Scuba Diving in Zanzibar

Scuba Diving
a Diver taking a picture of a Fire urchin

Zanzibar is an island surrounded by crystal clear, pristine, green waters that are simply brimming with life. The island is a diver’s paradise and holds a sterling reputation as being one of the best dive centers in the world. With visibility that can stretch down to 60 meters and coral beds abundant with life, it is no surprise that sea lovers flock to the island of Zanzibar to see what lies beneath.

The waters that surround the island have plenty of magnificent spots for diving; among the most popular are the wrecks of Stone Town and the Mnemba Atoll.

Stone Town

The reefs around Stone Town allow divers the chance to see plenty of micro life clinging to the soft and hard coral beds that flower on the bottom of the sea. There are also no less than three ship wrecks here waiting to be discovered. Bawe Island is the perfect place for exploring the bright and beautiful corals that seem almost otherworldly with their dazzling colors and miniscule blooming patterns.

The wreck sites include The Great Northern, The Royal Navy Lighter and The Penguin. All three sites provide excellent opportunities for spotting some first class sea life, including stingrays, barracuda, schools of rainbow runners and even reef sharks! The difficulty of the three sites vary with The Great Northern being a magnificent spot for beginners to test the waters and The Penguin being exclusively for experienced divers who don’t mind kicking down into the black depths.

Mnemba Atoll

This area is world famous when it comes to diving and a true paradise for divers wanting to see another side to Zanzibar. The West Gardens are the perfect place for novice snorkelers to practice putting their face in the waters whereas The Big Wall serves up a dramatic drop down to 50m as you descend down the underwater wall in a dream like silence.

All the sites around Mnemba Atoll serve up some stunning opportunities to see beautiful beds of coral, bright parrot fish, flounders and large green turtles solemnly drifting through the blue. On the wall you can explore the overhangs and usually spot a vibrant red lobster ducking back into its cave.

Yet one of the unrivalled highlights of the area is the chance to see bottle nosed, spinner and common dolphins twisting and turning through the waters, breaking the surface and playfully splashing with their kin as they tumble and roll through the rippling ocean.

If you get really lucky you may even be treated to the awe inspiring sight of a humpbacked whale gliding past so close that you could almost reach out and touch it! There’s a reason Zanzibar is famed for its awe inspiring diving and the wide abundance of life can’t be matched anywhere else in the world!

Staying Safe

The water temperature in Zanzibar is a welcoming 27 degrees throughout the year with great visibility making it the perfect place to learn how to dive, to perfect your skills or even to top up your diving qualifications. There are wide choices of diving centers offering great packages and an abundance of opportunities from night diving to drift diving.

During the months of February and March you have the best chance of catching marine activity as these are the months of marine migrations being underway. High winds in May and June can make planning diving excursions difficult and October is great month for calm waters and maximum visibility.

Stay safe in the waters by ensuring the company you choose have professional divers to help guide you, is PADI listed and has all the equipment you need to get the most out of your diving experience.