Scuba diving and Snorkelling.Bathed by the warm currents of the equator, Zanzibar's many coral reefs offer exhilarating scuba diving and snorkelling within a short boat ride from most beaches. Scuba is most spectacular off Pemba Island, however for scuba beginners the safe calm waters of Unguja, (Zanzibar Island) are recommended as the current off shore from Pemba can be strong. Snorkelling is best however off Unguja, whose eastern barrier reef encloses a series of shallow and sheltered tidal lagoons - home to an abundance of colourful marine life.
For snorkelling trips Safari Blue is undoubtedly one of the most popular options, however should you require something more advanced please contact us with your requirements.
Prices and courses may vary from property to property.
Beginner DivesFor complete beginners the first step is to take a 1 day ‘Discover Scuba Dive’ course. You will have a short lecture covering the basics of safe scuba diving, followed by a pool session to get used to the equipment and learn a few essential skills to maximise the enjoyment of the ocean dive. Finally you will get out to a reef with your instructor to discover the wonder and beauty of the open ocean! 'Discover Scuba Dive' is a short, non-certified course for those wanting a taster without having to sign up to a full 3 day course. Prices vary, but generally you should expect to pay $90 - $150.
PADITaken a “Discover Scuba” course? Completely hooked? The next step for you is to get some PADI certification!
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the world's largest recreational diving membership and diver training organisation. We advise that you dive with a PADI registered dive centre as the safety procedures, training and qualifications are internationally acclaimed. Once you have your certificate, you can progress to higher levels at any PADI centre around the world.
The Scuba Diver 3 day course allows you to dive to a maximum of 12 metres under supervision of a PADI dive-master or instructor. This course is effectively a more in-depth (no pun intended!) version of the discover course. You take some theory, covering dive physics, physiology and safe dive practices. Followed by some pool diving, where you can expand and practice the skills needed to be proficient and efficient in the open water. Finally you take 2 ocean dives under supervision and put those skills to the test! Prices are $330 - $400 depending on where you take the course. After completing this course you can upgrade to the Open Water Diver certification after only 2 additional days training. These additional 2 days can be completed at any PADI centre.
For those wanting to dive independently of a dive-leader and increase their skills and competence the way forward is to get certified as an Open Water Diver. Generally this is a 4 day course consisting of 5 theory modules, 5 pool modules and 4 ocean dives. Most dive centres allow a full day of theory (although this can be skipped if you choose to utilise the PADI e-learning scheme) followed by a day of pool diving and then 2 days of ocean diving/certification. The full course costs around $500, however if you are upgrading from the Discover course the cost is reduced significantly. Open Water Divers are certified to dive to a maximum of 18 metres.
Intermediate - Open Water DivesFor Open Water certified divers the best way to expand your knowledge base is to take the 2/3 day advanced course. By taking this course you will be certified to dive to a maximum depth of 30 metres. Your skills will be honed and fine tuned so you will be able to dive in most spots, in most conditions. There are 5 modules in the advanced course. 2 are mandatory; Deep Dive (up to 30m) and Navigational Diving. The great thing about the advanced course is that you can specialise in 3 additional modules of your choice including: night diving, drift diving, peak performance buoyancy, underwater photography, fish ID, underwater naturalist... the list goes on. Visit the PADI website for more details. The Advanced Open Water course costs around $450.
Advanced DivesFor advanced divers there are too many courses to mention. For those at this level you probably already know what you want to specialise in and what course is best for you. Visit the PADI website for more information. Please note that not all dive centres are able to certify all the courses listed on the website. Please contact us for any course related questions as we will be able to advise on the best hotel or location depending on your requirements.
Need more info?
Please contact our Dive Holiday Experts now. - Dive Packages Available.
Diving in Zanzibar
Stone Town, Mnemba Atoll & Nungwi
Murogo Reef is close to Stone Town, making it easily accessible by boat. What makes Murogo special is the number of different species of hard coral that can be seen along the entire reef. Staghorn or branching coral, plate coral, brain corals are only some of the many varieties that can be seen on this dive. Turtles, Bluespotted Stingrays, Puffer Fish, Sea Anemone Fish are just a few of the many fish that can be seen swimming amongst the coral outcrops.
Leven Banks: probably the most remote dive site. Zanzibar is small in the distance, and all you see is water. You do a backward roll, and as you descend into the clear blue water this spectacular reef appears before you. It is a wild dive that keeps taking you back to spectacular undamaged live corals, shadowed by all the prevalent tropical fish.
Best Places to Stay
Diving in Pemba
The Ultimate Blue Water Experience
The diving is generally drift diving and suitable for experienced / advanced divers when you join a scheduled departure. The east coast is known for its strong currents that are home to excellent opportunities to see pelagic life such as tuna, sharks, turtles, and other open sea fish.
Many of the sites can be dived by novice divers, but it often depends on the currents. This is a day to day decision. Don't be put off if it says experienced, its quite possible our very calm, safe and caring staff will guide you along these dives and leave you relaxed enough to take it all in!
Many of these sites are actually morethan one site, it depends on the tides, and currents. If you are a recently certified diver, Pemba is one of the best places in the world to upgrade some speciality dives, like drift diver especially.
The rarely dived waters around Pemba are some of the richest and most exciting in the world. Walls of pristine coral stretching for miles provide home to a huge range of marine life and provide some of the most rewarding and exhilarating drift diving in East Africa.
Pemba is a relatively undiscovered gem typified by the turquoise shallows and plunging coral walls that drop to depths of around 100 meters. Visibility is excellent at around 30 – 40 meters and the temperature perfect at 27’C – 28’C (in summer dropping to 25’C in winter).