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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

10 Best Scuba and Snorkeling Activities in Zanzibar, Tanzania

The abundant parks, ecological preserves, and waterways in Zanzibar provide an unforgettable opportunity to get active with nature while exploring the major snorkeling and scuba diving spots.

Lots of untouched marshes, beaches, wildlife, and waterways await the observation and discovery of snorkelers and scuba divers from across the globe all year round.

You will uncover many adventures in the unique ecosystem of Zanzibar, Tanzania while exploring the following ten (10) best scuba diving and snorkeling activities.

1. Private Dolphin Tour and Snorkeling at Mnemba Island reef

This activity is one of the best-recommended activities in Zanzibar, where one can swim and snorkel at different spots.

Partaking in private dolphin tours and snorkeling allows visitors to snorkel in Dolphins, Mnemba reef, and relax at the Sandbanks.   


You can spot dolphins in Kombe, Kichwani, West garden, Tangini, or near Mnemba Island, all northeast of Zanzibar.

The chances of seeing dolphins in these areas are high as each area houses more than 10-30 groups of dolphins.

  • Mnemba reef

Mnemba Island or reef is a famous private site that should be on the bucket list of every diver and snorkeler.

One of the reasons the Atoll is considered a diving site is that the area varies from shallow coral gardens to deep wall dives.  

The renowned marine reserve on the island is one of the best places for diving and snorkeling activities.

The island’s location at the northeast of Zanzibar is known for encounters with abundant sea life, pods of dolphins, and vast visibility.

  • Sandbank

The sandbank close to Mnemba has unbelievably clean and flat water that looks so much like a natural pool.  

Duration: the duration of the tour is 4 hours, with towels and sunscreens excluded from the accessible items.

Language: English

Departure details

  • Traveler pickup is obtainable.
  • An offering of hotel pickup is allowed.
  • We pick up from any Hotel/ Accommodation located in Zanzibar.

Things available during the tour 

Fruit Snacks: watermelon, bananas, pineapple, coconut, mangoes, and more

Bottled water

Use of Snorkeling equipment

Air-conditioned vehicle

Private transportation

Hotel pickup and drop-off

Additional information about the tour

  • Receiving of confirmation will be at the time of booking
  • Infant seats available
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • It’s a private tour/activity; therefore, only your group will participate.
  • Most tourists can partake.

Other things visitors can expect

  • Gear/equipment sanitized between uses
  • Vehicles regularly sanitized

2. Full-Day Group tour Mnemba Island Snorkeling Activities

This Full-Day Group tour visits Muyuni beach for lunch preparation and then moves to Mnemba Island for snorkeling.

Full-Day Group tour starts at 9:00 am and ends at 3:30 pm, with all visitors returning to their meeting points or hotels.  

In this group tour, visitors do not feel lonesome as Dhow boat takes them to Mnemba and lunch included.

The 6 hours 30 minutes tour is excellent for avoiding crowds.

Language: conveying messages and information is in English, Spanish, Italian, 

German, and French.

Available Services

Provision of the following is available during the tour:

  • Lunch
  • Bottled water
  • Snorkeling gear and flippers
  • Snacks

Departure Point

At 8:30 am, free pickup occurs in any hotel in Nungwi, Zanzibar, and returns to the original departure point during this tour.

Important information about the tour 

  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Receiving of confirmation is at the time of booking.
  • The tour will have a maximum of 20 travelers operated by Saving Tour.
  • Participation is for all visitors.

Cancellation policy

Refund and reschedule is applicable if there is a cancelation due to poor weather. However, cutoff times depend on the experiences of local time.

To get a full refund, one must cancel at least 24 hours before the start time.

Note: There will be no refund when the cancelation occurs in less than 24 hours. Changes made less than 24 hours before the start time will not be accepted.

The experience requires a minimum number of travelers, and if canceled, tourists will get an offer for a new date or a refund for their payment.

3. Snorkeling at Blue Lagoon, Starfish, and the Rock Restaurant

Snorkeling at Blue Lagoon is one of the most recommended tours for beach holidays in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

This activity is a 4-hour tour where one can snorkel in a beautiful lagoon, see starfishes, relax at the sandbank, and visit the Rock Restaurant.

Seeing starfishes and snorkeling at Blue Lagoon is a lifetime experience you will not like to miss for anything on your Zanzibar trip.

Inclusions and exclusions of the tour 

  • Fruit snacks like bananas, pineapple, mangoes, watermelon, etc
  • Private transportation, with air-conditioned vehicle
  • Bottled water
  • Provision of snorkeling equipment like a life jacket and mask
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • All fees and taxes  

Excluded items are sunscreens and a towel.

Voucher requirement

Tourists can present a paper or an electronic voucher to confirm their eligibility for this tour.

