Best Snorkeling Beaches in Zanzibar
Zanzibar is not just famous for “The Rock of Zanzibar” it is famous for its snorkelling beaches. There are many beaches around Zanzibar along with some small islands and a lot of reefs which are considered by snorkelers as some of the best in the world.
The water around Zanzibar is home to more than 350 species of fish. In fact, there have been many sightings of the Humpback whale very close to the beaches of Zanzibar. While snorkelling on the coast of Zanzibar you can usually see dolphins, turtles, parrotfish, clownfish, stingrays, squids etc. Many snorkelers have mentioned that they have witnessed whale sharks at very close quarters.
Since Zanzibar enjoys tropical climate, snorkelers can snorkel all year round. Generally snorkelers love to snorkel during the July to September period or during January-February. The water temperature is also nice throughout the year but during winter it can get a little colder.
The best snorkeling places in Zanzibar are:
- Mnemba Island: The most happening snorkelling location is Mnemba Island. The crystal clear waters, the beach and the spectacular coral reefs are the reason why snorkelling enthusiasts flock here.
- Tumbatu Island: This island is also a very good snorkeling spot. The beach around here is pristine and not many people know of this place. Because it is largely unexplored, there is an additional charm to the place.
- Kendwa Reef: Besides the Kendwa beach, this is one of the favourite places for snorkelers. Kendwa is also considered the best beach in Zanzibar.
- Stone Town Reef: You will find a lot of snorkelers here. It is a good place for both beginners as well as experts. The beach alongside is also frequented a lot.
While in Zanzibar one of the best places to stay is Kichanga Lodge. This lodge is part of the group that owns the world famous “The Rock of Zanzibar”. They also own the Dongwe Ocean View Hotel. The Kichanga is famous in its own right because you can stay at a place with its own private beach. You can relax here after a hard day of snorkeling by taking in the views of the ocean or by taking in the sights of the hillside that is nearby.
The lodge has garden beach bungalows and family beach bungalows. If you are traveling with family then a family beach bungalow would be fine. And if you want to enjoy the flora and fauna after a day in the water then the garden bungalows would be right for you. The hammock under the trees is also a favourite haunt of tourists visiting Kichanga. In fact, many snorkelers make the Kichanga their base and travel to their favourite snorkelling spots from here. You can meet a few of the snorkelers and exchange notes with them.
The best part about Kichanga Lodge is the way that the local Swahili culture is integrated in the furniture as well as fittings. The fabric and furniture are a tribute to the locals. Most of the furniture in the Lodge has been created by hand.
The Rock of Zanzibar is also nearby. The restaurant with its delicious menu is always on the ‘to do’ list among tourists. The Rock is, well, situated on its own rock, surrounded by the waters of the Indian Ocean and you can walk to it when there is low tide. If it is high tide you need a boat. The right place to eat sumptuous food after a day of snorkeling.
Zanzibar is a tourist destination and its major money making industry. The Kichanga Foundation that the owners of the Kichanga Lodge have created ensures that the locals are taken care of. A part of the proceeds of your stay is given to the Foundation, so that the locals are empowered.