With spectacular deep sea fishing, boasting
record breaking catches, Zanzibar is a fisherman’s paradise.
Superb deep sea fishing is possible all year around with marlin,
sail fish, tuna, barracuda and trevally running deep. Deep sea
fishing in the Zanzibar archipelago is an experience to be
savoured. The Indian Ocean is rich in fish, with tuna and
pelagics migrating through the Pemba Channel every year, with
continual supply of snapper, grouper and sharks. Imagine sailing
through deep blue waters, the sun on your back as you wrestle a
30kg dorado or yellow fin tuna on board.
There are a number of private companies and tour operators
specialising in deep sea fishing to guide you through the
waters, offering fishing safaris for the dedicated angler.
Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia are the most popular destinations in
Tanzania for deep sea fishing. Customised boats have light and
heavy tackle, electronics, GPS and safety equipment for the
serious international fisherman. Excursions usually last for a
day, with boats bringing you and your catch back to your hotel
in time for dinner. Liveabroad options are also available. If
you’re after an authentic Zanzibari experience, you can head out
on the water with a fisherman in a dhow or an ngalawa canoe and
see how it’s done by the locals.
Diving in Zanzibar is a magical experience. Crystal clear
tropical water, unspoilt corals, shoals of fish darting through
the reefs, sea turtles gliding through the water, school of
barracudas circling overhead. Zanzibar has something to offer
divers of all abilities. The dive sites around the Zanzibar
archipelago rival those found in the Red Sea and deserve to
place Zanzibar on the map as a diving destination.
There are 17 PADI dive centres throughout the country, with
skilled instructors and divemasters and world class equipment
and a number of liveabroads offering trips to Mafia, Pemba and
Unguja. In case of any accidents, there’s a fully operational
decompression chamber in Zanzibar, which opened in 2006. The
best diving is generally between October and February, when
visibility can be up to 30 metres.
Zanzibar is home to the world famous Mnemba Atoll, a protected
marine park with some of the best diving in East Africa.
Hawksbill and Green turtles rest on top of plate corals,
oblivious to hovering divers snapping pictures. Lion fish hide
beneath the reef, Moorish Idols dart through the corals and
Clown Fish dance possessively around anemones. Turn to the sky
and watch hundreds of fish, schooling and circling through the
water, yellow snappers a vivid contrast to the blue of the
water. It’s not uncommon to see White Tip Reef sharks and divers
are sometimes lucky enough to have a pod of dolphins as an
escort on the way back to the dive centre or catch a glimpse of
humpback whales with their calves.
Pemba is a treasure trove of marine life, better suited to
experienced divers due to strong currents, making most dives
drift dives. Pemba’s corals are pristine. Misali Island, once a
hideout of Captain Kidd is now a marine conservation area, rich
in biodiversity, with over 40 different species of coral, 350
different species of fish and 5 different species of sea
turtles. Out on the reefs, black snappers school around Coral
Mountain, eagle rays and manta rays glide through the water with
deadly grace, while lobsters and octopus peer out at inquisitive
divers from coral shelves. Green turtles perch on cabbage coral
and hammerhead sharks have been seen coming in with the tide.
Mafia Island became Tanzania’s first Marine Park in 1995 and the
diving is here astonishingly beautiful. Most of Mafia’s best
dives are at depths of less than 30 metres, making it accessible
to less experienced divers. There’s over 400 different species
of fish, with more to be identified. Kinasi Pass and the
Pinnacle are a must if you come to Tanzania to dive, giant
silvery barracuda swarm, shoals of reef fish populate the coral
like colourful confetti, huge moray eels lie in wait to ambush
prey and rays soar through the water. Between November and
March, there’s the annual whale shark migration, giving divers
and snorkellers a chance to see the world’s largest fish up
close and personal. They can live to up to 100 years, growing up
to 13 metres long and weighing up to 13 tonnes, it’s a test of
nerves to come face to face with these huge creatures.
Look beyond the mountains and safaris and come and explore
Tanzania’s underwater world, which offers surprises, adventure
and diversity to rival anything found on the surface.