Diving and Snorkeling in Zanzibar - Fit for All Levels of Divers

Diving and Snorkeling in Zanzibar Tanzania – Fit for All Levels of Divers

Beginners, intermediates, and advanced divers will find a wide selection of options if going for diving and best place for snorkeling in Zanzibar.


Diving and snorkeling in Zanzibar, Tanzania may not rate well when compared to top diving destinations, like the Malaysia Sipadan, then Blue-Hole. But we believe this is doing it a disservice. Those looking for a couple of picturesque dives’ while on vacation in Zanzibar should definitely check out the islands of Mafia and Pemba, which are located to the North and south of Zanzibar, respectively; and if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, northern Mozambique is only a short flight away.


Overview of Diving and Best Snorkeling Spots in Zanzibar Islands

As we indicated in the introduction, diving and snorkeling in Zanzibar is not something that we usually recommend to clients who want to take more than a few dives because the inner reef is limited and there aren’t a lot of diverse possibilities. However, please see the following for a summary of a few of the important areas for diving and best snorkeling in Zanzibar:


Mnemba Island: This tiny atoll has a moderate dive to roughly 18 metres with sandy buttocks, making it a fantastic dive location for those just starting out and one of the best beaches in Zanzibar for snorkeling. The coral cover is good, and it’s close to some of the Island’s greatest garden reefs, so you can easily combine it with a day of snorkeling.

Kizimkazi Reef: Possibly the only area that is truly excellent for diving and snorkeling in Zanzibar, it is located just south of Unguja Lodge. This area is part of an inner reef system that goes out to the barrier reef, which is not as deep or as complete as it is along the Island’s southern boundaries because it is south facing. While there isn’t much in the way of a beach on the property, it is a strong candidate for people interested in best snorkeling beaches in Zanzibar. 

Kizimkazi - Zanzibar Southwest
Kizimkazi – Zanzibar Southwest


Off-Stone Town: The Island’s west coast holds a good diving area located near Stone Town. While not reef diving, this inner waterway between Zanzibar and the mainland Tanzania features a plethora of submerged wrecks to explore. There is a little more current to contend with because this is channel diving.


The List of Recommended Lodges to Stay If Going for Diving and Snorkeling in Zanzibar: 

Includes Mnemba, Unguja, Echo Beach, and Ras Nungwi.


Diving on Mafia Island

This small, tranquil Island off the coast is one of just two places in the world that genuinely offers excellent diving. But on the other hand, because the outer barrier for much of the early dives is the reef, the island is not considered the best place for snorkeling in Zanzibar. It provides a passionate and adept diver with a week of busy diving schedule.

This marine park is located on the Island of Mafia and is open to visitors. Since its establishment in 1996, Tanzania’s first legal marine conservation zone has seen a decline in the use of dynamite by local fishermen. As a result, it is now the premier diving spot on the Island, with cave diving, wall diving, bouldering, and drift diving among the options.


Suggested Lodges Stay at While in Mafia Island:

Some of the recommended properties are Ras Mbisi, Chole Mjini, Kinasi and Pole Pole.

Ras Mbisi Lodge in Zanzibar
Ras Mbisi Lodge in Zanzibar



Diving on Pemba Island

It is located in Zanzibar to the North. It is undoubtedly a place to visit in Zanzibar for diving and may be a bit of snorkeling in Zanzibar if you are keen diver, just as Mafia Island. Pemba island diving will, once again, keep a mid-levelled to a standard state of the art diver engaged for more than a week, thanks to marine shoals love for the Island.


Suggested Lodges:

Fundu Lagoon and The Manta Resort are two recommended properties.


Diving in Northern Mozambique

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be on the lookout for new and fascinating diving spots to visit. Our MD, Nick, spent a few years as a child working in Fiji and, as a result, has spent a few years diving everywhere he travels across the world. In his opinion, the diving off Northern Mozambique is on par with some of the best diving he has seen anywhere (including the Indonesia Island’s Flores, the Similan Islands’ in Thailand, the Mamanuthas in Fiji, the Galapagos and Tahiti). Lots of deep diving (average depth of roughly 40m) at first, followed by shallower inner barrier diving. If you want it, many of the lodges here provide diving that can be customized to any skill level, so even a beginner would benefit from visiting. 

Other Recommended Information

  • Snorkeling in Zanzibar prices – Compare prices from different operators on Tripadvisor
  • Snorkeling in Zanzibar safari blue – The operator “Safari Blue” is definitely one to explore if you are looking to go snorkeling or diving in Zanzibar due to the great reviews from other tourists who used their service. Here is the operator’s website https://safariblue.net/

For more articles related to Things to Do in Tanzania, click here!

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