The archipelago of Zanzibar, lying off the coast of Tanzania, is a beautiful group of islands with crystal-clear, blue water and sunny, sandy beaches, a great location for any holiday. The snorkelling that the area provides, however, is by far some of the best that you’ll find in the world. There are a number of islands that make great starting points for a day of snorkelling, and here are some that we would recommend.
Tumbatu is the third largest island in the area at 5 miles (8km) long and surrounded by beautiful reef. A permit is required for diving, but there are many diving tour operators on the island who will be able to take you into the water and show you some of the best sights for the location.
Chumbe Island Reef Sanctuary
Chumbe Island is nowadays a conservation park, maintained by Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP) who have kept the area free from outside harm to preserve its natural beauty. This means that the coral reef around the island has been almost untouched for years, making it a beautiful place to try out snorkelling, although it should be noted that diving is not permitted here, and all snorkelling activities must be overseen by CHICOP themselves.
Mnemba Island is one of Tanzania’s most famous diving and snorkelling spots, with the possibility to see dolphins, humpback whales, whale sharks, and turtles in the deep water, and an amazing visibility of over 20m. Once again, in order to snorkel here you will need to have permission from the Mnemba Island Lodge who own the island, but if you’re a big fan of snorkelling and diving it might be worth considering making this island your base of operations.