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My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Tanzania in mid-June. My boyfriend will spent a week climbing Kiliminjaro and then we plan to meet up in Zanzibar (?) for a week in diving. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be a good time to dive in that area. Can anyone comment on this more? We don't want to commit to a week of diving with an outfit there if the diving is not going to be that great. Is Pemba better, or? I'd really like to get a honest assessment of the conditions in that area from a diver who knows the area well, and who can perhaps suggest some good areas to dive that time of year. We don't want to rely on the opinions of the dive operator in the area (though they have otherwise been very nice and helpful in our email exchanges). By way of background, our diving experience has been limited to diving in Belize (Long Caye/Glover's Reef) where I've been three times, my boyfriend once. (We are going back to Belize in early May for the whale shark trips - we're very exicted!).
June is not the best time for diving Znz or Pemba (currents, wind, visibility), but not the worst either. I have dived Zanzibar year round, and there have always been some excellent dives, some average dives and some rather boring dives, no matter which time of year.
The best diving in Zanzibar is around Mnemba Atoll in the north east, which can be dived from Nungwi, Kendwa or Matemwe (kiwengwa as well, but I wouldn't go there unless I loved Italian all-inclusive resorts...).
Pemba I found more interesting regarding the underwater topography (walls etc.) and supposedly you have a better chance of seeing big fish (I didn't). The visibility was also a bit better. Again, June may not be the best time as the sea can be a bit rough and the currents stronger, but there is no reason not to dive.
My personal opinion about Zanzibar and diving is that I wouldn't go there for a diving holiday as such, but for a holiday with some diving thrown in. So why do you have to commit to one week of diving? There is no need to book your diving in advance and Zanzibar is definetely worth a one-week visit (Stonetown, beaches), even if you only do a couple of dives.
Pemba is great! I first went in 2007 to write a report for a magazine and fell in love with the place. I now organise tailor-made tours there, combining it with Unguja (erroneously referred to as Zanzibar, Zanzibar is the name of the archipelago) and safaris on the mainland. I can't post links to articles I have written about it as i need to have more posts.... Google Indigo Safaris and go to the Tanzania and Zanzibar Archipelago page to find the links to the articles and a bunch of photos.