The waters surrounding Tanzania maintain an average temperature of 250C (770F) throughout the year. Tanzania also features endless sunshine and great underwater visibility. All this combined with the fact that the country features a wide variety of marine life makes diving in Tanzania perfect.
For you to enjoy the best visibility, you should pack your scuba safety gear and head to Tanzania between October and March. If you would like to avoid diving while it is raining, you should visit the East African country from July to October and December through to March. If you visit from October to November and April to June, you may have to put on your scuba mask while it is raining.
The Best Tanzania Diving Sites
1. Mnemba Atoll, Zanzibar
This is one of the most famous conservation areas in Zanzibar. It features about 4 kilometers of the reef. The underwater visibility in this Tanzania diving site is ideal at an average of 10 to 30 meters.
Mnemba Atoll is famous for encounters with common dolphins and green turtles. The dolphins available in this area tend to like dive boats. They swim right next to the boat, allowing the divers to jump into the waters and snorkel with them.
If your goal is to dive with sharks, you should consider visiting Mnemba Atoll from December to April. If you carry your dive camera during this period, you should be able to photograph both manta rays and sharks.
2. Mafia Island
If you visit Mafia Island between November and September, you should come across the whale sharks while exploring the waters. Throughout the year, it is possible to find the endangered and rare manatees (sea cows) around the island. Leatherbacks and green turtles use the island as their breeding ground.
The colorful coral seabed in this spot for diving in Tanzania features octopuses and manta rays. Far out in the ocean, you will come across dolphins.
3. Pemba Island
Pemba Island is famous for its wide variety of sharks. The north horn of the island features white tips, grey whales, silver tips, and even hammerheads. The gigantic corals in this Tanzania diving spot feature potato cod, barracudas, and parrotfish.
Underwater visibility at Pemba Island is great. You should be able to see clearly at a depth of approximately 20 to 40 meters.
4. Mesali Island
Mesali Island is an ideal destination for divers who love viewing the corals once they get underwater. The Tanzania diving site features hundreds of coral species.
Once you wear your diving boots and start exploring the waters surrounding the island, you will come across colorful reef fish, eels, rays, and varying turtle species. The dive site has shallow reefs that are still untouched. This makes it an ideal destination for divers who know how to take pictures underwater.
5. Leven Bank
This site for diving in Tanzania is ideal for experienced divers only. The site features strong currents, which can be quite challenging to beginning scuba divers.
The strong currents do favor the bigger fish species. Some of the species you may come across while exploring the dive site include moray eels, kingfish, barracudas, and trevallies.
6. Lake Tanganyika
Tanzania does not just limit you to diving in the sea. You can explore the crystal clear and freshwaters of Lake Tanganyika.
The lake is home to a wide variety of marine life. Additionally, the waters feature a lot of cichlids. To have your best experience in Lake Tanganyika, you should consider visiting between October and November.
Although Mikindani is largely unexplored, it features one of the richest underwater worlds in Africa. While exploring the Tanzania diving site, you will get an opportunity to document more than 250 coral species and a wide variety of fish species.
Mikindani is ideally situated, allowing divers to explore Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park. The marine park is considered to be one of the most biologically diverse diving spots along the East African coast. Humpback whale migration happens in this spot between August and November. You should be able to come across green turtles between February and April.
8. Songo Songo Archipelago
This archipelago is made of 5 islands surrounded by reefs. The islands themselves feature white sandy beaches, palm trees, and a wide range of marine birds. Turtles usually nest on the beaches. It is not uncommon to spot the turtles floating through the turquoise waters.
The surrounding coral reefs feature a wide variety of soft and hard corals. After donning your scuba fins and getting in the waters, you should be able to explore a wide variety of marine animals in the archipelago.
9. Ras Nungwi
This dive spot features an overwhelming number of tropical fish that proliferate on the coral gardens forming a lagoon around the Tanzania diving site. The majestic whale sharks generally migrate past the dive spot at least twice each year.
Dolphins are generally permanent residents in the site for diving in Tanzania. They usually accompany divers on their boat trips.
The secluded beach available at Ras Nungwi is popular for turtles. These return every year to hatch their young ones.
10. Chole Wall
This Tanzania diving site is ideal for all scuba divers, irrespective of their level of experience. The site features an average visibility of 13 meters. The maximum depth is approximately 15 meters. The shallow depth combined with the low currents makes the dive site ideal for absolute beginners and night dives.
The dive site connects to the Kinasi Wall. It is a large reef extending to almost a whole kilometer. The marine life you will most likely come across includes damselfish, angelfish, turtles, fusiliers, nudibranchs, and more.
Globo Surf Overview
Without enough information, choosing a site for diving in Tanzania can be hard. While we did not cover all the dive sites available in Tanzania, we have listed the best sites. On top of offering great underwater visibility and a wide range of marine animals, the sites listed above are safe for almost every diver.
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- A complete guide to the islands and best diving in Zanzibar, Travelstart.co.za