Tanzania Diving Holidays: An Overview

Three times the size of France, Tanzania is blessed with a remarkable concentration and diversity of wildlife and ecosystems and on the vast stage of the Serengeti's short grass plains, the greatest animal migration on earth plays out each year. The Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire are the other great wildlife areas in the north.

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Neill and Alex are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The ultimate destination for a safari and diving combo.
  • Virtually guaranteed whale sharks in season in the little-known Mafia Island.
  • Rustic luxury lodges at their best in Zanzibar and Pemba.

Our Guide to Tanzania Diving Holidays

The perfect destination for a world-class safari and diving combination

To the south are the less visited but as fascinating tropical lowlands of the Selous, Africa's largest game reserve, and the mountains and plains of Ruaha.

Over in the west, under the Mahale mountains are the shores of Lake Tanganyika where the pure water is crystal clear for snorkelling, and in the forested mountains themselves, rising steeply behind, chimpanzees proliferate and the largest herds of buffalo on the continent roam Katavi's wide plains.

In the north and close to the Kenyan border, is Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. At 19,340, feet Kili is also the largest free standing mountain in the world and a fine challenge even if you are not a mountaineer, as it is a non-technical climb.

Diving in Tanzania

On top of this, Tanzania has miles of pristine Indian Ocean coastline and idyllic islands such as those of the Zanzibar archipelago, home to ancient Islamic ruins and white sandy beaches. The romantic Spice Islands offer superb diving and world-class deep sea fishing.

The Spice Islands offer some of best diving in East Africa

When it comes to diving, there are three main areas off the Tanzanian coast: Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia - all islands and all home to stunning diving. What makes this part of the world so special is the coral, which is both pristine and extremely varied. Reputed to be the best diving in East Africa (Mozambique might have something to say about that!), the Pemba Channel, and specifically the area around Mesali, has over 320 coral species - more than twice the number of anywhere else in the region. An added plus is that you will find no one else for miles; exploring these virgin reefs in near solitude adds a wonderful dimension.

Top picks for Tanzania

Picture of Boats in the sea Mafia Island

Mafia Island


Little known Mafia is one of the only places you are virtually guaranteed whale sharks at the right time of year.

Where to go

Picture of Boat in the sea Pemba Island

Pemba Island


Stay at an eco-lodge and enjoy some of East Africa's best diving in the Pemba Channel.

Where to go

The exterior at Pole Pole, luxury hotel in Africa

Pole Pole

Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

Pole Pole means ‘slowly, slowly’ in Swahili, and this laidback bolthole on Mafia Island is set in a shady, breezy spot facing the sea and overlooking the islands of Chole, Juani and Jibondo.

Where to stay

Lodge overlooking the ocean at Chole Mijini, luxury hotel in Africa

Chole Mjini

Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

Chole Mjini is a unique island lodge whose seven tree house chalets offer a lofty luxury adventure.

Where to stay

Fundu Lagoon

Fundu Lagoon

Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast

Located on Pemba Island, just to the north of Zanzibar, Fundu Lagoon is the essence of ‘barefoot luxury’ and a secluded and peaceful retreat with over two miles of private beach and stunning ocean views.

Where to stay

Mnemba Island Lodge

Mnemba Island Lodge


Mnemba Island Lodge is an idyllic, award-wining jewel sitting in this untouched tropical atoll, a beachcomber’s ultimate paradise, located just off the north-east coast of Zanzibar.

Where to stay

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