Tuesday, 31 October 2017

October 2017, some impressions from our trip to Zanzibar. 

There are some very nice scuba diving videos about this area on youtube. However, these are the best pictures I got from 10 dives due to a very poor visibility. Zanzibar is the largest group of islands off east Africa. The archipelago is about 40 km off the Tanzanian coast. The Island has been a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania since 1964. The official languages are Swahili and English. Almost all of the local inhabitants are Muslims. We stayed at the "Green and Blue Ocean Lodge", an eco-friendly, authentic "zanzibar-styled" boutique lodge with an excellent cuisine situated on the north-eastern side of the main island of Unguja. Big Thanks to Alois and his crew!!! Mossi, one of the waiters in the restaurant took us on a a walk through the village of Kigomani and the fish market where he was born and which surrounds the hotel. From the restaurants open-air terrace you can watch the local kids playing in the sea, fishermen going out or coming back, repairing their boats and nets or even the celebration of a traditional wedding so you get a bit of this african flavour. The dive center "Dive Point Zanzibar" is a 10-30 Minutes boat ride away (depending on tides) located in another hotel up the coast. These guys are very professional and nice.Thank you to Adam, Rama, Abou, Hamisi and everybody else!! Zanzibar has a typical tropical climate thanks to its location slightly south of the equator. Off the coast lies Mnemba Island with its Atoll, a photogenic place to snorkel and scuba dive. Unfortunately it is the only place every dive center and provider of snorkeling trips in this area ever goes to so it is very crowded with people and boats. From an ecological or ethical point of view this is actually good because in this way the bigger part of the atoll stays untouched by divers and snorkelers and only has to deal with the local fishermen who spearfish and netfish around the atoll for a living. Of course coral bleaching is a problem and the quantity of fish is mediocre... Some reefs (especially further up the coast towards Nungwi are in better shape though) Maybe I am just spoiled but IMHO there are better places in the world to go scuba diving to. So if you want to relax in a very nice boutique hotel with an authentic african surrounding and very outstanding food, if you seek calmness and recreation and avoid beach partying and mass tourism this might be a place to go. But if you are an experienced enthusiastic (or spoiled...) scuba diver you might google for another destination.