Diving in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a cluster of islands that make up a region of Tanzania with a semi-autonomous government. They are located anywhere from 25 to 50 kilometers (16 to 31 miles) off the coast of mainland Tanzania. While this archipelago has many small islands that help form it, the two main islands are Unguja and Pemba Island.

Unguja is the larger of the two islands and the capital of the area. It is this island that is generally referred to as Zanzibar even though that is actually a term for the whole region.

Diving here is all about exploring the dazzling coral reefs, filled with colorful fish and around 500 marine species in total. There are sandy atolls where you can dive and snorkel from the shore, dramatic walls and historic wrecks as well as deep dives with amazing macro from the more advanced divers. Expect crystalline waters of a brilliant blue, big game fish and even dolphins and turtles from time to time with whale sharks passing through the area between September and December. You’ll need to be aware of the currents at some sites and keep safety in mind and remember there are two rainy seasons, October/November and April to June.

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Featured places to go in Zanzibar Island

Wildlife in Zanzibar Island

There are marine protected areas around Unguja and Mnemba Island that are home to some amazing marine life. Here, there are reefs that are home to over 600 types of coral reef fish. There are also plenty of larger underwater species as well. You will find three different varieties of dolphins who are native to the area as well as giant whale sharks and even larger humpback whales. The marine creatures that are very important to the area and most protected though are the green turtles. These are a threatened species that has been protected in the area since 1996.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Dolphins
Common Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin
Sharks
Great Hammerhead Shark
Rays
Stingrays
Electric Ray
Guitarfish
Turtles
Green Sea Turtle
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Seahorses and Pipefishes
Common Seahorse
Spiny Seahorse
Pipefish
Fishes
Moray Eel
Angelfish
Butterfly Fish
Clownfish
Barracuda
Lionfish
Wrasse
Puffer Fish
Sand Eel
Snake Eel
Crevalle jack
Panther Moray Eel (Dragon Eel)
Scorpionfishes
Snapper
Surgeonfish
Frogfish
Sweetlips and Grunts
Parrotfish
Molluscs
Octopus
Crustaceans
Crayfish
  Jan - Mar Apr - Jun Jul - Sep Oct - Dec
Dolphins
Common Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin
Sharks
Great Hammerhead Shark
Rays
Stingrays
Electric Ray
Guitarfish
Turtles
Green Sea Turtle
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Seahorses and Pipefishes
Common Seahorse
Spiny Seahorse
Pipefish
Fishes
Moray Eel
Angelfish
Butterfly Fish
Clownfish
Barracuda
Lionfish
Wrasse
Puffer Fish
Sand Eel
Snake Eel
Crevalle jack
Panther Moray Eel (Dragon Eel)
Scorpionfishes
Snapper
Surgeonfish
Frogfish
Sweetlips and Grunts
Parrotfish
Molluscs
Octopus
Crustaceans
Crayfish

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