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Feeding porcelain crab - Zanzibar

Diving on the east coast of Zanzibar | Tanzania

DESTINATION OVERVIEW

Tanzania's Zanzibar is better known for World Heritage capital Stone Town than it is for scuba diving yet there are reefs right around this sizeable island. Divers in search of peace head to the holiday resort region east of the Jozani Forest and near the village of Paje. As this area is only easily accessible to those staying nearby, it’s unlikely you will meet any other divers apart from your buddies.

The tides recede daily across the fringing reef – as they do right around Zanzibar – so dives are arranged to work around that, often with access across the coastal lagoon made by driving along to a deeper bay before boarding a dhoni. Underwater, the terrain is a flat shelf leading to about 15-18 metres, then there is a sudden drop over a short wall. This leads down to another flat reef at 25 metres, which again descends almost imperceptibly until it suddenly crashes from a sharp ridge to about 50 metres. Beyond that, it's adrenaline rush sites for advanced divers only.

The marine life is curious – at first glance the flat shelving reef appears to be almost barren, then a sudden outcrop or cavern will be mobbed by all sorts of creatures from sweepers and anthias to morays. Deeper caves are rich with fish and it's not unusual to drop into the blue and be engulfed by huge schools of barracuda.

Feeding porcelain crab - Zanzibar
East Coast Zanzibar image gallery Scuba diving features
Marine Life Barracuda
Blue ribbon eels
Leaffish
Anemones and clownfish
Top dive site Cave 20
Seasons Windy April-May
Visibility 10 – 40 metres, sometimes more
Water temperature 25 – 29º C
Deco chambers Zanzibar
Flights via Nairobi or
Dar es Salaam
Dive operators and accommodation just a handful of hotels in this area and one dive centre - Rising Sun.
INFORMATION EXPLORE
PROS and CONS

Accommodation in this area is resort or beach-club style and although the resorts can get busy, the diving doesn't. It's unlikely you will meet any other dive boats or see other divers underwater. Advanced divers and novices are not mixed together either.

More East Africa diving destinations
KENYA
the Coast

MOZAMBIQUE

Pemba
Medjumbe Island
TANZANIA
East Zanzibar
Mnemba Atoll
Pemba Island
SAFARI combining an East Africa diving holiday with a wildlife safari
SCUBA DIVING Conditions are mostly easy but the sites may seem a bit repetitive at first as the terrain varies so little. However, there is a wealth of small creatures hiding out on the reefs and a few exciting big blue encounters.
OPINION Although not the most challenging diving we have ever done, we enjoyed these dives as they felt like doing a daily treasure hunt. The very deep dives are just that and although the divemasters tout stories of wonders seen, it's far more fun to stay up in the shallower depths and search for smaller creatures. We dived with Rising Sun Diving Centre at Breezes Beach Club.
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Cave 8 dive site - Zanzibar
Complete reports on this area are in
Diving the World.

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