Mafia Island & Zanzibar Diving

Deep channels, vertiginous drop-offs and colourful coral make the Spice Islands a mecca for divers with a multitude of islands to choose from.

Overview

The warm, clear waters around the spice islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia offer great diving holidays, especially as an end to a Tanzania safari...

Zanzibar is the best known island – a flat coral atoll surrounded by fringing coral reefs to the east. The National Marine Parks at Chumbe Island and Mnemba protect the rich marine life.

Snorkellers and novice divers should also see plenty of colourful coral fish, moray eels, stingrays and lionfish. Dolphins, turtles, manta rays and whale sharks are commonly seen.

Zanzibar diving

Whale sharks migrate through Zanzibar’s waters in season from August to September and also from February to March. These harmless creatures are a magnificent sight, up to 14m in length with a 1.5m wide mouth.

The Leven Banks to the north of Zanzibar are ideal for advanced divers who can cope with the strong currents. Here you’ll find schools of kingfish, barracuda, tuna and reef fish as well as moray eels.

Zanzibar diving

Highlights

  • The coral atoll of Mnemba Island just off Zanzibar is one of the top diving sites in the Indian Ocean. Snorkellers and novice divers should also see plenty of colourful coral fish, moray eels, stingrays and lionfish. Dolphins, turtles, manta rays and whale sharks are commonly seen.
  • Pemba Island, north of Zanzibar lies in deep ocean. The Pemba Channel drops off steeply just off its west coast. The vertical coral walls drop over 300 metres and the marine life, coral and visibility here are superb.
  • Whale-shark sightings from August to September

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  • VisibilityOften over 30 metres (100ft)
  • VarietyOver 500 species

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