Trip Report Zanzibar Diving Poseidon

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Jaan

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Hey @Conesnail Florida Man .. haha. I assume you've seen the latest Tanzania requirements for exit (now seemingly a PCR test and a Rapid test 6 hours before your flight done at the airport). We have a couple of weeks to decide but we are still leaning on a 'go'. Please do give some news when there. Also if you have found a good shop to dive with or any good sites :wink: :) Happy holidays and Safe Travels !!
 

Jaan

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Hope your trip was ok and that you made it home to Florida safe and sound @Conesnail
We ended up opting to postpone .. and are now planning to go in August.

Any tips on diving or other things around Mmemba would still be appreciated.
 

Conesnail

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Hope your trip was ok and that you made it home to Florida safe and sound @Conesnail
We ended up opting to postpone .. and are now planning to go in August.

Any tips on diving or other things around Mmemba would still be appreciated.
Hi Jaan! Trip was TREMENDOUS! I'd give Poseidon a miss though: Spanish Dancers was the best dive shop in Zanzibar that I found---at least in Nungwi. Didn't check out Memba, but it looked like there wasn't much down there. I checked out Poseidon in Nungwi and they didn't hold a candle to Spanish Dancers. All the dive shops charge about the same, and Spanish Dancers was by far the best outfit I saw. By August things might settle down, but as of now you have to have a PCR or NAAT test before arrival (preferably PCR) and do another rapid test at the airport on arrival. BY ALL MEANS COMPLETE THE VISA APPLICATION IN ADVANCE ONLINE AND PAY FOR IT IN ADVANCE!! My companion was smart... me, not so much. Online visa process looks kinda sketchy but it's legit and saves TONS of time at the airport.

DO NOT TAKE THE FERRY FROM DAR TO STONE TOWN! Huge mistake on our part. Fly: the baggage allowances on Tanzanian airlines are pretty generous.

As far as diving, Zanzibar good. It's not Palau or Belize or even Honduras.... but I saw a lot of things I've always wanted to see: cuttlefish, seahorses, weird skates, and many red damsel fish (the latter, a personal obsession).... Diving was relaxed and uncomplicated. Spanish Dancers prefers that you come the evening before you dive and rig up gear---which I really appreciated. They use metric steel tanks.... 12L and whatever the larger size is. I found the 12L sufficient. DIN or yoke--no worries there.

Beach in Nungwi is very fun. I stayed in a couple places but Aman Beach Bungalows was the best value for the money. Aman is on the beach and Spanish dancers is right next door and you can either walk on the beach or through the various hotels and resorts. Best food is at the fish market right near Aman towards the north. If you want a cool party, walk all the way up the north beach to KangiBangi hotel. Very nice people there.
Beach is pretty safe even at night---only had one run in with an overly drunk and aggressive vendor, but he was quickly dispatched. If you walk way up to the north end at night you may want to carry a flashlight.
 

Conesnail

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Hey @Conesnail Florida Man .. haha. I assume you've seen the latest Tanzania requirements for exit (now seemingly a PCR test and a Rapid test 6 hours before your flight done at the airport). We have a couple of weeks to decide but we are still leaning on a 'go'. Please do give some news when there. Also if you have found a good shop to dive with or any good sites :wink: :) Happy holidays and Safe Travels !!
Sorry I didn't get a chance to login before getting back this morning. Probably a good idea to wait til August, but my friend and I had no problems getting back yesterday. All hakuna matata.

In short, I got out of Tanzania with a rapid test that took less than 5 minutes (once I cleared all the layers of security) and that got me through Istanbul and, now, sitting at home in Tallahassee. I took the test at Kilimanjaro airport---which seemed a lot easier than at DAR. A few passengers on my flight from DAR were turned back for not complying with testing requirements. My friend and I breezed through.

I think right now USA citizens just need the rapid test 24 hours before boarding the first leg of a flight to US, but things are so fluid at the moment I was always close to panic mode when boarding flights. I know that some European countries require PCR tests, and a manager of a tour company was telling us that all of his relatives were stuck in Tanzania because they tested positive on PCR. He said as Americans, we only needed rapids, and so we were very lucky.

