the turqoise waters. Take a boat trip to see dolphins and manta rays.
- Reunion – Visit the Piton de la Fournaise, an active volcano where you can hike up to the summit. Go swimming and sunbathing at the beaches of Saint-Gilles-les-Bains and Étang-Salé-les-Bains. See the Cirque de Salazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its verdant rainforests and waterfalls.
No matter which destination you choose, you’re sure to have a wonderful time visiting Mauritius, Zanzibar, Seychelles, the Maldives, or Reunion in November.