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Zanzibar

Introduction

Zanzibar island (Tanzania) is located in the Indian Ocean about 30 km off the East African coast. Zanzibar extends 85 km north to south and 43 km east to west. Covered with luxuriant tropical plant life, Zanzibar is a low-lying coral island. Animal life is limited to small mammals and abundant birds.

As early as the 8th century, Zanzibar and other islands off the coast of East Africa became bases for Arab merchants trading with the mainland. In the course of time, Zanzibar became an independent Muslim sultanate with mixed Arab and African populations. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was dominated by the Portuguese, and in the 18th century, subjected to the sultans of Masqab and Oman. Later, Zanzibar was declared a British protectorate in 1890. The sultan was retained for ceremonial purposes, but most major decisions were made by the British resident. Sultan Khalifa ibn Harub used his influence to support British rule. At the time of his death, Britain was divesting itself of its African colonies, and Zanzibar, troubled by political factionalism, was granted independence in December 1963. A few weeks later its conservative government was overthrown in a bloody revolution and replaced by a leftist regime. In April 1964, Zanzibar joined with Tanganyika to form the new state of Tanzania.

Travel facts

Calendar

JanFebMarAprMayJuneJulyAugSepOctNovDec
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best period
acceptable period
not recommend
air temperature
water temperature

Diving type

Destination
easily accessible
easily accessible
bargain destination
bargain destination
Diving level & type
for beginners
for beginners
for advanced divers
for advanced divers
shore diving
shore diving
liveaboard
liveaboard
Diving Characteristics
pelagics
pelagics
lots of fish
lots of fish
lots of corals
lots of corals
interesting underwater scenery
interesting underwater scenery
Other activities
attractive natural spots
attractive natural spots
gastronomy
gastronomy
night life
night life
beach
beach
snorkeling
snorkeling

Map

map

Diving Sites

  • rating : 4.0
    Wattaboni

       [(Mnemba island)
    rating : 4.0
    depth : 22 m
    description :
    The small island Mnemba is located at the north-east of Zanzibar, and can be accessed by dhoni in about 1.5 hour.

  • rating : 3.0
    Kichwani

       [(Mnemba island)
    rating : 3.0
    depth : 20-30 m
    visibility : more than 20 m
    description :
    On this wall, falling deeper than 50 meters, the area between 3 and 8 meters offers a good location for this dive. Apart numerous schools of fishes, we also could observe scorpion fish, stone fish and morays.

  • rating : 3.0
    Mbwangawa
    rating : 3.0
    depth : 18 m
    visibility : 15 à 20 m
    description :
    Site located at the north-west of the island, reached in 15 minutes by boat. On a sandy bottom, several pinnacles host great corals. Many fishes, including a moray, a huge frog fish and several stone fish.

  • rating : 2.0
    Hungwa
    rating : 2.0
    depth : 15 m
    visibility : 8 m
    description :
    This site is located in front of the Ras Nungwi Hotel (north-east), at 20 minutes by boat, on the coral barrier which surrounds the north of the island. Crocodile fish, snappers and nice corals. Unfortunately, visibility is rather limited.

  • rating : 2.0
    Leven Bank
    rating : 2.0
    depth : 27 m
    visibility : more than 20 m
    description :
    Even in open sea can dive sites be found! On a shallow bottom (14 meters depth), accessed by 15 minutes in zodiac, this dive offered 2 morays (including a huge one) and several nudibranchs. During the return journey to the island, dolphins swam next to the boat.

  • rating : 1.0
    Kichafi
    rating : 1.0
    depth : 20 m
    visibility : less than 10 m
    description :
    Although interesting corals can be found there (many of them having the shape of mushrooms !), this diving site, formed by small underwater mountains, is not so attractive. Located at the north-east of the island, 20 minutes by boat.

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