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Diving & snorkelling in Tanzania
Diving & snorkelling in Tanzania
Diving & snorkelling in Tanzania
Diving & snorkelling in Tanzania
Diving & snorkelling in Tanzania
Diving & snorkelling in Tanzania
Diving & snorkelling in Tanzania

Diving & snorkelling in Tanzania

Excellent diving and snorkelling retreats in Tanzania

Offshore from Tanzania's coast and islands are some first-class sites for snorkelling and diving - and between the keen divers in Expert Africa's team, we've dived quite a lot of these. Call us and we'll always be happy to discuss the options from our personal experience.

We have a separate web-page with comments on Diving & snorkelling around Zanzibar (which includes Mnemba Island and Chumbe Island) - but away from this two other islands are particularly well-known for their pristine coral reefs:

North of Zanzibar, Pemba Island has some excellent dives, although because of its currents, which are sometimes quite strong, we recommend it for more experienced divers.

South of Zanzibar, Mafia Island is a lovely quiet spot, with a lagoon which suits learners and newly-qualified divers, and more challenging wall dives outside the lagoon where big fish make for very exciting dives.

Fundu Lagoon

For diving off the coast of Tanzania, Fundu Lagoon offers plenty of choice. The Pemba Channel offers some extremely challenging drift dives and the chance to see the larger pelagic fish, while for gentler dives and snorkelling there are the reefs around Misali Island.


Pole Pole

Pole Pole offers fantastic diving in the Mafia Island Marine Park. This is some of the best diving on the East African coast. When we were last there, diving cost $40 for a single dive and $300 for a 10-dive package (plus $20 a day equipment-hire fee).

Chole Mjini

Scuba diving in Mafia Island Marine Park is superb, and if you come here between October and March you may get the chance to swim with whale sharks.


Manta Resort

For diving and snorkelling in Zanzibar, Manta Resort on Pemba Island offers coral reefs and – for experienced divers only – waters with exhilarating currents. And in its new Underwater Room you have the underwater world around you, even while you’re sleeping!

Best camps & lodges for Diving & snorkelling in Tanzania


Fundu Lagoon

Fundu Lagoon

For diving off the coast of Tanzania, Fundu Lagoon offers plenty of choice. The Pemba Channel offers some extremely challenging drift dives and the chance to see the larger pelagic fish, while for gentler dives and snorkelling there are the reefs around Misali Island.


88% (8 reviews)
Kinasi Lodge

Kinasi Lodge

Within the Mafia Island Marine Park – Kinasi offers great diving and snorkelling. Snorkelling trips inside Chole Bay usually cost $25, and take you out to a quiet and sheltered reef with an abundance of coral and fish. Diving can either be inside or outside the bay.


82% (11 reviews)
Manta Resort

Manta Resort

For diving and snorkelling in Zanzibar, Manta Resort on Pemba Island offers coral reefs and – for experienced divers only – waters with exhilarating currents. And in its new Underwater Room you have the underwater world around you, even while you’re sleeping!


94% (10 reviews)
Shamba Kilole

Shamba Kilole

Shamba Kilole has its own motorised sailing dhow, set-up for diving, and equally good if you just want to get to some choice snorkelling spots. Marco, the co-owner of the lodge, has been diving the waters off Mafia for decades and knows them inside out.


No reviews yet
Pole Pole

Pole Pole

Pole Pole offers fantastic diving in the Mafia Island Marine Park. This is some of the best diving on the East African coast. When we were last there, diving cost $40 for a single dive and $300 for a 10-dive package (plus $20 a day equipment-hire fee).


94% (103 reviews)
Butiama Beach

Butiama Beach

From November to March, Butiama offers good opportunities to swim with whale sharks. It is also a short drive from the protected reefs of the Mafia Marine Park on the east side of the island.


95% (11 reviews)
Chole Mjini Lodge

Chole Mjini

Scuba diving in Mafia Island Marine Park is superb, and if you come here between October and March you may get the chance to swim with whale sharks.


95% (30 reviews)

Best camps & lodges for Diving & snorkelling in Africa

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Where to see wildlife species in Tanzania

Maximise the chances of seeing your favourite animals based on traveller sightings reports from the field.


Lion

Lion

Panthera leo

Lions are at the top of the food chain and also most safari wish-lists, but with their numbers falling fast, any encounter with these majestic apex predators always feels like a privilege.

81% SUCCESS

3,046 sightings from 3,750 observations

Where to see lion in Tanzania

Leopard

Leopard

Panthera pardus

The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, leopard occur across many habitats, from wild tracts to populated areas. Their grace and their elusive nature make them a unique safari drawcard.

47% SUCCESS

1,948 sightings from 4,161 observations

Where to see leopard in Tanzania

Cheetah

Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

The cheetah is the fastest land animal and the only cat that hunts by pure speed. Found largely in open grasslands, its slim, elegant form is today an increasingly rare sight.

33% SUCCESS

1,052 sightings from 3,193 observations

Where to see cheetah in Tanzania

Wild dog

Wild dog

Lycaon pictus

African wild dogs are among the continent’s most compelling animals. Much misunderstood, these rare, tie-dyed canids are amazingly efficient hunters with a fascinating social life.

32% SUCCESS

879 sightings from 2,786 observations

Where to see wild dog in Tanzania

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

The spotted hyena may be thought of as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating and warrants attention on any safari.

55% SUCCESS

2,182 sightings from 3,960 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Tanzania

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Connochaetes sp.

Superficially bovine in appearance, wildebeests are known for their spectacular migrations sometimes in huge numbers. These resilient animals are some of Africa’s most successful herbivores.

