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where to go diving from Tanzania

Discussion in 'Africa' started by ClairevL, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. ClairevL

    ClairevL Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: The Netherlands
    Next year my boyfriend plan to go to Tanzania, go up Kilimanjaro, visit game parks etc. But, We'd also love to include a substantial portion of diving in this trip. I've read a bit about Mozambique, Madagascar, and Aliwal, but overall I really don't know where to go. I'd like to go diving for about 2 weeks in a place that I can reach from Tanzania preferably by a direct flight.
    - We really like large pelagics! And we have never seen a whale shark yet...it would be great to see one!
    - we enjoy diving in warm water and beautiful coral, but also don't mind colder water
    - We'd love to do a liveaboard (both prefer this over land-based diving), but we'd like to find something affordable then (not too much more than 1500 euro per week). We don't care about fancy boats, we do care about spectacular dive sites.
    - We prefer to be in a place where we can do 3-4 dives per day.
    - So far we have been diving in South Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Indonesia, and the Netherlands.
    - We don't mind strong currents.
    - A nice mix of different sites would be great.
    - We would like to go in July/August, but November/December would also be an option.

    Could somebody please give us some advise on awesome places for diving?
    Thanks very much in advance!
  2. widget

    widget Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: South Africa
    Its quite a list. :D

    But generally speaking a quick response would be -

    - The easiest direct flight is to SA and by implication then Aliwal Shoal or maybe Sodwana Bay.
    - Its possible to see whale sharks, but like anything that is not Disney choreographed its "luck of the draw".
    - Sodwana Bay is warmer (topside and underneath) and you will have good weather most of the year round, but Aliwal is still fine, around 18-22 celcius water temp on average. Remember Sodwana Bay is fairly remote in that its not feasible to pop out at night for a movie and a burger, whereas the Aliwal Shoal is near Durban and there is lots to do topside as well.
    - There are no live aboard's operating off the SA coast, its all land based diving.
    - 3-4 dives a day would be tough, work on two, at best!
    - Strong currents and surge are common on the shoal.
    - I would suggest Aliwal shoal and Sodwana Bay as the two best areas for diving, there is a greater chance of seeing big pelagics off the shoal, but diving conditions can be temperamental, Sodwana Bay has nice coral reefs and diving conditions are generally easier, its a trade off! There are lots of operators at both sites and all are good, its your choice. Look a few up and e-mail them, I am sure you will be well looked after.
    If you feel up to the trip you can fly to Cape Town and dive there as well, here you can dive with great whites almost year round but the water is cold, and June / July in Cape Town in also winter, expect cold wind and rain as well, November or December is better. Again there are many operators in Cape Town who would be only too happy to assist, they are all good, just take your pick. Cape Town is also a great holiday destination and if there is inclement weather and you cant dive there is lots to do topside to keep you entertained.
  3. XMEtienne

    XMEtienne Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Switzerland / USA / East Africa
    Hi Claire,

    Your post was quite some times ago, but mentioned November/December or July/Agust, so maybe you haven't made there yet :)

    Why go to South Africa when you have Zanzibar, Mafia and Pemba Islands right in Tanzania? Sodwana is amazing but quite far from Tanzania and it would cost you an arm and a leg...

    The islands I've mentioned are amazing in terms of diving... You could easily fit your budget...

    Pemba is a volcanic island... amazing drop off, lots of wall diving and nice drift dives, it still is like diving in the Great Barrier Reef or the Red Sea twenty years ago, untapped UW marine environment...

    Warm Tropical water for Zanzibar, amazing reef and underwater marine life, not as spectacular as Pemba, but way easier in terms of logistics and boat rides to get you to the dive sites, and a cheaper as no need to fly again to another island... Most importantly you can ally beach, sun, diving and culture, as Zanzibar and Stonetown are rich historically charged...

    For the whale shark, then chose Mafia Island... water is not as tropical as Zanzibar and spectacular as Pemba, but is reputed for drift dives, whale sharks...

    Anyway should still want to know more about diving in Tanzania, just send me an email I might be able to help, as I am a professional passionate diver (who unfortunately doesn't / can't dive as he would want to) and owns 3 DMC (Destination Management Company) and Tour Operator companies in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya :wink:

    Greetings from Zanzibar,

    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  4. ClairevL

    ClairevL Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: The Netherlands
    Hi Max,

    I just read your reply - somehow I didn't get a notification. Thanks very much for all the information.
    I ended up only doing a few dives in Zanzibar, near Jambiani. The diving was enjoyable, quite a lot of fish. And overall Zanzibar was just a paradise with beautiful beaches, lots of interesting cultural sights, incredibly friendly people, and delicious food.

    I'm said I couldn't go to Pemba and Mafia Island (too little time left). Pemba sounds spectacular!
    That just means I'll have to come back later;-)
    billt4sf likes this.
  5. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    If you want to go further afield then I could recommend diving in Lake Malawi. It's home to about 1000 species of cichlids, most of which are endemic to that lake so it's the only place in the world you can see most of these species outside of an aquarium.

    Wingy and billt4sf like this.
  6. ClairevL

    ClairevL Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: The Netherlands
    That sounds like a spectacular dive site! Sadly, I just got back home, so I'll have to wait a while until the next one.
  7. Sorinale

    Sorinale Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Romania
    Hello Max
    We will be going (me and wife+ another couple) to Zanzibar, from 27.11 till 06.12.16.
    Please, can you share some wisdom with us about diving in Zanzibar?
    Kind regardd
  8. XMEtienne

    XMEtienne Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Switzerland / USA / East Africa
    Hi Sorin... Please send me an email at admin@serene-tours.com I will get back to you accordingly... Greetings from Zanzibar... Max
  9. billt4sf

    billt4sf Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Fayetteville GA, Wash DC, NY, Toronto, SF
    THAT is on my bucket list! Any further info, Diver0001?

    - Bill
  10. jfe

    jfe Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Qatar / South Africa
    I dived in Tanzania last year Sept and almost had the scare of my life when the dynamite fisherman started dropping their bombs. Yes, it still exist in Tanzania and just off the Dar Es Salaam shoreline.
    Have been to Zanzibar for a 2 night stay and unfortunately didn't have the opportunity to dive there, but I gather it is some of the most spectacular diving in Africa. The island itself is very beautiful and I'll surely go back there some time in the future but would prolong my stay and do some dives as well.

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