Scuba Diving - Zanzibar's best dive sites
This is about single dives and dive packages at Zanzibar's best diving spots. If you want to join a diving course instead, please click here.
Here is a brief description of the best dive sites Zanzibar has to offer:1. Mnemba – Wattabommi (6‐30m): Sandy slope with fringing plate coral, white tips, green turtles, large groupers.2. Mnemba – Kichwani (6‐40m): A wall of corals home to a vast array of marine life. Schooling fish feed in the shallow waters while larger predatory fish can be seen out in the blue.3. Mnemba – Big Wall (14‐40m): Northern edge of Mnemba Atoll is almost a kilometre long, best visibility, lobsters, white tips, turtles.4. Leons Wall (12-40m): The edge of the inner reef. Leon’s Wall is a vertical drop covered in a plethora of soft corals and encrusting sponges. Lionfish, schools of snappers, and the elusive leaf fish can all be seen along the wall.5. Misoli (12-40m): Large coral island which can be circumvented on the dive. Very diverse coral and lots of nudibranches.6. Kichafi (12‐18m): A very healthy reef with vast expanses of plate corals. The large sandy area adjacent to the site also makes this an excellent training ground for all courses.7. Haji (10‐18m): A submerged coral ridge attracts an abundance of marine life and sports a vast array of hard coral formations. There are numerous Crocodile fish and Nudibranchs to be found here.8. Mbwangawa (12‐18m): An eclectic mix of life, including lobster sheltering beneath plate corals and frequent encounters with cuttlefish. The chance to see turtles also makes this a very popular dive site.9. Ametatu (6‐12m): Sister reef to Chakatuni, small coral bommies hosting a wide variety of marine life of all sizes and colours.10. Chakatuni (12‐18m): Hard corals in the open sea, seen best at slack tide. Attracts a wide range of marine life.11. Shanes Reef (12‐16m): This weird and wonderful dive offers the best array of macro life around. Flying gurnards frogfish and Mauritius scorpion fish make this site a photographers dream.12. Hunga (12‐18m): A wall that drops down to 45m with cascading plate coral flowing into the deep. Lionfish, large rays and a passing point for dolphins and pelagic species.13. Nankivell (12‐18m): Can only be dived on specific tides this large area of coral has a great variety of reef fish, lobsters and the occasional small reef shark.14. Kendwa Reef (5‐10m): Suitable for both divers and snorkelers, this site is a great nursery full of vibrant juveniles hiding amongst the corals.15. Mwana na Mwana (2‐12m): Soft and hard coral bommies with glass fish sheltering in the crevices. Frogfish have been spotted here, and often green turtles stop by to take advantage of the cleaning service.16. Tumbatu – Haunted wall (2‐15m): A small eerie looking wall with beautiful soft corals sheltering nudibranchs and leaf fish, with inquisitive bat fish cruising past.17. Renco Bommi (7‐14m): A huge coral bommi coming up from the sand, with an explosion of marine life. Leaf fish, Octopus, and the colourful Mantis shrimps are a common sight here. An ideal dive site for the less experienced.18. Leven Bank (14‐40m): An Exciting must-do dive spot for experienced divers only. Spectacular dive, often in strong currents in the Pemba Channel with great visibility, but can only be dived on certain tides. Amazing mid‐channel pinnacle, topped with coral and sandy patches, the walls drop down to over 160m. The pinnacle attracts some large pelagic fish from the open ocean, such as sharks, manta rays, whale sharks and big game fish. The pinnacle itself is home to things from huge Honeycomb moray eels to colourful nudibranchs. Dolphins are often seen playing in this area.Schedules:
By far the most popular dive site is the spectacular Mnemba Island. The trip there departs at 09:00 and returns around 16:00. The boat ride to get there takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. For dive sites closer to the island, they do half day trips and schedule these to coincide with the incoming tide or as close to high slack tide as possible. This of course means that departure times vary through the month. Their special trips for advanced divers to Big wall and Leven bank are done by speed boat and again they need to time these to take advantage of the best tide conditions.About the centre:This activity is arranged through a watersports and PADI dive centre established in 2007. The centre has stuck to its commitment to provide all manner of watersports for enthusiastic travellers. Their perfect safety record is a testament to these ideals. With dedicated expat and local staff, they strive to offer the best experiences the ocean has to provide.Location:The centre has its home in the Kendwa region of North Zanzibar. This area is widely acclaimed to be home to the best diving and beaches in Zanzibar including the world famous Mnemba Marine sanctuary. Their base is in the stunning Kendwa Rocks Hotel as well as a booking office at the Paradise Beach Hotel in Nungwi.The Centre is a PADI Dive resort that employs trained PADI professionals both local and expat to offer a high degree of quality and satisfaction and most importantly safety to all of their students and customers. They have a sizable insurance policy that covers all of their guests and are active contributors to the local decompression chamber.Seasons:
For most of the year, Zanzibar is home to some of the calmest, clearest oceans imaginable. This combined with a plethora of marine life make it a perfect spot for a Scuba Diving vacation. Visibility is usually in the range of 10-40m depending on the dive site. However, like everywhere in the world, weather does play a factor during certain months of the year. January and February are when the ‘KasKasi’ winds hit the island. These can render the ocean very rough and force boats to retreat to the safety of sheltered coves. If you are planning your vacation at this time however do not fret because the winds are unpredictable and it is quite common to have perfect weather interspersed by a few days of strong winds. From the end of March through until May, the long wet season of Zanzibar means sea conditions and visibility can be quite poor. However, it is still possible to have good days interspersed among the others and some interesting dive days out to our more protected local sites. Gear:
The centre uses well maintained ScubaPro Mk2 R190/R295 combinations as its shop regulators, ScubaPro T‐One BCD’s and a mixture of ScubaPro and Mares closed heel fins. For exposure protection they have Reef 5mm wetsuits in both short and full length in a variety of sizes. Guests are also welcome to use their own gear and store it at the centre during their stay there.