The dive sites in Zanzibar are uncountable. The northern tip of the mainland, and the reefs around nearby Mafia Island, are widely regarded as having some of the best dive sites on Earth. Best of all, they are rarely busy, so you might well have these underwater wonders to yourself. The high season for diving in Zanzibar is between September and March, and so if diving is your priority, this is when we recommend you schedule your visit. There are still some good diving opportunities at other times of the year, however, notably in the sheltered Bay of Mafia and in parts of Pemba.
The must do site for keen divers is Big Wall on the Mnemba Atoll, at the start of the Pemba Channel. A vertical wall drops 60 m below the water, and there are many small caves and overhangs to explore. Dive here when the ocean is calm, and you can expect to swim amongst dolphinfish and whale shark, bluefin trevally and tuna, as well as schools of rainbow runner. Other dive highlights include the Njao Gap, where there are frequent sightings of green and hawksbill turtle. Manta ray swim gracefully past, and there is a profusion of titan trigger fish. The Misali Coral Garden is particularly vibrant, and has plenty of small and colourful reef fish.
There are several liveaboard options for serious divers in Zanzibar, but generally we recommend staying ashore in one of the island’s incredible beach resorts. Baraza Resort & Spa has its own PADI 5* Gold Palm dive centre, which is the only National Geographic Dive Centre in Zanzibar. The equipment and training they provide is of the very highest quality, and group dives are limited to six guests to ensure both safety and the exclusivity of the experience. And at the end of the day once your diving is done, you have an incredible array of other facilities at your disposal on land.