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Safaris in Tanzania and diving in Zanzibar and Pemba Islands! Interested?

Discussion in 'Africa' started by XMEtienne, May 27, 2016.

Would consider an African Adventure for:

Poll closed Nov 23, 2016.
  1. Diving

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Safaris

    50.0%
  3. Or both

    50.0%
  1. XMEtienne

    XMEtienne Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Switzerland / USA / East Africa
    18
    6
    3
    Hi fellow divers and professional colleagues,

    This post has multiple purposes... :)
    1. Promote Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia Islands and Lake Tanganyika as dive destinations, as it is still unknown and untapped! Situated in Tanzania and on the Indian Ocean pristine white beaches and turquoise tropical waters are ideal destinations for diving and beach holidays after a safari.

    2. As the same time as you might want to come and do some diving, it is also to entice you to combine a safari whilst there is still a wild life to see in Africa, it might be gone and over before the end of our lifetime!

    3. To create awareness and most importantly, stop gossips and unreasonable fears about Africa been a dangerous continent with wild animals, savages and sickness decimating entire populations!

    4. Get you to have the time of your life, lifetime long lasting memories and spread the words about amazing East Africa!

    5. And of course we are making a humble living out of it... But that's for the good cause, our passion for scuba diving, nature and giving it back to the community!
    Tanzania, Zanzibar and its people

    From wilderness safaris to trekking mountains in the southern highlands to snoozing on idyllic beaches, Tanzania has it all, it provides the amateur and the experienced with lifetime lasting memories. Just the name Mount Kilimanjaro should be enough to entice any adventure traveler to Tanzania’s National Park and to the peak of Africa. Tours to Mt Kilimanjaro offer unrivaled sights from the top of Africa's highest and most recognized mountain. Due to the dense rainforest at the bottom of the mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro treks offer an African safari tour on top of just the splendor of the main climb. June throughout end of March are widely considered as the best months to visit Tanzania due to being the dry season, April to end of May is considered as the monsoon season.

    upload_2016-5-27_22-10-6.png

    Diving in Tanzania

    Tanzania is one of those places, the imagination takes over when destinations like Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam are mentioned. Bounded on all sides by water, the Indian Ocean to the east, and the great rift valley lakes of Africa. Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi, to the northwest, west and southwest. Tanzania offers shore diving, boat diving, live aboard, drift diving, wreck diving, Tec Diving… opportunities and lake diving, there’s a great deal here to keep adventurous divers happy.

    Pemba:
    Is Tanzania’s northernmost Indian Ocean island. Pemba Island, millions of years ago, used to be a volcano, it offers quintessential Indian Ocean diving, underwater environment is with coral choked walls, colorful reefs, big bommies and enormous sea fans orbited by an amazing cast of reef fish. This remote Volcanic Coral Sea atoll and Pemba Channel is made up of several individual dive sites, populated with reef sharks, white-tips, grey whalers, silvertips, you’ll also see potato cod, groupers, manta rays, bigeye trevally and bumphead parrotfish, schools of baracudas and Napoleon wrasse.

    It offers numerous types of diving, from a shallow water dive contemplating coral tables, to drift dives, wreck diving, night diving and dramatic wall diving, dropping of the 20, 30, 60 meters crowded of hammerhead sharks, boarding the south of Pemba and its channel of 800 meters deep. Pemba dive sites can be considered a world class diving and have preserved by the remoteness of the Island and its difficult logistic organization for diving.a unexploited potential of Tec diving.

    upload_2016-5-27_22-11-11.png

    Zanzibar:
    Is a fine example of the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa. It retains its urban fabric and townscape virtually intact and contains many fine buildings that reflect its particular culture, which has brought together and homogenized disparate elements of the cultures of Africa, the Arab region, India, and Europe over more than a millennium.

    Mnemba atoll, the self-proclaimed tropical fish capital of East Africa, this classic Indian Ocean atoll system is teeming with fish and offers drift and wall diving, all with consistent 30-metre/100-foot visibility.

    Leven bank, off the northern tip of Zanzibar is the domain of experienced divers looking for a unique thrill in wide-open ocean. Strong currents wash the bank, which is populated by big game fish, tuna, barracuda, kingfish, trevally, a variety of wrasse and huge moray eels.

    upload_2016-5-27_22-12-5.png

    Diving Tanzania in Summary:
    Pemba and Zanzibar have also the potential to be home to TecRec courses, appropriate dive sites, such as the Balcony a deep wall starting from 7 meters to a depth of 100 meters covered in Sea Whips and Gorgonian Fans, protected from current dropping to plateaus at 40, 45, 50 to 60 meters deep. Tec diving logistic can be organized fairly easily, a company dealing medical breathing gases in Dar es Salaam can provide divers and dive centers, with helium, neon and Freon gases. More importantly an hyperbaric chamber is located near by on the island of Zanzibar, which only at 20 nautical miles from Pemba dive sites.