68% SUCCESS

2,496 sightings from 3,684 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Tanzania

Buffalo

Buffalo

Syncerus caffer

One of the ‘Big Five’, buffalo earned a fearsome reputation in hunters’ tales. By contrast, big herds of these sociable bovids are placid, but mount formidable defences against predators.

83% SUCCESS

2,572 sightings from 3,105 observations

Where to see buffalo in Tanzania

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Pan troglodytes

The chimpanzee is our closest living relative. This highly intelligent great ape is a forest animal with a sophisticated social life. Any encounter in the wild is a memorable experience.

100% SUCCESS

28 sightings from 28 observations

Where to see chimpanzee in Tanzania

Eland

Eland

Taurotragus oryx

Africa’s largest antelope, eland are culturally important from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, they are also shy so sightings are uncommon and often fleeting.

49% SUCCESS

1,467 sightings from 2,987 observations

Where to see eland in Tanzania

Elephant

Elephant

Loxodonta africana

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.

91% SUCCESS

3,643 sightings from 4,011 observations

Where to see elephant in Tanzania

Oryx

Oryx

Oryx sp.

Oryx are impressive antelopes, with a powerful physique and elegant markings set off by rapier-like horns. They cut a distinctive dash in some of Africa’s harshest landscapes.

70% SUCCESS

1,332 sightings from 1,911 observations

Where to see oryx in Tanzania

Gerenuk

Gerenuk

Litocranius walleri

With its slender frame and extraordinarily long neck, this unmistakable East African antelope resembles an attenuated impala and often stands on its back legs browse high shrubs.

75% SUCCESS

89 sightings from 118 observations

Where to see gerenuk in Tanzania

Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

The world’s tallest land mammal, giraffes are herbivores which have evolved many unique adaptations. Their iconic outlines tower above the bush in many of Africa’s wildlife areas.

86% SUCCESS

3,518 sightings from 4,091 observations

Where to see giraffe in Tanzania

Hippo

Hippo

Hippopotamus amphibius

The territorial calls of the hippo create a signature soundtrack to Africa’s rivers & wetlands. Despite an endearing smile, this aquatic herbivore has a notoriously aggressive disposition.

89% SUCCESS

2,664 sightings from 2,988 observations

Where to see hippo in Tanzania

Roan antelope

Roan antelope

Hippotragus equinus

Africa’s second largest antelope and one of its most handsome, with a powerful build and distinctive markings, roan are wary of people, but renowned for their bravery against predators.

23% SUCCESS

477 sightings from 2,033 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Tanzania

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger

Perhaps Africa’s most beautiful antelope, sable are renowned for their combative nature, even holding off lions. Shy and restricted in range, sightings of sable are always special.

23% SUCCESS

457 sightings from 2,025 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Tanzania

Sitatunga

Sitatunga

Tragelaphus spekii

The sitatunga is the most aquatic of Africa’s antelopes and specially adapted to its swampy habitats. Though widespread across Africa, only a handful of places offer reliable sightings.

18% SUCCESS

61 sightings from 330 observations

Where to see sitatunga in Tanzania

Striped Hyena

Striped Hyena

Hyaena hyaena

The striped hyena is the most widespread of the world’s hyenas, but absent from southern Africa. A rarely-seen nocturnal scavenger, it is shyer and more solitary than its spotted cousin.

14% SUCCESS

123 sightings from 906 observations

Where to see striped hyena in Tanzania

Zebra

Zebra

Equus sp.

The zebra is a quintessential African animal: the horse in stripy pyjamas at the end of every child’s A–Z. There are three species, of which the plains zebra is much the most common.

84% SUCCESS

3,840 sightings from 4,564 observations

Where to see zebra in Tanzania

Aardvark

Aardvark

Orycteropus afer

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush whilst sightings remain elusive.

2% SUCCESS

68 sightings from 3,331 observations

Where to see aardvark in Tanzania

Pangolin

Pangolin

Smutsia sp.

Pangolins appear to be more pine cone than animal in their unique armoury of scales. These nocturnal, ant-eating oddities are not only highly elusive but also increasingly rare.

2% SUCCESS

54 sightings from 3,338 observations

Where to see pangolin in Tanzania

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.

30% SUCCESS

623 sightings from 2,056 observations

Where to see black rhino in Tanzania

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

Other styles of holiday in Tanzania

Discover all that Tanzania has to offer


Beach holidays

Beach holidays

Discover Africa's coast and tropical islands.

Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Diverse habitats, discreet hides and superb guiding.

Cultural experiences

Cultural experiences

Get an insight into Africa's cultures and history.

Diving & snorkelling

Diving & snorkelling

Find captivating marine life beneath the waves

Family holidays

Family holidays

Hand-picked camps for an incredible family safari.

Honeymoons

Honeymoons

Romantic safaris and castaway island retreats.

Luxury

Luxury

First-class service, scenic vistas and unparalleled comfort await you during these carefully selected luxury holidays. 

Photography holidays

Photography holidays

Great holidays to suit the keen photographer.

Private villas & houses

Private villas & houses

Enjoy Africa with just your friends & family

Riding holidays

Riding holidays

Explore Africa's wilderness on horseback.

Solo Travel

Solo Travel

Trip ideas ideally suited for a solo traveller.

Walking

Walking

Explore Africa's most scenic trails on foot.

Walking safaris

Walking safaris

Explore Africa's untouched wildernesses on foot.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Wellness escapes in stunning locations

Wildlife safaris

Wildlife safaris

These trips include hard-hitting game and fascinatingly elusive species alike, as well as superb guiding and a variety of diverse ecosystems.

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