Zanzibar forms part of the East African nation of Tanzania. It is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean 25–50 km (15–30 mi) off the coast, consisting of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, sometimes informally referred to as "Zanzibar"), and Pemba. The capital of Zanzibar is Zanzibar City and its old quarter, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site. Here's the location.
The climate of Zanzibar is determined by the monsoon winds which blow from the North East from November to February and from the South West from April to September.
The beginning of each new season brings rains. The heavy rains run from late April to early June and this is not a good time to visit Zanzibar, the light rains are in November but usually are brief outbursts between large stretches of sunshine.
The hottest season is January and February but there is usually a refreshing sea breeze and Zanzibar is rarely overpoweringly hot. Daytime temperatures usually vary between 26 and 28 degrees centigrade.
[Thanks to Oliver Payne for the photograph of baby sharks and heron]
- The Pemba Channel is famous for its large pelagics; manta rays, sharks and dolphin are all regular visitors.
- The Mnemba Atoll (off the NE) offers shallow and easy dives inside the lagoon and fabulous wall dives on the outside.
- The best area is off the southern tip of the island at Kizimkazi. Drift diving at its best over pristine reefs.
- Zanzibar is a malaria area - check for up-to-date information before travelling.
- BE AWARE: Lariam (mefloquine) is an anti-malarial drug used in regions of the world where chloroquine resistant falciparum malaria is prevalent. e.g. East Africa, South East Asia. Possible side effects of lariam such as dizziness, blurred vision and a disturbed sense of balance are common and could cause problems for divers. These effects can often imitate or even worsen the symptoms of DCI. There could also be confusion between the side effects of lariam and the symptoms of DCI or nitrogen narcosis resulting in a misleading diagnosis.
- Entry visas can be bought at the airport but queues are long. Alternatively, buy from the High Commission in London. It will take approx 3 to 4 working days and costs £35.00 (as of April 08)
- Hepatitis A, Diptheria inoculations required.
|Language:||Swahili but English widely spoken|
|Diving season:||Year round|
|Water temperature:||24 - 26C|
|Air temperature:||24 - 28C|