Diving & snorkelling in Zanzibar

Best hotels and lodges for diving and snorkelling in Zanzibar

The Zanzibar archipelago is surrounded by coral reefs, hidden in the sparkling blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Many are very beautiful, and so great places for snorkelling and diving - but here we aim to highlight the best.

Top of our list must be the huge reef around Mnemba Island, which is vast and dwarfs the island by comparison. (Just zoom out from the satellite view of Mnemba to see what we mean!) As well as the top-end Mnemba Island Lodge itself, most of the lodges in north and north-east Zanzibar will do many of their dives here, so it's not a quiet reef.

Very different, but equally very attractive, are the quite and relatively undiscovered reefs of the Menai Bay Conservation Area - off southwest Zanzibar. These are fairly untouched as there's been little development, and currently there are just a few small lodges here - notably Fumba and Unguja, mentioned below.

Finally, no list would be complete without the tiny Chumbe Island which, thanks for historical protection, has some of the best coral gardens in the world. The only way to visit this is via Chumbe Island Lodge - and to preserve the reefs, only snorkelling is allowed, guided by one of the lodge team.

Here are our top tips for the best lodges for a snorkelling or diving holiday in Zanzibar; read more by clicking on the hotel and lodge names - if you like what you see, add it to your list of favourites…

9 of our favourite diving and snorkelling retreats in Zanzibar