    Whilst Mafia Island is reputed for diving and whale shark snorkeling, from November to March. Outside of these months, diving outside the bay is not possible due to weather conditions, diving is closed from April to May. March is a month which varies, the second half usually is the start of the rainy season, but the beginning still has excellent conditions. Whale sharks can be spotted from October through to March but are situated on the western side of the island and is done on snorkel only.

    Safaris in Tanzania

    North or South?

    Should you want to do a safari in the north or the in the south of Tanzania, and how long should you spend on your safari? Is the first and most important decision you need to make. The northern safari parks are very different to those in the South and there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

    upload_2016-5-27_22-18-8.png
    Northern Safaris Circuits:
    Offers some of the world’s most diverse safari experiences, consisting of National Parks, game reserves, conservation areas and private concessions. Among these are the world-famous and iconic Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, and of course their less well-known neighbours, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park. These parks exist for one general purpose and that is to protect the amazing variety and abundance of wildlife in them, both resident and seasonal - and most of all, the world’s largest annual migration of wildebeest and zebra. Although this part of the world has become increasingly busy as a result of its reputation, it is still possible to escape the crowds and find a quiet corner if you know where to go.

    A northern Tanzania safari should be on everyone's travel bucket list. The Serengeti's Great Migration is one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles in the world, whilst safari on the Crater floor of the extinct volcano at Ngorongoro is a game viewing environment that has no equal. Towering above it all is Kilimanjaro, the worlds highest freestanding mountain and arguably Africa's toughest challenge. Away from the tourist hotspots, quieter parks such as Tarangire are superb for game viewing yet often overlooked to their more famous neighbours. The Rift Valley Lakes of Eyasi and Natron are the home of Hadzabe tribes and the breeding grounds for the largest flocks of flamingo on earth. For many people, a Northern Tanzanian safari is the very best safari of all.

    upload_2016-5-27_22-18-58.png

    Southern Safaris Circuits:
    Southern Tanzania is the perfect destination for travelers looking for plentiful and rare wildlife in a remote area of Africa. The national parks have fewer visitors and give the feeling of being all alone. Activities include game drives in open vehicles, boat safaris, and walking safaris. These most of these safaris include flights between the parks, the most popular national parks are Selous and Ruaha. Other National Parks, such as Mikumi and Uduzungwa Montains. It can be followed by a visit on the most Western Tanzanian National Parks, a trek in Mahale Mountains of visits to the chimpanzee to Gombe National Park on the the Lake Tanganyika.

    We would recommend you to start your safaris from the Northern part of Tanzania, in Arusha or Kilimanjaro region, where you can opt to also do a Kilimanjaro trekking and or visit the Northern safaris circuits. Ideally from there you can either go directly to Tanzanian Islands for an extension of your safari on the beach; or Dar es Salaam and start from there the Southern safaris circuits, best would be to fly from Dar es Salaam to Ruaha and drive your way back to Zanzibar whilst doing other National Parks, before finishing your African adventure with a diving extension to Zanzibar, Mafia or Pemba Islands.

    upload_2016-5-27_22-19-33.png
    Well, I hope this short summary enticed you to get in touch with us. We would be delighted to advise you, book and facilitate your next adventure in our part of the World!

    Sunny greetings from Tanzania and Zanzibar, and Karibu Kwetu!

    Max X. Etienne
    Padi IDC Staff Instr. # 111525
    admin@serene-tours.com
    +255715815141 Tel


    upload_2016-5-28_0-29-12.png
    www.serene-tours-zanzibar.com

    Toll free: +18443AFRICA


    upload_2016-5-28_0-29-32.png

    www.serene-tours-tanzania.com
    Toll free: +18443AFRICA
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 27, 2016
    NYCNaiad likes this.
  2. dou2ble

    dou2ble Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United States
    5
    0
    1
    Where does Zanzibar diving rank compared to the rest of the world? I've always heard it's clear visibility 25-30m and lots of variety but nothing unique if one's already been to Bali, GBR, Fiji, Hawaii, and other top 20 places. Is Zanzibar a place to go specificaly for diving or is it something to join in on if already going?
     
  3. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,665
    2,266
    113
    Thank you for the informative and honest posting. I had a taste of East Africa and loved it - and want more - getting knowledge out about the area is great.
     