Additional Route Tour

After a pickup from the hotel, the driver takes the adventures to Dongwe beach for a private boat ride to the Blue lagoon.

Snorkelers at the lagoon will spot various fish species, after which the driver takes you to sandbank for relaxation and lastly to the “Rock Restaurant” for refreshment.

Stop At:

• Michamvi, Michamvi, Zanzibar Island, Zanzibar Archipelago

• Pingwe, Pingwe, Zanzibar Island, Zanzibar Archipelago

• Bwejuu, Bwejuu, Zanzibar Island, Zanzibar Archipelago

• Paje Beach, Paje Tanzania

Departure Point

The tour operators pick travelers from any hotel in Zanzibar

Cancelation policy

 Just like others, snorkeling at Blue Lagoon, Starfish, and the Rock Restaurant has it cancelation policy.

For a full refund, cancelation of the activity happens at least 24 hours before starting.

Additional information regarding the tour 

  • The tour is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Only your group can participate since it’s a private tour.
  • Seats are available for infants. 
  • Gear sanitized between use.
  • Receiving of confirmation will be at the time of booking.
  • Most travelers can participate.
  • The tour operators sanitize vehicles regularly.

Prices for the Rock, Starfish and Blue lagoon 

Group size 1pax 2pax 3pax 4pax +

Price per person 200$ 100$ 80$ 60$

4. Dolphin Tour & Jozany Forest Snorkeling Trip 

Dolphin Tour & Jozany snorkeling trip is a fantastic tour that allows travelers to swim with rare animals like a dolphin.

The 7-hour tour makes it accessible for tourists to watch about 6000 red colobus monkeys in the Jozani forest.

The tour with a group size of 30 permits a photo shooting session, though on request at extra charge.

Dolphin trip includes;

  • Private boat
  • Fruits and soft drinks
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Professional guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • A visit to Jozani virgin forest
  • Pickup and drop off from your hotel
  • All fees, taxes, and fuel surcharges included

Language: available languages during this tour are English, French, German, Russian, Arabic, and Italian.

 Additional information about the trip

It’s an experience that requires good weather, and the following conditions are applicable;

  • The tour is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Receiving of confirmation will be at the time of booking.
  • The tour allows a maximum of 30 travelers.
  • Adults should carry infants on their laps.
  • Most travelers can participate.
  • Pickup of travelers is available.  
  • All guests are picked from and to all hotels.
  • Hotel pickup is accessible.

Details of the activity

Once the guide picks the guest from a hotel, they will transfer them to the south of Zanzibar Island to watch the dolphins using a boat.

After that, a professional guide will pick the tourists to watch colobus monkeys at the Jozani Forest and drop them off at the hotel.  

Departure details

The tour guides will pick up visitors from any hotel close to Zanzibar for departure.

5. Amazing Safari Blue Full-Day Snorkeling Sea trip 

The Safari Blue Full Day tour has been in existence since 1995, and it starts from Fumba to Menai Bay, a conservation area.

On arrival, clients receive a briefing with a coconut drink on Safari Blue and move off to explore Menai Bay, an uninhabited island.

After snorkeling, refreshments follow to whet the appetite before lunch under the tamarind trees at Kwale Island.

Languages: English, Russian

Things to know before engaging in the tour

  • The tour lasts for ten hours
  • Transfer charge from hotels outside the city center is according to location.
  • Photo shooting is available on request.
  • It’s an activity that takes a maximum of 15 travelers.
  • The experience demands good weather.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps.
  • Receiving of confirmation will be at the time of booking.

Services the tour includes

  • Lunch
  • Fuel surcharges, all taxes, and fees included
  • Boat charter
  • All kinds of drink with skilled English-speaking guide
  • Pickup and drop off from hotel
  • Snorkeling guide
  • Experienced guide
  • Transport waiting charge

Amenities excluded from the tour

  • Medical insurance
  • Visa
  • Flights
  • Expenses of a personal nature

6. Prison Island and Nakupenda Sand Bank Full Day

This full-day tour comes with a combination of experiencing both Nakupenda SandBank and Prison Island.

At SandBank, the guest will relax on the spot and enjoy seafood, drinks, swim, and listen to birdlife around.

The guest will also see a never-used old prison and a giant Aldabra tortoise at Prison Island.

Services obtainable in the tour

  • Seafood lunch and drinks
  • Pickup and drop off from hotel
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Mineral water
  • Zanzibar traditional boat fees
  • Professional tour guide

What to expect during the tour

The guest will explore Nakupenda Beach Nature Reserve and spend half of the day there.

There will also be a chance to see the giant Aldabra tortoise on Prison Island.

Departure and return

The meeting point is near the house of wonder, opposite Forodhani Park, after which guests return to the original departure point.  

