Shore Day Trip Live Aboard
Country: Tanzania Area: Zanzibar
Water Temp: 25 - 30°C (77 - 86°F)
Visibility: 10 - 30m (33 - 98 ft)
Unspoilt by the effects of mass tourism, with year round sunshine and a great close by reef, Zanzibar is an ideal scuba diving destination.
Zanzibar Archipelago off the coast of Tanzania consists of two large islands, Unguja and Pemba, also with many small islands. Unguja is the local name for the main island which is commonly known internationally as Zanzibar. The island is pretty easy to reach from mainland Africa with an airport that accepts flights from Kenya and mainland Tanzania. You can also catch a boat across from Dar-es-Salaam port which only takes an hour and a half if you catch a fast boat.
Zanzibar has a tropical climate so is warm year round, but does have seasons determined by the Indian Ocean monsoon winds and this change in winds brings rain for the beginning of each season. In November and through to December the Kasikazi winds from the north bring short rains, which tend to be no more than short bursts between brilliant warm sunshine.
Then again, in April, the Kusi winds bring the long rains which are heaviest between April and June. Even with these rains the diving conditions are still excellent and sometimes better than the drier periods, so don’t let this put you off travelling during these times. The water temperature is warm year round and varies from 24C during the long rains to 30C during November and the short rains.
The diving in Zanzibar is mostly on the East side of the island and can be undertaken either by day boat or by liveaboard. Both are good options and the choice just depends on your situation and preference. For example whether it is a totally dive focussed holiday or you want to experience other activities, or maybe if you are travelling with non divers or a family. Either option you can still dive lots of exciting sites with an abundance of marine life.
Some of the best diving is located at the Mnemba Atoll, with calm, shallow dives on the inside of the lagoon and sheer walls on the outside means it caters for everyone. A must dive for keen, advanced divers is the Big Wall, done as a drift dive where you can regularly spot turtles which breed on the island and in season it is a good site to see Reef Sharks, Whale Sharks and Humpback Whales swimming past in the blue. Another spectacular dive site for experienced divers is a pinnacle in the Pemba Channel called Leven Banks, this site has strong fast currents but also attract large pelagic such as Reef Sharks and Hammerheads.
The beaches of Zanzibar are important nesting zones for Green and Hawksbill Turtles both of which are endangered and decreasing in number. Both used to be hunted in Zanzibar for their meat or pretty shells and now due to the decreasing numbers there are a few conservation projects on the island which protect these beautiful animals and also educate the local community. One of these on a nesting beach in Nungwi marks and protects nests then when they hatch they collect up the cute newborn turtles and nurture them in an aquarium environment. Once the turtles are 10 months old they are released back into the ocean and their extra size and age greatly increases their chances of survival. These sanctuaries are open to tourists and definitely worth a visit to see the turtles at close range and contribute to projects such as these which will help ensure that future generations of divers can also enjoy seeing turtles in the wild.
No visit to Zanzibar would be complete without experiencing the rest of the island. You can take a Spice tour to the plantations and learn about the sheer number of spices and there uses, visit the historic Stone Town or trek through the Jozani Forest Reserve home to the rare Red Columbus Monkey which is endemic to Zanzibar.
There are also excellent trails that are great for nature lovers. Zanzibar is a must for any divers that want a different holiday away from the usual tourist traps, a quiet location with unspoilt beauty with excellent diving.
I spent the mornings diving and afternoon's snorkeling. Some amazing dives. Most around 35-75feet deep. Great creature life. Very warm water 82degrees.
You too can create a short report to let other divers know about the experience you have had at this location!
It can be handy in a few different ways:
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2. Divers can see which animals have been seen here recently
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