Zanzibar’s underwater wonders include a magnificent array of hard and soft corals and a diverse collection of sea creatures including manta rays, turtles, barracudas and dolphins. One of the best places for both diving and snorkelling is around Mnemba Island off the northeast coast of Zanzibar. There are many additional excellent dive spots (including wrecks) around the main Zanzibar Island, Pemba Island and Mafia Island. Excellent sites for snorkeling can be found in the Menai Bay Conservation Area off the southwest coast of Zanzibar, Chumbe Island, Mafia Island’s Chole Bay, and many locations right off the beach at low tide.
The best time for diving in East Africa is from September through March, though good diving can be found at any time of the year. February is the best time to view whale sharks. Water temperature at all sites ranges from 75° to 85° Fahrenheit (25° to 29° Celsius) and visibility ranges from 50 to 200 feet (15 to 60 meters). It is recommended to dive or snorkel as the tide starts to come in, as an outgoing tide may bring sediments that lower visibility at close-in sites.
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