Not sure if you've been to Tanzania before, but I found that every transaction worked much better if I started by asking people how they were: "Habari Gani" or "Mambo Vee-pee'" Tanzanians are, in the main, very nice people and super courteous. I made the mistake of "getting right down to business" in a couple transactions, then realized I was being rude.

Whenever you go, you'll enjoy it: Beautiful country, wonderful people. Karibu!
 

Jaan

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Sorry I didn't get a chance to login before getting back this morning. Probably a good idea to wait til August, but my friend and I had no problems getting back yesterday. All hakuna matata.
Glad you made it back and had a great time, thanks for the tips and indeed we are looking forward to the trip.
I'll check out Spanish Dancers and while we are starting in Matemwe looks like there are good sites in the North too.
We've been 10 years ago, and have fond memories...
 

leungj2002

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Hi Jaan! Trip was TREMENDOUS! I'd give Poseidon a miss though: Spanish Dancers was the best dive shop in Zanzibar that I found---at least in Nungwi. Didn't check out Memba, but it looked like there wasn't much down there. I checked out Poseidon in Nungwi and they didn't hold a candle to Spanish Dancers. All the dive shops charge about the same, and Spanish Dancers was by far the best outfit I saw. By August things might settle down, but as of now you have to have a PCR or NAAT test before arrival (preferably PCR) and do another rapid test at the airport on arrival. BY ALL MEANS COMPLETE THE VISA APPLICATION IN ADVANCE ONLINE AND PAY FOR IT IN ADVANCE!! My companion was smart... me, not so much. Online visa process looks kinda sketchy but it's legit and saves TONS of time at the airport.

DO NOT TAKE THE FERRY FROM DAR TO STONE TOWN! Huge mistake on our part. Fly: the baggage allowances on Tanzanian airlines are pretty generous.

As far as diving, Zanzibar good. It's not Palau or Belize or even Honduras.... but I saw a lot of things I've always wanted to see: cuttlefish, seahorses, weird skates, and many red damsel fish (the latter, a personal obsession).... Diving was relaxed and uncomplicated. Spanish Dancers prefers that you come the evening before you dive and rig up gear---which I really appreciated. They use metric steel tanks.... 12L and whatever the larger size is. I found the 12L sufficient. DIN or yoke--no worries there.

Beach in Nungwi is very fun. I stayed in a couple places but Aman Beach Bungalows was the best value for the money. Aman is on the beach and Spanish dancers is right next door and you can either walk on the beach or through the various hotels and resorts. Best food is at the fish market right near Aman towards the north. If you want a cool party, walk all the way up the north beach to KangiBangi hotel. Very nice people there.
Beach is pretty safe even at night---only had one run in with an overly drunk and aggressive vendor, but he was quickly dispatched. If you walk way up to the north end at night you may want to carry a flashlight.
Thanks for the detailed trip report and recommendations! We are going to Zanzibar mid Jan 2023. I've been researching dive ops and was trying to decide among Poseidon, Spanish Dancers and a couple of others so your review is timely and very helpful. We're also debating on whether to go to Pemba as I read that the viz there is the best among the Zanzibar islands. However, we're most interested in macro. I really want to see the weedy scorpion fish and Mauritius scorpion fish. Sounds like we can find those in Nungwi and not in Pemba. Did you see any of them on Shane's reef or any other reefs? What other dive sites would you recommend? How were the dive conditions around that time of the year (viz, swells, etc.)? BTW, have you dove the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach, FL? They have sea horses, frog fish and friendly octopus there.
 

Jaan

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Thanks for the detailed trip report and recommendations! We are going to Zanzibar mid Jan 2023. I've been researching dive ops and was trying to decide among Poseidon, Spanish Dancers and a couple of others so your review is timely and very helpful. We're also debating on whether to go to Pemba as I read that the viz there is the best among the Zanzibar islands. However, we're most interested in macro.
I'll write up what we find in November, and maybe get you a few more tips. We love macro too!
 

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