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The Mnemba Atoll

Information about Mnemba.


Mnemba Island is an atoll set just off the northeast coast near Matemwe. Diving at Mnemba is stunning, on the inside it’s like being in a giant aquarium and the outside offers excellent wall and drift dives. The island itself is a breeding ground for turtles and they are often seen gliding by along with dolphins, huge schools of fish, whale sharks and humpbacks when in season.

What makes Mnemba Atoll different to diving from town is the amount of schooling fish, from Striped Snapper, Surgeon Fish and up to ten green Turtles can be seen on one dive. If you look hard enough you will find the masters of disguise the Frog Fish who camouflage themselves so that they are not seen by predators. This dive is one not to be missed if you are planning a dive trip to Zanzibar.

Mnemba Atoll is a popular scuba diving site, with a wide variety of corals and associated species, as well as good sightings of larger species such as turtles and dolphins. Calm conditions are most frequent in September and October, though visibility is at its optimum in January.

Mnemba Island is a 60 minute drive from Stone Town across the main Zanzibar Island,the Island can be easily reached if you will be staying at the nearest hotel, the Matemwe Beach Village, it is twenty minute boat crossing from this hotel.

Mnemba Island and its surrounding reefs have been declared as a Marine Conservation area.

Mnemba is an idyllic island situated within a marine reserve comprising four distinct habitats which are home to a diverse array of Indian Ocean wildlife.

  • Nesting place of threatened green turtles (monitoring and protection project has been underway since 1996)
  • Seasonal viewing of humpback whales (July to September)
  • Encounters with three species of dolphin
  • Excellent opportunities to view whale sharks (the world’s largest fish)
  • Migratory and resident shore birds feed and roost on the Island
  • Approximately 600 species of coral reef fish

Green Sea Turtles can be seen laying their eggs on the beaches between December and May.

On the South coast, the Unguja Lodge is the best hotel for diving  and has a diving center.

Diving in Stone town.

Murogo Reef which is close to Stone Town making it easily accessible by boat. What makes Murogo special is the number of different species of hard coral that can be seen along the entire reef. Staghorn or branching coral, plate coral, brain corals are only some of the many varieties tha can be seen on this dive. Turtles, Bluespotted Stingrays, Puffer Fish, Sea Anemone Fish are just a few of the many fish that can be seen swimming amongst the coral outcrops.

Leven Banks: Probably the most remote dive site. Zanzibar is small in the distance, and all you see is water. You do a backward roll, and as you descend into the clear blue water this spectacular reef appears before you. It is a wild dive that keeps taking you back to spectacular undamaged live corals, shadowed by all the prevalent tropical fish.

Please contact us for booking of snorkeling and diving from any hotel, we are happy to arrange it prior to your arrival.

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