  4. XMEtienne

    XMEtienne Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Switzerland / USA / East Africa
    18
    6
    3
    Hi there,

    When we talk about Zanzibar you have to keep in mind that we are talking about the Archipelago and its islands, the two main islands are Pemba and Unguja (Stonetown Zanzibar main Island).

    Pemba is spectacular in terms of diving, drop-off and wall diving, drift, magnificent coral gardens, spectacular underwater marine life (Manta, white tips...), Pemba Island was a volcano millions of years ago, its visibility can go way beyond 30 meters, I would say it is way better than the Red Sea and comparable to the Great Barrier Reef but with the wall diving on top of it... It is better than Bali and we could say comparable to the Gilis (Trawangan, Meno and Air) Islands years ago... Yes it definitely worth it to plan it as diving holiday destination.

    Whilst Unguja is charged with History and Culture, the island was attached to the African Continent millions of years ago, its underwater landscape is not as spectacular as a Pemba, it doesn't have the wall and drop-off diving Pemba has, it is more of coral gardens and drift diving around Mnemba Island. I would say it is comparable to Pulau Menjangan, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida in Bali. A lot of Coral Gardens, beautiful Tropical Underwater Marine Life, with a visibility reaching 20 to 40 meters...

    Consequently, I would say since Zanzibar is in the Indian Ocean and right next to the African Continent and that it takes almost 24 hours to reach from the US, to combine it with a Safaris in Tanzania for 4 - 5 days and then do either Pemba or Zanzibar, if you have time why not 4 to 5 days in Pemba for diving and 4 to 5 days in Zanzibar for its culture and add a dive or two...

    Let me know if you are interested in an escapade in Tanzania, Pemba and/or Zanzibar.

    Greetings from Zanzibar,

    Max
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
  5. XMEtienne

    XMEtienne Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Switzerland / USA / East Africa
    18
    6
    3
    Hi Wingy,

    Should you want to come back in these part of the World, let us know... It will be a pleasure to organise your stay whether in Tanzania or in Zanzibar...

    Kindest regards and sunny greetings from Zanzibar and Tanzania,

    Max
     
    Wingy likes this.
  6. Wingy

    Wingy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Perth West Aust.
    2,665
    2,266
    113
    Thank you Max may see you one day :) I would like to add for people considering the East African Islands, consider using a person on the ground rather than a far off agency who is acting as a middle man. Planning an East African trip on your own like I did is very very difficult and Id say was the hardest trip plan i've ever done. It took months of planning to get the three countries I visited locked in. When you finally do have contacts who speak all the required languages and know the required people and areas - it probably pays to use their services. While I wouldn't change a thing of the trip I just did, It did take the first few days of wandering around asking and making contacts before I got a few things sorted. Considering I dont speak either language required, it was difficult but its a really special part of the world worth seeing.

    As far as safety...during the afternoon heat of the day when the tide is out so the dugout canoes cant go anywhere, everyone pulls up a patch of sand under a palm tree and has a snooze. Would I sleep on a beach in Asia or even Aus - no, but I had an almost daily nap on the beach as did my buddy.

    Id recommend using a local agent because the weather forecast for my trip was solid blanked out thunderstorms for the entire month...but we had one storm. My contact became invaluable in saving me money trying to get a boat to the cocoa plantations because the harbourmaster and boatmen were arguing - that's the sort of local info that helps.

    TIA - This is Africa. Go dive it and see it, its kinda amazing.

    Best of luck in your business endeavours Max, I wish more people would discover East Africa above and below.
     
  7. XMEtienne

    XMEtienne Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Switzerland / USA / East Africa
    18
    6
    3
    Wingy,

    Thank you for the reply... what you say is so true... this is the reason why we have set up Serene Tours, as having travelled extensively myself I was sick and tired of either do research and sometimes not having it right, or going through an agency not based in the location we were heading to, moreover they were trying to sale us products they had no clue about and ended up disappointed more then once...

    Booking directly through a DMC (Destination Management Company) is the best option, as a DMC is the service provider and not a middleman, as we are providing the ground handling, with the exception of accommodation, regional flights and third party services suppliers, such as diving centers... We know the destination better than anyone not been located there, also we have a constant overview on what is happening and evolution of the destination and therefore adapt our products should needs be. Last but not least, should there be delays, flights cancellations or any type of amendments and last minute itinerary changes, we can react on the spot, guests do not need wasting time with unnecessary communications between their travel agent, the destination management company, hotels and airlines... When you have guests on the ground you need to have an operation which is also on the ground, as every minutes counts, especially in a continent you are not familiar with!

    I wish more travelers would have your understanding, it would avoid them a lot of misadventure and allow them to maximize their travelling expedition and come back with lifelong lasting memories!

    All the best in your next Travel endeavors...

    Max
     
    Wingy likes this.

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