Mnemba Island

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein

Mnemba Island Dive Sites

The dive sites around the island are part of the Mnemba Island Marine Conservation Area (MIMCA) and boast some of the best visibility conditions around the archipelago, 15-20m on average and many days with excess of 30m! There is also a good chance of seeing dolphins from the boat along the way, and sometimes having them swim past while snorkelling or scuba diving! While shark sightings are rare in Zanzibar, Mnemba is one of the more likely places to find whitetip or blacktip reef sharks. For the extremely lucky guest, you may encounter one of our few visits from a whaleshark passing by or seeing a humpback whale during their migratory season.

Kichwani Wall is a steep coral bank with a number of small crevices hiding lionfish, porcupine fish, leaffish and nudibranches, if you look to the deep water you may be lucky and see the occasional schools of snappers, fusiliers, or batfish and sometimes pod of dolphins swimming past. You will likely encounter bluefin trevally hunting on the reef. Watta Bommies offers a lovely section of cabbage corals at a depth of 18-30m and you may spot a turtle, crocadile fish or indian ocean walkman along the way. There are gardens full of garden eels and keep an eye on the redtooth triggerfish when they are nesting. Eel City is a small area between the other two dive sites that is a shallow bomi with many moray eels, garden eels and even ribbon eels - hence the name. Look closely and you will find that several of those things you think are stones are actually looking back at you - stonefish! This is a great spot for photographers with clear water and loads of natural light to bring out the colours of the many interesting creatures to photograph.

The boat journey from our dive bases is only 30-40 minutes depending on sea conditions and the tides as on a low tide we travel outside of the East coast reefs and on a high tide we can take a short cut. From looking at the map, one may think it is easier to get there from the East coast of Zanzibar. However, due to most of the East coast being inaccessible by boat at low tide, you must take a long bumpy road dala dala journey to meet the boat. Therefore, most of the time Mnemba is more easily accessible by a speedboat from Kendwa! Many of our guests come across from the East coast hotels, join our excursions and enjoy the beautiful Kendwa Beach sunset before returning to their hotel.

While the dive sites are available to all experience levels, we do not recommend this area for absolute beginners unless they have one-on-one instructor contact. This is due not only to the deep depths, but also the potential for strong currents. It is important for all divers to plan their dives and dive their plans - and never follow your dive guide's computer! The reef ranges from 2m-30m+ while the slope continues down to 80m+, far beyond the limits of recreational diving. Be aware of boat traffic as this is a busy area and stay with your buddy and dive group.

Lastly, Mnemba is an Island, not an Atoll - anyone trying to take you to Mnemba Atoll may not have much knowledge about the aquatic realm. This misconception began with a misprint on a Zanzibar map years ago which has long since been corrected, so this can be a great way to test your guides to see if they really know what they are talking about. Read more about Types of Coral Reef Formations with our friends at Coral Reef Alliance.

" One day on Mnemba you may have no current at all, then another day you will cover three divesites within a 50 minute dive!"

- Instructor Haji

About Scuba Do Zanzibar

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Phone/Whatsapp: +255 (0)777 417 157

Email: do-scuba@scuba-do-zanzibar.com

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