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Diving in Zanzibar a Bucket List Dive

Diving in Zanzibar a Bucket List Dive

On our last visit to the beautiful island of Zanzibar, I spent a lot of my time under the waves while diving in Zanzibar. The island of Zanzibar itself was once a reef, and the main city in the town was called Stone Town from the use of coral as foundations for many of the buildings in town.

Coral can be found on land all over the island, so there is no doubt there are still some great dive sites around the island as well for Zanzibar diving.

Zanzibar Diving

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We stayed on the Northern beaches of Zanzibar in the town of Kendwa, and it made for a nice spot to do some Zanzibar diving. While Zanzibar diving, I put together a short highlight video from the three dives I did in Zanzibar.

Zanzibar Dive Site #1: Magic Reef in Zanzibar

The first dive was out to Magic Reef, where we saw some of the best sea life. On the dive around Magic Reef, we saw an octopus that let us watch him pulse his colors for a minute or so before hiding between some coral.

We also got super close to the semi-aggressive and poisonous stonefish, mostly because they are so well camouflaged that you don’t see them until you are just on top of them. Other highlights included a hand full of lionfish and some large schools of Jackfish, and decent corals.

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Dive two and three were a boat ride away, just off the shores of the islands you can see from the main island of Zanzibar. After a 45-minute boat ride, we arrived at the second Zanzibar dive site of Shetani. We dove here when a storm was coming in, and the water was rough at the surface and made for a bumpy ride.

Underwater, it was smoother with little current. However, the visibility wasn’t great. We did see a few turtles and some of small but colorful fish. Toward the end of the dive, we came to a shallow piece of reef for our safety stop, and surprisingly, it was the best part of the dive.

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Before heading back to shore and the dive shop, we stopped at one final dive at the Mawana dive site. Slightly more protected from the waves, this site had better visibility, and we saw much more interesting sea life.

On this Zanzibar dive, we found the turtle that is the main character of the short video from my diving in Zanzibar. This turtle was totally fine swimming with me for a few minutes. He didn’t speed away. He just floated along with me before heading toward the surface.

Also, on the dive, we found large schools of small fish that we swam through and plenty of colorful angelfish and parrotfish.

Zanzibar Dive Shops

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I used Spanish Dancer Divers in Zanzibar. They had nice new equipment, a nice large boat, and knowledgeable staff. They arranged to pick up for me and my dive buddies. Spanish Dancer Divers made it easy even though we were staying on the next beach over.

They also have GoPro available to use at no charge which is an awesome service, most shops would charge $30 to take one of their GoPro’s underwater. I had my own camera, but some of my dive buddies used the shop’s gear.

Zanzibar Dive Site Map

Diving in Zanzibar

These are the sites that most shops will take you to from the northern part of the island.

Diving in Zanzibar

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The month of May might be the low season with some storms in the forecast, but I still enjoyed diving in Zanzibar with Spanish Dancer Divers and my divemaster Ali. When planning to Zanzibar dives, keep in mind the conditions will be different depending on tides, the phase of the moon, and the time of the year.

Make sure to dive in Zanzibar with a reputable shop that knows the waters around Zanzibar to ensure you have a great set of dives. I dove as a guest of Spanish Dancer divers, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone traveling to beautiful Zanzibar!

Now that you know what to expect on an African safari, you have no reason not to go. If you are looking at taking a safari on your own, we cannot recommend Acacia Africa enough.       


Thursday 23rd of July 2015

Zanzibar is an fantastic place to visit in the African continent.


Wednesday 30th of September 2015

Zanzibar is great to add to any African itinerary. It's great to throw in some beach time with a safari trip.