Best diving spots in Tanzania

Tanzania, a country in East Africa, benefits from a superb location on the Indian Ocean between Kenya and Mozambique. 

Off its coast, Tanzania is home to some of the world’s most beautiful islands with some of the most beautiful seabeds in the world.

However, contrary to what one might think, these islands are not the only places to dive in Tanzania.

When to dive in Tanzania?

The coast of Tanzania as well as its islands with the Zanzibar archipelago have an equatorial climate with two rainy seasons:

  • From March to May
  • From October to December

It is possible to dive all year round, however, the best periods are as follows:

  • January and February
  • From July to September

However, be aware that these conditions are very variable.

For my part, I dived into the Zanzibar archipelago in March and then at the end of May in Mafia. I was lucky on my various sea trips because the conditions were very good.

What is the water temperature in Tanzania?

The water temperature varies according to the period, but be aware that it remains very pleasant throughout the year due to the equatorial climate.

Water temperatures can be as low as 30°C during the hottest months (January to March) and as low as 22°C to 24°C during the winter months of July to September.

I personally dived at the end of March at the end of May and the temperature fluctuated between 26°C and 28°C.

What is the price of a dive in Tanzania?

The price of a dive in Tanzania varies according to several criteria:

  • The spot chosen for the dive
  • The diving club chosen
  • Whether or not it is necessary to rent diving equipment

As a general rule, diving clubs located in the same place will have similar rates.

In Tanzania, count on average:

  • An excursion in Snorkeling: 30/45$US
  • Single dive: US$65
  • Double dive: between 85$US and 110$US
  • Equipment rental: US$25
  • PADI Open Water Certificate: about US$500
  • One dive at Lake Malawi: about US$40

This is an average, you will of course find cheaper and more expensive prices. I advise you not to look only at the price by taking the cheapest club. Remember that there are other important criteria to consider when choosing a dive club.

Please note that in Tanzania, if you wish to pay by credit card (still the institution must accept credit cards), a 4% commission will automatically be charged by the Tanzanian bank. This is whether or not you have subscribed to an international option with your bank in France.

How to choose a diving club in Tanzania ?

Diving in Tanzania

The choice of a diving club should not be taken lightly as your safety and the experience you will have underwater depend on it.

You will find a large number of different diving clubs in the tourist places so I advise you to choose your club carefully.

When choosing your dive club, it is advisable to:

  • Choose an approved diving centre: opt for a structure approved or labelled by a known federation (FFESSM, PADI, SSI, etc.)
  • Find out more about the club: for example, you can go to the website, contact the club or even read the opinions and comments left on the internet

The conditions to be respected during a dive in Tanzania

In order to dive safely, it is necessary to respect certain rules. These rules will benefit both you and the preservation of the seabed:

  • Respect and follow the advice of your instructor
  • Do not throw anything into the sea: whether it is bottles, plastic, cigarette butts etc….
  • Do not touch anything underwater (both corals and fish)

What to see while diving in Tanzania?

Tanzania’s seabed is very rich.

There are in particular:

  • A rich and varied coral fauna,
  • Mantas, spotted and leopard rays
  • Turtles
  • Dolphins, 
  • Reef sharks, or black tip sharks, whale sharks,
  • Many nudibranchs, 
  • Whales,
  • Some wrecks

The best diving spots on the islands of Tanzania

Located in the Indian Ocean, the seabed of Tanzania’s islands is among the most colourful and fishy

The best diving spots in Zanzibar

Diving in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is probably the most famous place for diving in Tanzania

Zanzibar is an archipelago of islands consisting of two main islands which are:

  • Unguja (the main one, which is the island generally referred to as « Zanzibar »). A few kilometres northeast of Unguja, the island of Mnemba is also known for its bottoms.
  • Pemba, an island slightly smaller than its big sister, which is still known for its seabed.

Diving spot in Zanzibar (Unguja)

It is possible to dive all around the island of Zanzibar. 

Many diving spots are famous around the island. The most beautiful sites are in the north of the island with a vast coral reef, around Ras Nungwi and the Mnemba atoll.

In the south of the island, there are fewer sites, but the advantage is the low number of divers.

The fauna is diverse and of high quality. Corals are healthy and large fish and mammals can be found, this is a protected area.

Diving spot in Pemba

The island of Pemba, slightly smaller than Unguja, offers a large number of fabulous diving spots

The dive sites are mainly located in the North, on the West Coast and in the South of the island. 

Among the most famous sites are Manta Point, Fundo Gap and the Swiss Reef.

The best diving spots on Mafia Island

Mafia Island is world-renowned for its spectacular seabed

There is a wide variety of corals and a great diversity of tropical fish.

This great abundance of fish and corals probably comes from the fact that a large part of the island is part of a protected natural park that extends over 821 km2. It is therefore forbidden to fish around a large part of the island.

Among the most famous sites are Chole Wall, Kinasi Pass, Kinasi Wall, Milimani North and South.

Mafia is particularly known for its sea outings to meet whale sharks between November and May.

Mafia island was a big surprise for me. I think I saw there the most beautiful bottoms of my life with an abundance, diversity and extraordinary colors. I remember when I was underwater and watching all this life around me, I told myself that I felt like I was in a giant aquarium because it was so beautiful.

The best diving spots on the islands of Fanjove

Between Zanzibar and Mozambique, Fanjove Island is a small private island measuring 950 metres by 350 metres wide. This island benefits from an intact 11 km coral reef that extends all around the island.

Its waters contain an impressive variety of hard and soft corals. You can see turtles in particular.

The best diving spots in the Great Lakes region

Surprisingly, it is possible to try the experience and dive into the Great Lakes region, namely:

  • Lake Malawi
  • Lake Tanganyika: 673 km long, it is the longest freshwater lake in the world. It borders four countries: Tanzania, Congo, Burundi and Zambia.

You can see, in particular, many cichlids and catfish

For my part, as I said earlier, the Mafia island was a real surprise. I loved diving around this island. I think this is one of the most beautiful places in Tanzania to go diving so don’t hesitate to go there! I recommend it 100%.

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2 Replies to “Best diving spots in Tanzania”

  1. A awesome content. My husband and I run a diving center in Cyprus. We want to offer something more than diving to our customers, something different, thought provoking, unique and absolutely appealing. Open to any ideas? Complimentary refreshments already a given…

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