Tanzania diving and snorkeling are perfect for those who love adventure and interacting with sharks, dolphins, turtles and vibrant corals packed with tropical fish. This scuba divers paradise offers fantastic sites that you won’t want to miss!
The Best Spots for Tanzania Diving and Snorkeling
There are numerous spots for diving and snorkeling in Tanzania, each with its own unique characteristics and personality. In some areas, visibility can reach up to 30 meters (100 feet), but you will always need to be aware of the strong currents.
Zanzibar is the main island of the archipelago located in the Indian Ocean. There are many dive sites off the island, but Mnemba Island is definitely a site to visit. The island is privately owned and can only be accessed if you are a guest of the resort, but you are free to dive about 200 meters from the island. Here there is a 7-kilometer long coral reef with fantastic visibility. During your drift dive, you can see a variety of coral and fish, as well as gorgeous manta rays and giant green turtles at the self-proclaimed “tropical fish Capital” of East Africa.
Especially if you are visiting Tanzania between November and February, Mafia Island is a dive and snorkel spot that you must check out. During these months, the Rufiji Mafia Island Marine Reserve plays home to whale sharks. This is a great dive destination any time of year though, as you can spot rare manatees (sea cows) along with green turtles that use the island for breeding grounds. The coral reefs here are also diverse and are full of rays, octopuses and colorful tropical fish like clownfish. If you go further out to sea, you might also be lucky enough to spot some dolphins!
Pemba Island is the northernmost island in the Indian Ocean which offers great Indian Ocean diving. There are coral covered walls, vibrant coral reefs teeming with color and life and gigantic sea fans. There are several dive sites located at this Coral Sea atoll, but North Horn is a must see. North Horn is famous for sharks, and you can see grey whales, silvertips, white-tips and even the occasional hammerhead. Sharks aren’t the only attraction here, the potato cod, Bumphead Parrotfish and Potato Cod are plentiful as well.
Best time to visit Tanzania for snorkeling and diving
High season for Tanzania diving is between July and September, which means that the waters can be a bit busy. You may want to consider March as a month to travel, as flights are cheaper, weather is still good and you even have an increased change to see whales, turtles and sharks. However, with temperatures wavering between 20°C and 38°C (68°F to 100°F) throughout the year, you really can visit anytime. Note that May and June can be extremely windy so currents will be a bit stronger and you may want to avoid the extremely hot months.
How to Get to Tanzania
With the best Tanzania diving offered near Zanzibar, your best bet would be to take a flight to the Zanzibar International Airport. One-stop and direct flights are offered from several destinations. From there, you can take a matutus (minibus-taxi), or rent a scooter to your destination. Note that if you rent a scooter, you will need an international driver’s license – and yes, the police do stop you and ask!
Tanzania diving and snorkeling have so much diversity. There are sites right off shore, boat dives and live aboard opportunities that give you the chance to explore the magnificent underwater world that Tanzania has to offer.