What you need to know about diving in the Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia

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It’s true what they say. Zanzibar has something for every kind of diver. Whether you’re a deep diver or a snorkeler, you’re sure to find this to be a wonderful experience. Choose from more than 30 dive sites that offer a huge range from wreck diving to wall and reef diving and enjoy your time in the water. The coral reefs here are spectacular and there are over 500 species of marine animals. The Indian Ocean maintains a 27 degree Celsius temperature and visibility is often more than 30m.

zanzibar island

If you’re a diver, then you must have heard of Levan Bank. This place is also a huge draw for big fish seekers thanks to its strong currents. You’re sure to find tuna, kingfish, and trevally here.  It’s not just the big fish. Zanzibar’s warm waters bring so many creatures that shelter in it. Dolphins and crocodile fish are some of the marine life that you can spot here.

For professional divers, the deep waters are a bigger draw. Once here, you can spot barracuda and whale sharks.  Zanzibar also gets its share of frogfish, nudibranchs and pipefish. If you’re looking for honeycomb morays and Bluefin trevally, night diving is recommended.

It’s not fun and games at Zanzibar. The country is one of the foremost places to sight the biggest fish of the ocean- the whale shark. You’ll be able to spot them and other creatures at the Mnemba Atoll, a 7km reef. If you’ve ever wanted to know what a conservation project should look like, then the Atoll is the place to be in and experience it.



Called the Green Island because of its fertile landscape, Pemba is, coast to coast about 35 miles north of Zanzibar. While agriculture is the mainstay for the people of the island, the blue waters off the coast of Pemba hold a huge attraction for the serious diver. By far the most popular site for diving, the Swiss Reef is something to be experienced. It’s actually an unbelievable underwater mountain range! If you’re an experienced diver, you can enjoy the fabulous sensation of drift diving here.

Pemba island

Shimba Hills and House Reef are perfect for the newcomer to the diving world.  Here you’ll find sea creatures, vibrant coral and a rich marine life. In fact, the corals make Pemba a stunning dive site. Water temperature averages an ideal 26º Celsius and visibility is 30-40 meters almost each day.


Mafia Island

Technically not part of the Zanzibar archipelago, and lying about 100 miles south, Mafia Island is a diver’s paradise. If you want an untouched, uncrowded, leisurely, relaxed dive experience, the Mafia archipelago is the ideal choice. Lush and luxuriant vegetation, wonderful colours and a unique amalgam of history and culture make this a great spot to come spend time.

Mafia island

The Marine Park is protected and this makes for even more care in the preservation of coral and marine life. You can spot turtles and whale sharks on your dive and watch for the migrating humpback whales as well. Mafia offers nature at its finest, unspoilt best.



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