Extra information the trip 

  • The tour is not wheelchair accessible
  • Public transportation is easy to access around the vicinity.
  • Most travelers can participate.
  • Receiving of confirmation will be at the time of booking.
  • It is a private tour that allows only the client’s group.

Tour cancellation policy 

The policy behind the tour cancelation is that it should happen at least 24 hours before the experience time for a full refund.

If canceled less than 24 hours before the start time, there will not be a refund.

Changes made less than 24 hours to the start time will not be accepted.

The cutoff times depend on the experience of local time.

7. Half-Day Cool Snorkeling Trip in Mnemba Atoll

Half-Day Cool snorkeling Trip is a tour to Mnemba Atoll, an oceanic area with depths ranging from ten to thirty meters.

The seven-hour trip includes the small triangular island of Mnemba island and a reef consisting of two by four miles.

Sightseeing dolphins, whale sharks, humpbacks, and the green turtle is possible when snorkeling in the Mnemba Atoll.

Language: the only language for communication is English  

Cancelation policy

A full refund is available if cancelation is made at least 24 hours before the start.

Good to know information about the tour

  • The lunch served is rice, water, sauce, fish bbq fruits
  • There is instant confirmation.
  • Consumption of alcohol is not acceptable.
  • Easy access to public transportation.
  • Free cancelation is available.
  • Drive to the snorkeling spot starts by 9:00 am
  • Lunch takes place at the beach or in the boat after 2 hours of snorkeling.
  • The tour is an activity for 40 travelers at maximum.
  • Not wheelchair accessible

What guests should expect during the tour

  • Tourists must use face masks for public areas.
  • There is a regular sanitization of vehicles.
  • The provision face masks are made available for travelers.
  • Temperature checks take place upon arrival
  • Hand sanitizer for staff and clients
  • Throughout the experience, maintaining social distancing is enforced.

8. Dolphin & Josani Forest Snorkel Sea Excursion 

Dolphin & Josani Forest Snorkel sea excursion is a tour that immerses the guest in the lush green forest on the island.  

Diving deeper into the forest of Jozani, clients get a view of tropical vegetation, red Columbus monkey, and symbolic fauna.  

Necessities needed for the tour

  • Plastic shoes/slippers
  • Towels
  • T-shirt
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Knee cover

Language offered 

The languages for communication are Arabic, English, Spanish, Norwegian, Dutch, Italian, Danish, German, French, Swedish, Portuguese, and Russian.

Activities included in the tour 

  • Dolphins
  • Josani forest tour
  • All taxes and fees 
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Use of snorkeling equipment
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure and return

This tour offers a pickup from all hotels in Zanzibar just by receiving the hotel name, room number, and contact address of the guest.

Additional information 

  • It is a six-hour tour that starts at 5:30 am
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps.
  • This experience requires good weather.

9. Mnemba Island Snorkeling Activity

Mnemba island snorkeling tour increases the chances of guests to spot Tanzania’s rarest marine life during the four hours trip.

The island tour gives a different perspective of the coast between swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing on a boat.  

Available services during the tour

  • Soft drinks
  • Fresh fruit
  • Snacks
  • Snorkeling gear
  • All taxes and fees

Departure and return

Traveler pickup is obtainable anywhere around the island by 8:00 am

Extra information on the tour

  • It is a private tour
  • Receiving of confirmation will be at the booking time.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate.
  • It’s a perfect choice for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

What to expect during the tour 

Depending on the sea tides, the client departs from his hotel to the north of the beautiful island surrounded by amazing reefs. 

On reaching the coral reefs, clients get a chance to play, swim and snorkel with colorful fishes.

10. Half-Day Zanzibar Mnemba Atoll Marine Reserve Snorkeling Tour

In this Half Day Zanzibar Mnemba Atoll trip, the journey starts in Zanzibar city Mnemba Atoll on the island’s northeast coast.

The marine reserve at this tour is famous for its fish life like stingrays, lionfish, moray eels, and turtles swimming.

Provisions for tourists during the activity

  • Snacks
  • Bottled water
  • Experienced guide
  • Fresh fruits
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • All taxes and fees included


  • Alcoholic drinks and lunch are not available during this tour.


The language used for communication in this tour is Italian, Russian, Spanish, German, English, and French.

Important things to know

  • The tour lasts for 5 hours
  • Snorkeling takes place at the diverse reef that surrounds the island.
  • Adventurers can spot dolphins and whales during this tour.
  • The Atoll features a dive down of 20 meters.


The activities above are for snorkelers ready to dive into the wondrous and exciting adventure of Zanzibar.

With electrifying snorkeling adventures, Zanzibar assures you the best activities to engage in while exploring the breathtaking scenery.

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