Diving in Zanzibar is a little bit of a bucket record merchandise for many individuals. As Zanzibar is a large island that encompasses virtually 1500km of shoreline so that you’d count on to have an enormous assortment of dive websites on provide.
Nonetheless, when you’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 probably 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 often nice with a median of 20 to 30 meters.
Mnemba is known for encounters with Widespread 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 few of the finest visibility situations in Zanzibar.
It’s situated on the north east facet of Zanzibar proper throughout from the city of Matemwe.
Learn how to go to the Mnemba Atoll
Mnemba Atoll can solely be visited by boat. There are actually infinite 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 slightly keep on the Park Hyatt in the Maldives for the personal island expertise.
Reserving a snorkeling or diving tour
The best strategy to go to the island is simply to arrange 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’ll 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 cut price.
In the event you’re staying at an upscale resort, they’ll cost you two instances the worth simply. In the event you’re a independent snorkeler, you don’t must be pampered and spend more cash. The snorkeling in Mnemba is straightforward to navigate.
Is the Mnemba Atoll Price visiting?
The Mnemba Atoll is world well-known for its protected marine park standing. It’s dwelling 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 day by day 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 every day. In regular non-coronavirus instances, my dive information instructed me there will be simply 100 boats moored within the sandy reefs close by. It’s so busy that they typically instances 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 instances and noticed many fish whereas diving. Nonetheless, this was a brand new growth in response to my dive guides. In regular years, you’ll be able to see extra divers than fish at instances.
I feel I might undoubtedly skip visiting the Mnemba Atoll in regular instances. There are simply so many different choices in Zanzibar on the subject of 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 among the high 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 pretty Zanzibar Dawn boutique lodge.
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 day by day since they’re situated proper there. The worth for 2 dives with tools was round $125 or so. I negotiated a reduction throughout COVID instances however I believe these costs are fairly set in stone.
You don’t want to remain in Matemwe to dive this web site nonetheless. From Nungwi for instance, lots of the dive outlets there’ll make day journeys to Mnemba. Whether or not this implies they really take the boat your complete manner, or drive to Matemwe after which set sail is one other query. Spanish Dancers in Nungwi is a good 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 manner. 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 on the subject of diving because of the immense coral bleaching suffered in recent times. Whereas the corals are bleached, the fish life continues to be very robust. I noticed large faculties 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 among the finest locations to dive or snorkel with dolphins. They often hang around right here and will be seen from the boat or below water. We truly noticed a small pod of dolphins right here firstly of the dive that made the dive. Aside from that, the corals right here aren’t so fairly, and undoubtedly pales compared to Timbatu island off Zanzibar’s west coast.
The visibility was unbelievable all through each dives and the water was an pleasurable 27 levels in November. I did a two dive day journey to Mnemba Island however wouldn’t be speeding again for extra.
Whereas touring in COVID instances, there have been one other six or seven boats within the space diving and snorkeling. Throughout regular instances, the crew instructed me that you can see upwards of 100 boats within the space. So many boats that it was straightforward to get misplaced surfacing from a dive and looking for the fitting boat. This sounds terrible in my view and this sort of cattle diving can be one thing I’d keep away from in any respect prices.
There may be higher diving in Zanzibar
I feel Mnemba will get all the eye due to how well-known it’s and that you simply’re visiting this stunning little island. Nonetheless, the diving right here was maybe nice 20-30 years in the past, however it’s now not what it was.
After all, 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 Sun dive shop 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 in fact you’ll be able to e-book a snorkeling journey to go to the identical reefs. Snorkeling will be booked with the identical dive outlets the place you’re staying, or you’ll be able to merely ask your lodge to do it for you.
Usually, the snorkelers and divers shall be on the identical boat. On the identical reefs, the divers will bounce 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 various kinds of fish, sea urchins, and shellfish is insanely excessive right here.
The reefs are principally shallow right here, not more than 5 meters which permits you nice views of the reef. If you are able to do a bit of free diving, then that’s even higher as you’ll be able to witness that faculties of fish round you.
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