Unguja Island is the official name of the archipelago's largest
island, but it's best known to visitors simply as Zanzibar. The
island is home to the region's capital, Zanzibar City, whose older
quarter - Stone Town - is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is
surrounded by vibrant dive sites bathed in colourful coral
To enjoy some of the best coral diving in Tanzania while on
Zanzibar, head out to Mnemba Atoll and Leven Bank. Leven Bank sits
at the island's northernmost point and is awash with nutrient-rich
waters that feed the corals and attract the pelagics. Mnemba
Atoll's pristine coral walls offer gentle drifts through
fish-filled waters and the possibility of encountering a friendly
pod of common dolphins.
The island of Pemba sits to the north of Zanzibar Island,
halfway between Dar es Salaam and Mombassa, the former capital of
neighbouring Kenya. Between the island and the mainland is the
super-fishy Pemba Channel, which drops as deep as 800 metres and is
known for supporting an abundance of predatory fish species.
Silvertip sharks, turtles and Napoleon wrasse can be spotted
enjoying the channel's lively currents, which can make stopping to
admire the 320 different coral species best suited to the more
For a more sheltered view and some of the best coral diving in
Tanzania, a trip to the Misali Island Conservation Area should not
be missed. The stunning corals can be enjoyed by snorkelling or
diving, but diving down puts you closer to marine life and better
placed to hunt for macro critters hiding in nooks and crannies.
While the protected area lays claim to some of the best coral
diving in Tanzania, it also offers chances of swimming alongside
dolphins, and there's usually a turtle or two munching on the coral
With whale shark sightings pretty much guaranteed off the coast
of Mafia Island between October and February each year, its
excellent coral cover can occasionally get overlooked. Mafia lies a
little further south than Zanzibar and Pemba, and the less-visited
island is the home of Tanzania's first marine protected area, the
Mafia Island Marine Park.
The marine park is home to resident whale sharks, and sightings
are all but guaranteed between the months of October and March,
while it also boasts some of the best coral diving in Tanzania.
Chole Bay, on the southeast corner of the island, faces the open
ocean and is a macro photographer's playground. Frogfish, harlequin
shrimp and oodles of nudis frequent the coral crevices, and the
bay's shallow depth gives you the time to explore. Diving the
deeper walls outside Chole Bay brings even more impressive corals
and bigger fish, with Napoleon wrasses and gargantuan groupers the
order of the day...
Our dedicated team of dive travel specialists have explored
the Zanzibar Archipelago to its fullest and are on hand to help you
piece together your dream itinerary to discover the excellent coral
diving in Tanzania and its Spice Islands...