Diving in Zanzibar is a little bit of a bucket listing merchandise for many individuals. As Zanzibar is a big island that encompasses virtually 1500km of shoreline so that you’d count on to have an enormous assortment of dive websites on supply.
Nonetheless, for those who’re staying in Zanzibar whether or not it’s Nungwi, in Matemwe within the Northeast, or within the South close to Paje, it’s possible you’ll come throughout the choice to dive on the well-known Mnemba Atoll.
The place is the Mnemba Atoll
Mnemba Atoll is essentially the most well-known Conservation space in Zanzibar. It consists of a seven by 4 kilometers reef, containing the tiny Mnemba Island. Visibility in Mnemba Atoll is normally nice with a median of 20 to 30 meters.
Mnemba is legendary for encounters with Frequent Dolphins in addition to its picturesque reefs and searing blue ocean water. The dive websites across the island are a part of the Mnemba Island Marine Conservation Space (MIMCA) and boast a number of the finest visibility situations in Zanzibar.
It’s positioned on the north east facet of Zanzibar proper throughout from the city of Matemwe.
Methods to go to the Mnemba Atoll
Mnemba Atoll can solely be visited by boat. There are actually countless quantities of tour firms official, and unofficial that may take you to this island. There aren’t any ferries as a result of the Mnemba Island is a personal island for folks eager to spend $1000+ an evening on a personal island getaway.
For my part, it doesn’t look that price it as a result of there are such a lot of vacationers all day. Whether or not that’s day trippers visiting the island or the numerous boats that park in entrance of the reef, it doesn’t really feel so unique. I’d a lot reasonably keep on the Park Hyatt within the Maldives for the non-public island expertise.
Reserving a snorkeling or diving tour
The simplest option to go to the island is simply to prepare a snorkeling or diving journey out right here. There are quite a few dive outlets in Matemwe and in Nungwi that may make the journey. From Matemwe, you could find snorkeling journeys for round $30-40, and barely extra from Nunwgi. I’d advocate organizing the journey with a neighborhood tour firm as you’ll have extra room to discount.
In the event you’re staying at an upscale resort, they may cost you two occasions the worth simply. In the event you’re a autonomous snorkeler, you don’t must be pampered and spend extra money. The snorkeling in Mnemba is straightforward to navigate.
Is the Mnemba Atoll Value visiting?
The Mnemba Atoll is world well-known for its protected marine park standing. It’s residence to so many various species of fish and the crystal clear blue water surrounding it makes it a snorkeler and diver’s paradise.
From Zanzibar, there are numerous journeys daily that go to this island and its marine park. Lately, the recognition of this island has exploded to the purpose that there are simply too many boats visiting each day. In regular non-coronavirus occasions, my dive information informed me there might be simply 100 boats moored within the sandy reefs close by. It’s so busy that they usually occasions had bother discovering their boat upon surfacing.
As well as, this places a lot pressure on the marine ecosystem which has most likely attributed to the decline of fish inhabitants in recent times. I got here throughout Coronavirus occasions and noticed many fish whereas diving. Nonetheless, this was a brand new improvement in response to my dive guides. In regular years, you’ll be able to see extra divers than fish at occasions.
I believe I’d undoubtedly skip visiting the Mnemba Atoll in regular occasions. There are simply so many different choices in Zanzibar with regards to diving and being part of the cattle diving at this atoll is an excessive amount of.
Diving the Mnemba Atoll
Diving the Mnemba Atoll is without doubt one of the prime issues to do so far as water actions in Zanzibar. The closest city to Mnemba Atoll is Matemwe, the city the place I stayed within the beautiful Zanzibar Dawn boutique resort.
From Matemwe, there are two dive outlets: One Ocean and Divetogether within the city the place you’ll be able to simply e-book dive journeys to Mnemba. They go to the Atoll virtually daily since they’re positioned proper there. The value for 2 dives with gear was round $125 or so. I negotiated a reduction throughout COVID occasions however I think these costs are fairly set in stone.
You don’t want to remain in Matemwe to dive this website nonetheless. From Nungwi for instance, most of the dive outlets there’ll make day journeys to Mnemba. Whether or not this implies they really take the boat the complete approach, or drive to Matemwe after which set sail is one other query. Spanish Dancers in Nungwi is an honest dive store to make use of.
In the event you’re beginning your journey from Nungwi, count on to pay a day journey premium to Mnemba because the boat trip can take over one hour every approach. Many of the dive outlets in Nungwi had been charging $30-$40 complement for visiting Mnemba.
How is the diving in Mnemba Atoll
The diving in Mnemba is best than I believed. Zanzibar doesn’t actually get the very best evaluations with regards to diving because of the immense coral bleaching suffered in recent times. Whereas the corals are bleached, the fish life remains to be very sturdy. I noticed large colleges of yellow snappers, angelfish, and the like. It is sort of a lite model of Mafia Island which I used to be diving simply the week prior.
As well as, this is without doubt one of the finest locations to dive or snorkel with dolphins. They frequently hang around right here and might be seen from the boat or beneath water. We really noticed a small pod of dolphins right here firstly of the dive that made the dive. Aside from that, the corals right here will not be so fairly, and undoubtedly pales compared to Timbatu island off Zanzibar’s west coast.
Whereas touring in COVID occasions, there have been one other six or seven boats within the space diving and snorkeling. Throughout regular occasions, the crew informed me that you possibly can see upwards of 100 boats within the space. So many boats that it was simple to get misplaced surfacing from a dive and looking for the appropriate boat. This sounds terrible for my part and one of these cattle diving can be one thing I’d keep away from in any respect prices.
There’s higher diving in Zanzibar
I believe Mnemba will get all the eye due to how well-known it’s and that you just’re visiting this lovely little island. Nonetheless, the diving right here was maybe nice 20-30 years in the past, nevertheless it’s not what it was.
In fact, if you wish to go to Tanzania for diving, the very best place to go is Mafia Island south of Zanzibar. Nonetheless, if you’re in Zanzibar, I’d counsel diving within the southeast by Paje, and particularly with the Rising Solar dive store that dive in a particular space that nobody else actually is aware of about.
Snorkeling in Mnemba Island
In the event you’re not a diver, then after all you’ll be able to e-book a snorkeling journey to go to the identical reefs. Snorkeling might be booked with the identical dive outlets the place you’re staying, or you’ll be able to merely ask your resort to do it for you.
Usually, the snorkelers and divers will probably be on the identical boat. On the similar reefs, the divers will leap into the blue whereas the snorkelers will hang around on the floor.
In the event you’re a fan of snorkeling, that is THE place to do it in Zanzibar. The focus of several types of fish, sea urchins, and shellfish is insanely excessive right here.
The reefs are largely shallow right here, not more than 5 meters which permits you nice views of the reef. If you are able to do just a little free diving, then that’s even higher as you’ll be able to witness that colleges of fish round you.
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