Drift Diving in Tanzania

Africa’s east coast has a well-earned reputation as a diving mecca, and Tanzania’s electric-blue waters are no exception. Although the country has miles of coastline, the best drift diving in Tanzania is found on a select few islands, known for their crystal-clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. These are Mafia Island and the islands of the Zanzibar archipelago, Pemba and Unjuga (more commonly referred to as Zanzibar). While each island has countless dive sites, we’ve rounded up a few of our top picks for drift diving in Tanzania…

Kinasi Pass, Mafia Island Marine Park

Kinasi Pass is a wonderful choice for drift diving in Tanzania. The site is a channel, which leads into Chloe Bay, south of Jina Island. Divers start the drift in relatively shallow water at a depth of around eight metres, before heading into the pass entrance which is roughly 24 metres deep. The current sweeps divers into the bay, along the Kinasi Wall, which houses potato bass, hump nose big-eye bream and large groupers inside its caves and caverns. Towards the end of the dive, divers drift over a lovely cabbage coral garden, filled with darting reef fish and smaller critters.

The Swiss Reef, Pemba Island

The Swiss Reef is in fact three dive sites, all of which can be visited in a single drift. The area's topography is dramatic, with several seamounts running parallel to a sea wall. Usually, divers drift from one mount to another, admiring the reef-encrusted rocks, although this site is only recommended for experienced divers. Turtle sightings are relatively common with the chance to spot large pelagic species.

Njao Gap, Pemba Island

Njao Gap, just off Njao Island, is one of our favourite sites for drift diving in Tanzania. Although the currents can be strong, divers drift with the northbound current into the calm waters of the lagoon. The site has vibrant coral slopes resting between five and 18 metres, which drop off dramatically into the depths below. Things to look out for are the beautiful swaying sea fans, green and hawksbill turtles and huge Napoleon wrasse.

Two Stones, Zanzibar

Two Stones is one of our top picks for beginner drift diving in Tanzania. The site is named after two underwater mountains which channel the water through, creating the perfect conditions for a drift. Divers can spot a wide range of species in the area, from blue-spotted stingrays to bearded scorpionfish. On lucky days there are also huge schools of anchovies and jacks swimming in the current.

Tanzania is a fantastic choice for a diving holiday, with some lovely islands that are equally as stunning below the water. If you're considering drift diving in Tanzania, our team of seasoned experts will be more than happy to help you put together your dream itinerary.

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Drift 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