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Tanzania/Zanzibar diving

Discussion in 'Africa' started by SandraJasmin, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. SandraJasmin

    SandraJasmin Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Has anyone been diving in Tanzania/Zanzibar? I am interested in liveaboards or a dive shop which offers 3-4 dives on the day.
    djhenryhall likes this.
  2. Tippytoes12

    Tippytoes12 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    Hi Sandra

    Been a couple of times and loved it , but were only snorkellers then. It’s an amazing destination for a holiday.

    There is a FB group called « Girls that Scuba » which is really good for queries like this.

    Best fishes x
  3. Christian

    Christian Manta Ray

    There used to be a liveaboard called Jambo sailing around Pemba Island, which inme offers the best diving in the region (Pemba is situated just north of Zanzibar). It was however 10 years ago I was on Jambo, so she might be gone.
    There are nice diving around Zanzibar, but not really of the same caliber as Pemba. What makes the difference is that Pemba island sits outside the continental shelf, whereas Zanzibar sits on it. Consequently the waters surrounding Pemba is abbyssal deep which is not Zanzibars case. It influences the marine life from the tiniest organisms to bigger fish.
  4. jfe

    jfe Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Qatar / South Africa
    Diving in Zanzibar is fine, in Tanzania not so much. Dived Dar Es Salaam two years ago and got a real big fright when the dinamite they use for fishing started exploding somewhere not too far while underwater. The reefs etc are badly damaged and it looks like a wasteland at times.
    Did have a nice dive on an old wreck close to port though. Do it for the adventure, but Zanzibar doesn't have the dinamite fishing and healthy reefs.
  5. Christopher_B

    Christopher_B Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: By the sea
    Jambo stopped its infrequent visits a while ago. There are a couple of private charter catamarans we book for clients. Pemba is my personal favourite, around Misali Island, Uvinje and Fundo gaps. Mafia Island is also very good, November to March. Zanzibar has easy dives, pretty corals, good macro, with some paddle flap and weedy scorpionfish and lots of leaffish. Picking the right operator is very important as there are some dodgy operators. We send our clients to Scuba Do in Kendwa for Zanzibar diving.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  6. Sunn

    Sunn Barracuda

  7. Sunn

    Sunn Barracuda

    Just discovered one of the best dive centre there !

    Back from Unguja (Zanzibar is actually an archipelago, the main islands being Unguja and Pemba), commonly called Zanzibar by tourists, I can only communicate my experience with Eagle Ray Divers Zanzibar.

    Location: Matemwe, near Villas Seles, directly on the beach.

    A very small diving centre, managed and operated by locals, unlike almost all centres in Zanzibar. Settled in a small room on the beach, you will immediately feel at ease, everyone speaks English and Faridu, the boss, will probably welcome you with a few words in your language. A guy who worked for years for Europeans before starting his own business.

    An outstanding service, a constant attention, that is the happiness!

    Basic principle for everything: customer satisfaction and no worries, in Swahili: hakuna matata!

    Diving principle: departure around 8:30 am for 2 successive dives on Mnemba reef, often considered as the best site in Zanzibar. Return around 13 - 14h.
    If the tide is too low, minibus to go where the boat can take you.
    Steel or aluminium tanks 10, 12, 15 L.
    Dives on several sites, according to the divers' desires and qualifications; great flexibility of the guides and always with a smile (thank you Ibrahim).
    Shaded local boat + an annex, which is very useful at low tide or to pick you up after a drift.
    Some centres have large powerful zodiacs, but it is more expensive and I find the boat built at the local shipyard much more pleasant (if you want to buy one, go to Nungwi, near the lighthouse, along the beach, value +/- 7000 dollars excluding engine and probably totally uncertain delivery time ;-).
    Fruits and water bottles offered between the two dives.
    Gear will be rinsed, stored by the guys at the centre and you will find it the next day in a bag when you arrive.

