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Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar… The names roll off the tongue like a roster call of Africa’s most alluring destinations, all packed into one country. Resonating with hints of the wild and exotic, these four alone are reason enough to justify packing your bag and heading off to dive in Tanzania. Within the space of several hours, it’s possible to go from diving in the idyllic beaches of Zanzibar to exploring moss-covered ruins of ancient Swahili city-states; from climbing mist-covered slopes in the Southern Highlands to trekking through the barren landscapes around Ol Doinyo Lengai, guided by a spear-carrying Maasai warrior. Yet, despite its attractions, Tanzania has managed for the most part to remain unassuming and low-key. 

Diving Tanzania offers divers world-class reefs and plentiful schools of tropical fish just offshore of popular beaches and secluded locations; barracudas, sailfish, sting rays and the occasional sharks are only a few of the wide range of species that divers can meet under the deep clear waters of Zanzibar.

In general the dive season in East Africa is between September and March, with June-August being less reliable conditions though diving continues in sheltered lea shores of Zanzibar, Pemba and in the Bay of Mafia. April and May are the months of the long rains when many facilities close. Between August - October Humpback and Sperm whales and whale sharks migrate along the coast. This is also the time that Hawksbill & Green Turtles start to nest with hatchlings emerging in the new year. January to March is also the period of Whale shark aggregations.

Ask your travel health expert (e.g. GP, practice nurse or travel clinic) before your trip to provide you with up to date information and vaccines to ensure your travels are safe and enjoyable. It is vital to ensure that all members of your party have adequate health and travel insurance cover, which includes cover for cancellation and any ‘higher risk’ activities you are likely to take part in.

You will need to ensure you have correct documentation for your holiday including a full passport valid for the minimum period required from the date of departure from Tanzania. You may also require a visa.

Top regions in tanzania

Best for - Beginner (10/10), Intermediate (9/10)

Zanzibar is a stunning island with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters making holidays to Zanzibar the perfect place for relaxation. The south-east coast is home to one of the finest beaches in the world, boasting an amazing coral reef that runs the length of the coast and is ideal for snorkelling and diving. In recent years this area has become very popular with kitesurfers as well with the best wind from November to March and then also in September and August.

There is so much to see and so in Zanzibar and Tanzania, but it can be quite a complex location to plan independently. Luckily Planet has vast experience in this part of the world and we are experts at constructing tailor-made itineraries to fit client interests, budget and time frame.

There is a good range of accommodation in Zanzibar from small boutique beach hotels to luxury resort and spa properties. Zanzibar is a great location for those looking for a combination of luxury and adventure!

Go to Zanzibar Page

Best for - Intermediate (8/10), Advance (10/10), Snorkelling (9/10)

Pemba Island is a short flight north on it's better know sister Island of Zanzibar. Pemba is one of the very few places left in the world where you can truly feel like an underwater explorer in this little dives area. The water around the Island offer some of the very best diving in East Africa with a mixture or shelving coral reefs to stunning dramatic drops offer and fast drift dives.

Planet first visited this island over 12 years ago and we are pleased to say that it's unique and unspoilt nature has remained intact. This is the prefect location for romantic break or Honeymoon as part of a tailor made tour of East Africa. We can combine you stay in the stunning and award winning Fundu Lagoon with any number of option to include wildlife safaris in Kenya or Tanzania, Kilimanjaro climb, beach resort in Kenya, Zanzibar or Mafia Island. 

Please Dive has a lot of first hand experience in this area so please call for some advice on putting together the perfect tour of a life time.

Go to Pemba Island Page

Best for - Beginner (10/10), Intermediate (10/10), Advance (10/10), Snorkelling (10/10)

Mafia Island is the largest of a small archipelago on the coast of southern Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. Mafia Island is only around 50 km long and 15 km wide, surrounded by a beautiful marine environment. Almost half the coastline is fringing barrier reef forming a protected marine park. The main attraction of a diving holiday to Mafia Island is its feeling of remoteness combined with stunning beaches and incredible marine life. Life on Mafia seems to have stood still whilst the rest of the world races making it feel like you are in the early 20th century. One advantage that Mafia has over it'e better-known sister islands of Zanzibar and Pemba Island is that the main dive sites, especially around Chole Bay, are accessible all year round. 

Go to Mafia Island Page