Most hotels and resorts on Zanzibar either have a dive center on the
premises (preferable) or have a contract with an off-site dive center
to provide diving for their guests. Ras Nungwi, Breezes, Palms, Karafuu
and Mnemba Island lodges all have dive centers located on the premises.
Diving on Zanzibar is generally better on the north and east sides
of the island, which have a nice mix of dive sites from fascinating
macro sites to wall dives and drift dives with plentiful pelagics.
Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel has the best dive center on Zanzibar and is closest to the best sites including the Mnemba Atoll, which is a marine conservation area and is suitable for all levels of divers. Ras Nungwi offers scheduled dive trips to Mnemba Atoll just about every other day with off days focusing on the other great dive sites in the area including Kombe and Misoli. The Ras Nungwi dive center is called Gold Palm and it is licensed by PADI. You can find out more information about the diving at Ras Nungwi directly on their website. Breezes Beach Club and The Palms also have a highly regarded dive center on their property called the Rising Sun, which is a licensed PADI dive center. For the ultimate diving, we recommend Mnemba Island Lodge. Two dives a day are included in the Mnemba Lodge rate as long as you have your PADI card. The diving here obviously revolves around Mnemba Atoll and you will most likely have the dive boat and instructor all to yourself.
Zanzibar offers some great snorkeling opportunities. Two of the best sites are Menai Bay and Mnemba Atoll. Both are marine conservation areas and offer super snorkeling. Menai Bay is located just off the coast from Fumba Beach Lodge and is best visited on the Safari Blue snorkel tour (described below). Mnemba Atoll is best done on a scheduled dive/snorkel trip from Ras Nungwi (they usually have these scheduled every other day) or by staying at Mnemba Island Lodge. Other snorkel sites include (though not as good as Menai or Mnemba) the house reefs at Ras Nungwi, Breezes and The Palms.
Safari Blue Snorkeling Tour
Price - $65 per person for a full day or $45 per person for a half
The Safari Blue Snorkeling Tour explores the Menai Bay Marina Conservation
Area. Menai Bay is home to a number of beautiful uninhabited islands,
white sand banks and pristine coral reefs. The Tour is conducted from
Fumba Village, which is adjacent to Fumba Beach Lodge on the south
west coast of Zanzibar. If you are interested in Safari Blue, it’s
recommended that you choose Fumba Beach Lodge for your accommodations
on Zanzibar. It’s a minimum 1.5-hour drive (each way) from any
of the other beach resorts on the north and east coasts to Fumba,
which can make this tour inconvenient if one is not staying at Fumba
or in Stone Town.
The Safari Blue Tour begins after breakfast when you are picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Fumba fishing village. Upon arrival you will be given a life jacket demonstration followed by a briefing on the day’s excursion. You will then board a dhow (traditional sailing boat) and set off in search of dolphins enroute to the Menai Bay Marine Conservation Area. Spinner and Bottlenose dolphins are frequently sighted. The morning is spent on a beautiful sandbank in Menai Bay where one can relax, swim and snorkel. Snorkeling equipment is provided and local guides will take you to the best sites on the pristine coral reefs.
Lunch is served after a morning snorkeling. The BBQ buffet lunch includes fish, slipper lobster, calamari, rice, lentils and tropical fruit. Chilled fresh fruit juice, mineral water and bottled soft drinks are available throughout the day. The remainder of the afternoon is spent visiting different snorkeling sites, sand bars and lagoons. The full day tour ends at about 4.00pm at Fumba.
Stone Town – Historic and Cultural Tour – Half
Price - $50 per person for a half day private tour
This privately guided tour includes such interesting sites as the
Town Market, Slave Market, Slave Chambers, National Museum of Zanzibar,
High Court Building, Old German Consulate, Africa House (former English
Club), Tippu Tip House, Kele Kele Square, Old British Consulate, Orphanage
Home, Old Fort, Forodhani Gardens, House of Wonders, Sultan Palace
(now Palace Museum), Custom House, Old Dispensary, Old Harbour, Dr.
David Livingstone’s House and Maruhubi Palace (Ruins).
This stone town guided tour is approximately 3-hour in duration. The tour includes pick up and drop off at your hotel and is conducted on a private vehicle and guide basis. The tour commences at the City Market and covers the above mentioned places. You are then driven or you may walk (optional) to the Natural Museum. The exhibits include stuffed specimens of local birds, a small herbarium of native plants, and a collection of shells. Departing the museum, you will head along the waterfront to Shangani – Old British Consulate (the late Dr. Livingstone’s body remained here before being sent to Britain), the Arab Fort (built in 1700) and the House of Wonders (built in 1883). From here, you proceed on a leisure walk through the Narrow Streets of Stone Town (oldest part of Zanzibar town). In this part of the town, you will find lots of small and exotic bazaars, curio shops and great shopping. The tour continuous and ends with a visit to Maruhubi Palace Ruins (1880) and Dr. David Livingstone’s House (1866).
Spice Farms Tour – Half Day
Price - $50 per person for a half day private tour
Spices, tropical fruits and rare plant species are among the different types of vegetation to be seen on this guided tour. It is not only a tour but also a rare experience to prove why Zanzibar is referred to as the ‘Spice Island’. This guided tour is approximately 4-hours in duration. The tour includes pick up and drop off at your hotel and is conducted on a private vehicle and guide basis. We leave for Kidichi via Kibweni Palace (Sultan Rest House) to view the Persian Baths built in 1850 by Seyyid Said bin Sultan (first Sultan of Zanzibar) for his wife Princess Shehrzard (grand daughter of Fateh Ali Shah of Persia). At Kidichi, you will visit the Spice Farms to see such exotic spices as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and nutmeg. Tropical fruits include jack fruit, bread fruit, pineapple, banana, mango, papaya and coconut. Other rare plants include the henna bush, perfume tree and lipstick tree.
Stone Town and Spice Farms Combined Tour – Full Day
Price - $75 per person for a full day private tour
Combine the two most popular tours for a full day educational adventure on Zanzibar. The combined Stone Town and Spice Farms Tour is approximately 6-hours in duration. The tour includes pick up and drop off at your hotel and is conducted on a private vehicle and guide basis.