Whether you’re a diver, snorkeller, or a bystander on board a traditional dhow, the consensus is Mnemba Atoll is wildly magical. Situated just off the north-eastern tip of Zanzibar, it consists of a tiny privately owned island and a seven by four kilometre oval reef that has been declared a marine conservation area.
Beyond the facts though, Mnemba oozes exclusivity mixed with a dose of adventure. Divers and snorkelers travel here for the abundant marine life and the crystal clear waters. Encounters with dolphins, endangered green turtles, reef sharks, schools of snappers and fusilier can be expected and if you’re lucky the elusive frog fish can be seen.
There are well over 6 great dive spots along the massive reef that extend more than 5 kilometres in length – all with amazing visibility of the wild beneath the waves. This is Zanzibar’s ultimate underwater playground.
What many fail to mention though is that access to the island itself is near impossible. It’s privately-owned with a luxury resort on it so access is reserved for resort overnight visitors only.
But it’s more interesting in the water anyway. Zanzibar Watersports agrees and offers both underwater enthusiasts and first timers a chance to witness Mnemba’s wow factor during their Seafari excursion. The day starts with a dhow cruise departing from Nungwi, followed by snorkelling at two different sites at Mnemba where coral gardens and colourful fish await. After several hours of snorkelling the prettiest of blue waters, your dhow heads across the channel to Muyuni beach for a much deserved seafood barbeque feast. Eat, drink, and relax in hammocks that dot the sand before a sail back to Nungwi where the excursion comes to an end.
Mnemba Atoll looks like something plucked straight from paradise. It’s a treasure trove of beautiful and protected marine life with shades of blue you could only find from the largest Crayola crayon box. Have a look at magical Mnemba below.