    It's true that there are no more big ones (and when you eat fresh fish everywhere in the hotels, it has to come from somewhere, eh!) but it's still very fishy and it's nice to see a school of dolphins passing by or to discover a big turtle taking its nap. I don't know how long the big napoleons will survive to the fishers...

    The guys are fine, the boat is fine, the gear is fine, the prices are competitive, you can go there, eyes closed!

    contact: Faridu Akida, tel and whatsapp +255 715 124 621
    Eagle Ray Divers Zanzibar
    djhenryhall likes this.
  8. divingmore

    divingmore Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: philippines
    We were diving from Nungwi in the north of Zanzibar in October with Spanish dancer- they were OK. They did 2 dives out, from what we saw most other dive shops seemed to do similar set up. There are 3-4 diveshops along the beach. Did not see any liveaboard type boats around. We dove around nungwi side and also at Mnemba atoll. Nice corals, good macro (saw weedy scorpion fish - actually 2 of them!), all sorts of reef fish, but no big stuff. Not surprising considering how many fishermen are out there. Visibility was about 7-10m, and from what we understood generally 15m is considered good. Nungwi itself is quite nice and laid back and there are many smaller resorts and restaurants. Full report is here Diving Zanzibar – Divingmore
    djhenryhall likes this.
  9. DuTemplar

    DuTemplar Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Doha, Qatar
    I just got back from Nungwi early yesterday morning. My wife and I went for our wedding anniversary, and to grab AOW and some extra dives while there. I have some old dive time courtesy of the Army, but not really recreational.

    I went with Oman Air (not a great choice, small cramped seats I didn't fit in, poor meals, poor flight crew attitudes... I got spoiled by Qatar Airways though.) For a combined package, Spanish Dancer Divers, and are very happy with them. Our instructor was pretty good, and I observed 4-5 other instructors/guides with their groups. The gear was pretty new, in good shape. The package was reasonably priced, and included nearby lodging, round-trip airport transportation, etc. I had comped out another web site or two, but they seemed a better choice for me and had a better social media interaction and comments. There are several other shops in the area.

    The dive sites were decent, the night dive wasn't spectacular off the shore but did have quite a few lionfish out. The two dives in the atoll were good, decent reefs and wildlife, and had a a small group of three dolphins buzz past us underwater. The other local reefs were decent with enough to see and do to make it worthwhile. The other people we were with hose days were all happy except for one German lady who had very strong personal opinions (and based on her TripAdvisor comments, didn't like much of anything, anywhere, ever.) Most of their boat trips are two dive trips. 12L standard, 15L available. Generally morning boats back by 12/1 or 2/3. The one day there was an afternoon boat. Plus shore dives, plus night dives. It looked like three boats operating at a time.

    Nungwi fairly small, laid back, decent weather. If you burn easily, sun's bright, take major SPF. I burned under an umbrella in 3 hours off the reflections. My Scot blood explodes into cutaneous fireworks... but hey, I digress. No mosquito issues last week. Food options were good, plenty of fresh seafood everywhere although there was one monkey eying my grilled lobster was making me nervous, and I was getting sketchy on the number of people offering me multiple recreational pharmaceuticals all the time, and they have a distinct lack of strongly flavored/ dark beers. The ride there and back from the airport was a bit rough and more reminiscent of off-roading, but hey... Enjoyed the place.

    We liked it there. Actually, the owner of where we stayed is getting ready to sell to move his daughter on in international schools. My wife and I would seriously consider buying it and moving there, but need 2 years right now where we are.

    Standard disclaimers apply, caveat emptor, your week could suck, the evaluation is my personal opinion, unsolicited and uncompensated.
    Searcaigh likes this.
  10. Sbiriguda

    Sbiriguda Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Italy
    I took a look to your blog, very nice. From your post and your blog I would say that you found Zanzibar underwhelming or at least not so nice as other destinations... Still worth a visit but there is better than that. Am I wrong? Would you consider Zanzibar comparable to Egypt for example?

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