Although our holiday planning doesn’t always revolve around diving, we are keen divers and snorkelers, who are more often than not aware of the marine possibilities at our impending destination.
Zanzibar (an island off the coast of Tanzania) is well known for its pearly beaches and sapphire blue waters, and before we departed for the Islands I made a few cursory day-trip enquiries which kept returning one particular excursion and one particular name, a snorkeling trip with Safari Blue … which I went ahead and booked.
Our arrangements were dealt with in a friendly manner and very efficiently, even a small last minute change was not a problem, and we were capably collected from out hotel by pre-arranged transfer to Fumba, where we rendezvoused with our tender for the day.
The Safari Blue dhows are solid and safe, well-maintained and comfortable, with all-important shade in place. The crew are absolutely lovely; big, strong, jovial, and well-versed in what they do. I felt secure and well taken care of from the second we put foot onboard.
We weren’t aboard for all that long before we arrived at our first dis-embarkment of the day … a huge sandbank, striking, powder-white, rising straight out of the azure sea, impossibly beautiful. I was sure I was on a movie set … we were thoroughly enchanted!
We always travel with our own snorkeling gear, but it was here that our fellow day-trippers collected their kit for the day. And there was absolutely no shortage of it, all good quality and all well looked after.
We weren’t back on the dhow for very long when we were told we could kit up and hop in!
We had moored on a magical underwater utopia. Corals, of all colours and shapes, starfish, sponges, nudibranchs, a myriad fish, not very big, but a good variety.
We reached the waiting dhows all smiles, and in-between animated dive chatter topped up our energy with cold drinks and island fruit freshly cut by our island crew.
Our next dive was more of a drift dive, with the current gently pushing us along a shallow reef with a little bit of a drop off.
For those who could snorkel down along the edge of the reef this was a real treat as the variety of sea-life was even bigger than before. Various Wrasse, Trumpet fish, Pipe fish, Lion fish, Moray eels, Razor fish, Trigger fish, Butterfly fish, Groupers, to mention but a few. And of course corals and sponges in a rainbow of hues.
This dive left us further animated with more to talk about, which set the tone for a long chatty lunch.
We arrived at our destination island, waded ashore, to find a spread of seafood and other treats waiting. Lunch was a relaxed affair with icy cold beers and time after to loll around in the warm shallows nursing a full belly whilst enjoying the sunshine.
Time really does fly when you’re having fun, we were rounded up and boarded our dhows for the return leg.
One last delightful little swim and snorkel in the beguiling shallows of a mangrove swamp and we headed back to Fumba under unfurled sails … another chilled beverage in hand.
Zanzibar in itself is charming, as a visitor you really don’t have to do very much at all to get that island feeling and to enjoy yourself.
BUT, if you are going to drag yourself off the golden beaches and on any one excursion, snorkeling in Zanzibar with Safari Blue is the one outing that definitely surpasses the rest (in my mind anyway), and which I highly recommend.
Our day out with Safari Blue was undecidedly one of the highlights of our trip to Zanzibar. Thank You!
Here are a few more pics – Enjoy! And make contact here for your Zanzibar trip planning.