Tanzania is in East Africa and bordered by Kenya and Uganda on the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique on the south. To the east it borders the Indian Ocean.
It has massive game parks, Mt Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Crater; and the diving doesn't disappoint either; remote and little visited. It is busier in the north but relatively undiscovered in the south and offers a range of diving experiences.
Tanzania, has three main diving islands – Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia, but all are surrounded by a host of smaller islands that offer quiet getaways or exclusive retreats. These are often collectively called the Spice Islands.
To the north, the Zanzibar archipelago includes Unguja (generally called Zanzibar) and Pemba, while further to the south is Mafia Island, part of which has been protected as Mafia Island Marine Park.
Of these, Zanzibar is probably the most visited and has a good choice of dive centres and sites, including a number of recognised Conservation areas. It is also home to the historical sultanate capital of Stone Town, which has been classified as a World Heritage site.
To the north, Pemba island is more remote and some of its diving can be challenging. It too has recognised marine Conservation Areas, as well as ancient forests, Arabic ruins and possibly a more restful feel than Zanzibar.
Further south, Mafia Island has a number of dive operators both in- and out-side the Marine Park. The surrounding small islands make great day-trips, and the island is known for its visiting whale sharks between November and February.
On the mainland, diving starts in the north from Pangani (just south of Tanga and the border with Kenya) and continues down the coast with diving available in Bagamoyo, Dar es Salaam, Kilwa and finally Mtwara. Just south of Mtwara is also the Mnazi-Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park which extends from Mtwara south to the border with Mozambique.
The south is widely regarded as one of the unexplored gems of Western Indian Ocean diving. The underwater landscape is characterised by huge rock Monoliths and a coast that rapidly drops off to over 200m resulting in occasional surprises from the deep.
It is also the point at which the Southern Equatorial Current reaches the coast of Africa and splits to head north to towards Zanzibar or south into the Mozambique channel. Consequently, it provides a truly unique diving experience in one of the most diverse marine environments on the Tanzania coast.
Finally Tanzania has the distinction of offering lake diving as well on Lake Tanganyika.
Climb Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, via the Rongai Route. Visit Livingstone’s flat roofed home, or tembe. Take a small group tour down the Serengeti Trail.
Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) is in Dar-es-Salaam. There are also Kilimanjaro International Airport and Zanzibar International Airport.
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