Beginner Diving in Tanzania

From the Serengeti plains to the Spice Islands, Tanzania boasts an incredible array of fascinating fauna to spot on your African adventure. While the Big Five roam the game reserves and national parks on the mainland, the three Spice Islands—Unguja, Pemba and Mafia—provide the thrills and spills underwater. Whale sharks, hammerheads and dolphins can be seen in and around the Pemba Channel, and the Selous Game Reserve can provide sightings of land-based behemoths such as elephants, lions and hippopotamuses. The beginner diving in Tanzania is often referred to as the best in East Africa, and if you time your trip right, the megafauna on display will show you why...


The island of Unguja is commonly referred to as Zanzibar Island, and in addition to being the largest island in the Zanzibar Archipelago, it's also known to be the birthplace of Freddie Mercury. The old capital of Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a window into the island's historic past as a centre for the spice and slave trades. While there can be the occasional strong current, the excellent diving around Zanzibar Island is suitable for both the experienced diver and the beginner. Diving in Tanzania is spectacular throughout the year, but the big boys pass through during the autumn and summer months. September and October see migrating humpback and sperm whales pass by the northern tip of the island, while December through to April is the best time for mantas and whale sharks.


A short way to the north of Zanzibar Island is the island of Pemba, which is home to the country's most impressive corals, with more than 320 species reported from the Pemba Channel. The diving in Pemba is suitable for all levels, with a few sites being better suited to the more experienced diver. An average water temperature of 26 degrees and visibility reaching up to 40 metres ensure Pemba makes the list of Africa's top dive destinations, and the island's lush interior and stunning beaches make it a great place to enjoy a post-dive sundowner on the terrace. With regular sightings of turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, eagle rays, Napoleon wrasses and giant frogfish in such idyllic conditions, you can be sure Pemba will deliver some of the best beginner diving in Tanzania.


The third of the Spice Islands is located south of Zanzibar Island and Dar Es Salaam. Mafia Island also offers the chance to enjoy the best of the beginner diving in Tanzania, with most dive sites being shallower than 30 metres. Between November and April each year, you have a high chance of seeing passing whale sharks. Mafia Island Marine Park ensures the health of the local reefs, and the dive sites can be enjoyed by divers of all levels.

Our team of dive travel specialists love exploring the underwater world surrounding the Spice Islands and have noted some excellent hotels to ensure your stay is everything you wished for. The presence of megafauna on land as well as below the waves makes Tanzania a naturalist's dream, and an itinerary that combines the Selous Game Reserve with the best of the beginner diving in Tanzania will allow you to see some of the world's biggest and most beautiful creatures in their natural habitats...

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Beginner Diving in Tanzania' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on 1-800-652-1972