Blog about Underwater Life and Scuba Diving

Diving in Tanzania – Zanzibar, Pemba and Mnemba

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  • Maximal depth – 50 m.
  • Recommended season – September to March.
  • Categories of complexity – different.
  • Visibility – up to 60 m.
  • Currents – severe in some places.

Zanzibar has earned the reputation of one of the best places for diving in the world. A huge variety of marine flora and fauna here provides a coral reef that surrounds Unguja (both formerly called Zanzibar) and Pemba. The best season for diving is considered to be September-March, but in reality, the place is suitable for diving throughout the year.
Good visibility (60 meters) and a stable year-round temperatures in the 27 ° C makes your dive unforgettable You can also enhance your skills and get certified in several dive centers PADI.
Diving in Zanzibar is suitable not only for beginners but also for experienced divers.

The main places for diving in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Shipwrecks «Pegas» with 50 meters length which had sunk in 1916 with efforts of military cruiser «Koenigsberg».
Depth is 40 meters (only recommended for experienced divers). Barracudas tunas and giant rays expected to be seen in this dive site.

Bariba Reef (depth 30 meters)
One of the most beautiful African reefs. Here you can enjoy the fantastic fan colonies and other corals. The major representatives of marine life are barracudas, tunas, giant lobsters, mureny. You can reach this place from Stonetown in 45 minutes.

Bawe Tropical Island (depth 18 meters)
Reef is located 20 minutes from Stonetown and is famous for its corals. The huge number of tropical reef fish. You can find octopus, morays, sharks, sailing ships.

Bahari (depth 30 meters)
Fifty years ago, sunken freighter «Bahari», bringing military equipment and spare parts to the military base in the Royal Navy ships, lying at the port. The remains of the ship became a haven for fish, scorpions, giant rays, morays, here you can see the fish-moon.

Great Northern (depth 12 meters)
British ship The Great Northern, built in 1870, sank on the eve of the New 1902. He became a wonderful artificial reef and home for morays, lion fish, and others. Ideal site for novice divers , it also great for snorkeling. Huge number of eels inhabit here. Superb visibility!

Murugo Reef (depth 24 meters)
Slant wall with a large variety of corals and fish. Often on this site turtles can be found. The third most frequently visited dive site for the course of Open Water Diver.

Pange Reef (depth 14 meters)
Because of the weak currents and a small depth of this reef is ideal for novice divers. Incredible variety of tropical reef fish including parrots, clowns and ect. Pang Reef is great place for night diving, during which you’ll see octopus, crabs and other inhabitants of the underwater world of night.

Pontoon Steam Sand Dredger The Penguin (depth 40 meters)
A fantastic dive because the huge numbers of big Bluefin Trevally, Barracuda, big Stingrays, Morays and lots more. This dive is for only very experienced DEEP DIVERS. Maximum 4 people can dive at the same time .

Reef Nyange (depth 26 meters)
The largest reef of Zanzibar‘s west coast. Here you can find rare species of corals, opened a few years ago and, according to marine biologists, found only on the reef Nyange.

Reef Leven Bank (depth 40 meters)
According to conventional opinion it is one of the best reefs of Zanzibar. In addition to the beautiful, bright coral, here you can see interesting marine fauna, including the African sharktail , tuna fish, morays, clown, barracuda, dolphins and reef sharks, fantastic diversity of corals. Diving in Leven recommend only fo experienced divers, because of the strong underwater currents.

Reef Hung (depth 20 meters)
An ideal place for novice divers. Poor over, swarms of colorful tropical fish, corals are well preserved. Many fish-surgeons, frequently appear barracudas and reef sharks.

Some images from Zanzibar ( click to enlarge )

zanzibar_1280 zanzibar beach photo zanzibar diving

Mnemba Island

Kichwani (depth of 20-40 meters)
Famous for an abundance of large corals. At a depth of thirty meters and beyond its large flocks of tropical reef fish, and reef sharks and rays. Often, there are dolphins. Kichvani – an ideal place for Drift-dive on a wall.

Wattabomi (depth of 10-15 meters)
This place is famous for the fact that here you can meet the dolphins of three species. Lots of small reef fish, rays, eels.

Aquarium (depth 18 meters)
The name speaks for itself: here you feel like in a giant aquarium. The currents are weak, excellent visibility, floating around the green turtles, fish, surgeons, long wing reef sharks.

The Great wall (depth of 30-50 meters)
Large flocks of dolphins, a great number of small caves. In the late fall – early winter, you can see a whale shark.

Coral Gardens (depth 25 meters)
Incredible variety of beautiful coral, beautiful fan corals. Rich underwater fauna.

Photos from Mnemba islands ( click to enlarge )

mnemba waters scorpion fish - mnemba

Pemba Island

Each dive site has it own beauty , but diving in the waters of Pemba is true majestic feeling .

Emerald Reef (depth 30 meters)
Reef got its name from its green cover of corals. Visibility in the area is not less than 30 meters. The mild slope down from seven to thirty meters serves as a refuge for a large number of groupers. Most of the local tropical fish can be seen at a depth of 20-25 meters, special attention should be paid to the fish-pipe fusilier and bull-eye. A large colony of giant barracudas and occasional fish-hammers.

Pansy Reef (depth 14 meters)
Greek merchant ship «Paraportiani» with length of 100 meters was sunk in 1969 between the internal and external reef. At times over is a very strong need to dive or during high tide or during a tide. Best visibility is during high tide, when over a moderately strong. The stern of the vessel is at a depth of 7-9 meters, the nose – at a depth of 12-14 meters. Fantastic variety of fish, crabs and corals.

Samak Reef (depth 20 meters)
Large flat reef, known by beautiful corals and an unusually rich underwater fauna. We recommend that only experienced divers due to strong currents. Lobsters, octopuses and mureny, large flocks of fish-surgery and fusilier.

Michael Big Blue (depth 40 meters)
Only for experienced divers! Very strong currents and lot of exotic animals, included reef sharks, barracudas and giant rays. Visibility excellent!

Makarere Reef (depth 30 meters)
An interesting and unusual reef on a sandy slope.

Diving in Pemba - 1024x768 Pemba - Underwater Miracle: 1024x768 Dolphins in waters of Pemba - 1024x768


  • Yusuke Mogami said:

    I’m planing to go to Zanjibar and/or Pemba to enjoy scuba diving in January. I’m divemaster of Asia Pacifc.
    Could I request you information about tour to these island?

  • Mario said:

    Hi guys
    Im trying to track down my brother and 3 of his ship mates who set sale in September from Durban South Africa (KZN)

    The last check in we received was from Pemba a week ago
    and they normally check in by now.

    We phoned them and some stranger answered and told us that they where un available we must phone back..

    Its been 3 days now and the phone is not in use anymore.

    Do you guys have any contacts with coast guard to see who has checked in or left the island.

    Would really apreciate the help.

    Please feel free to contact me at or

    Thank you so much for the help.


  • Jane said:

    Great post! Zanzibar is known as one of the top water sports destinations in the world, one of the main lures of Zanzibar is the surrounding Indian ocean, the water is warm the view are wonderful and a huge numbers of activities offered here such as kite surfing, snorkeling, para sailing, big game fishing, windsurfing and under water diving. There are plenty of shallow waters to view fish and coral reefs while diving or snorkeling which leave with you a great experience. Zanzibar Tanzania


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