Macro Diving in Tanzania

When it comes to diving, Africa’s east coast is often overshadowed by the colourful reefs of Southeast Asia or the azure blue waters of the Caribbean. However, divers that do find themselves in this corner of paradise will undoubtedly come across vibrant reefs and thriving marine life.

Tanzania is a fantastic dive destination, boasting beautiful islands and miles of unspoiled coastline. While it's known for pelagic species like whales and sharks, the macro diving in Tanzania deserves recognition, with countless species to discover across Unjuga (more commonly referred to as 'Zanzibar'), Pemba and Mafia Island. Our team has been lucky enough to visit Tanzania on more than one occasion, so keep reading to discover our favourite dive sites in the country.


Pemba, part of the Zanzibar archipelago, is the perfect choice for divers looking for world-class reefs without the crowds. The island has some amazing reefs, with spots suitable for beginner and experienced divers.

Scorpions Secret and Shimba Wall are a couple of our favourite sites for macro diving in Tanzania. Scorpions Secret, a gently sloping wall between five and 18 metres deep, is perfect for beginner divers looking to encounter giant frogfish and well-camouflaged leaf fish. Shimba Wall is another gentle slope with a maximum depth of 25 metres, making it suitable for beginner and advanced divers. The site is known for red-toothed triggerfish sightings, but macro enthusiasts will be happy to know that there is an abundance of nudibranchs and other smaller critters in the area.


While Zanzibar (or Unjuga) is better known for its powdery white sand beaches and fantastic kitesurfing conditions, there are a few incredible dive sites on the island, particularly along the northern coast.

Shane's Reef and Kichwani are two must-visits when macro diving in Tanzania. Shane's Reef has a wide range of tiny creatures such as mantis shrimp, seahorses and frogfish hiding out on the coral and sandy bottom. The dive starts at ten metres and follows a gradual slope to a maximum depth of 20 metres. Kichwani, just off the infamous Mnemba Island, is an easy drift dive along a sloping coral wall between two and 30 metres deep. The hard and soft coral-encrusted wall is home to a variety of marine life such as nudibranchs and colourful reef fish.

Mafia Island

Our final recommendation for macro diving in Tanzania is Mafia Island, the largest marine park in the country and home to a kaleidoscope of marine habitats. The island has some fantastic shore dives including Nudi City, home to several nudibranch species, dragon sea moths and sea hares, and Frogfish Town - a must-visit for frogfish lovers.

There are several amazing spots for macro diving in Tanzania, and, thanks to their proximity to one another, it's possible to visit one or all on a single spectacular diving holiday. If you're interested in visiting Tanzania on your next diving holiday, get in contact with a member of our team who will be more than happy to help you put together your dream itinerary.

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Macro 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