Diving in Pemba Island
The island of Pemba on the East African coast just north of Zanzibar boasts some of the most spectacular diving sites. With a channel that sprouts dramatically towards the island’s west coast, and forms near vertical walls touching many of the reefs, diving in the channel is an experience. Both soft and hard coral gardens shield a proliferation of fish and other marine creatures. Here are 7 of the best diving sites in Pemba:
1 Fundi Gap
Fundi Gap is located to the south of Njao island about a one-hour boat ride. It has five diving locations. These are Coral Garden, Pinnacle, Mandela Wall, South Wall and Crack. The depths range from 5 meters to 40 meters thick, and you can get clear visibility, large coral formations, and strong currents. Fundi Gap is famous for its abundant fish species such as Barracuda, Eagle rays, and Napoleons’s GTs. The warm waters allow for remarkable coral growth such as anemone and Gregorian sea fans.
2 The Swiss Reef
The Swiss Reef comprises 3 diving sites that run parallel to the wall on a platform 26 meters down. There are several platforms to the mountains, and they range from a few meters to 100 meters long. The best option here is to drift dive across the system from one peak to another, as you pick out the fantastic reef life. Swiss reef is clearly for experienced divers.
3 Shimba Hills
Shimba Hills is made up of 2 diving sites, which form a valley of 12 meters deep that is populated by lots of barrel sponges, red sea sweetlips, fusiliers and tooth triggerfish. These sites are ideal for novice divers.
4 The Edge
The Edge diving site is the last wall just before the island drops into the channel. It starts at 30 meters and falls pretty steeply. At the top of the wall, substantial spiral corals and barrels sponges grow up to 4 meters high. This is home to Napoleons fish, white tip sharks, cubera snapper, potato grouper and large pelagic turtles. Divers are warned of strong currents.
5 Scorpions Secret
Scorpions secret is a site whose sloping wall starts at 5 meters and runs to 18 meters. Divers can enjoy clear visibility and slow-moving currents that make this site ideal for novice divers, night divers, and snorkelers. There are thousands of camouflaged scorpion fish including giant frogfish, leaf fish, and lionfish.
6 House Reef
House reef site is located as you enter Manta resort and it’s an open patch of sand that runs 5 meters deep. Ideal for divers and snorkelers of all levels, its clear waters offer perfect visibility and is populated with tropical fish and nudibranchs. Hawkeyed divers can spot octopus and large eye squid.
7 Njao Gap sites
Njao Gap comprises five diving sites including North Wall, Jahazi, South Wall, Slipstream and Coral gardens. Njao Gap boasts of soft and hard coral, healthy and vibrant marine life and strong currents. Its abundant fishes include Napoleon wrasse, titan fish, green turtles, dogtooth tuna and giant trevally. But experienced divers who have ventured deeper have encountered white-tipped sharks. Njao Gap sites are recommended for divers of all levels.
Read about best time to go to pemba island for more information.