Pemba is renowned for it's unspoilt coral reefs but also for its vertical coral cliffs, which plummet to depths of more than 800 metres.
With underwater visibility often reaching 60meters or more looking over the precipice of some of these outer walls can be a mind-blowing experience - you better watch out for the vertigo!
Dramatic and exciting coral reefs stretch as far as the eye can see. Napoleon wrasse swim side by side with the large pelagic game fish such as tuna, jacks, wahoo and barracuda as they hunt amongst the thousands of small, brightly coloured reef fish. Manta and eagle rays frequent the area, as do many species of shark. Giant groupers can reach lengths of 2 metres. Hawskbill and green turtles swim by, as curious garden eels peer out of their hides and whale sharks, pilot whales, dolphins, marlins and sailfish are also regularly seen by divers.
The waters of the Indian Ocean are among the richest and most exciting in the world. The ocean around Fundu Lagoon on Pemba Island and in the Pemba Channel is renowned in both Scuba Diving and Fishing circles as one of the world's best.
Pemba Island is remote and relatively unknown. The tiny traditional villages of Pemba have had little impact on the coast and the coral reefs around Pemba are largely in pristine condition. Pemba is surrounded by dramatic and exciting coral reefs stretching as far as the eye can see. The colourful Indian Ocean marine life can therefore breed and interact along the plunging coral walls that so well symbolise Pemba Island. Large pelagic fish swim and hunt amongst the thousands of small, brightly coloured reef fish that play around the plunging drop-offs and in the turquoise waters of the shallows - an underwater naturalist's dream. Pemba is now listed as one of the top dive spots in the world.
The warm Indian Ocean waters surrounding Pemba Island are home to thousands of species of tropical fish and exotic marine life. The shallows around the numerous islands of Pemba offer stunning snorkelling in aquamarine waters, lush coral gardens which stretch far ahead and then suddenly plunge into the dark blue depths of Pemba's incredible drop-offs. Not only is Pemba renowned for its pristine and unspoilt coral reefs but also for its vertical coral cliffs which plummet to depths of more than 800 metres. Underwater visibility often reaches 40 metres or more. Looking over the precipice of some of the outer walls can be a mind-blowing experience! Watch out for the Vertigo!
In these deeper waters, the large Napoleon Wrasse swims side by side with big pelagic game fish - tuna, jacks, wahoo, big shoals of barracuda...Manta and eagle rays frequent the area as do many species of shark. Giant groupers can reach lengths of 2 metres. Hawksbill and green turtles swim, rest and eat on these reefs. Curious garden eels peer out of their hides in sandy ravines. Playing in the shallower depths are numerous smaller reef fish, crustaceans, brightly coloured starfish and molluscs all at home in the vibrant surrounds of the beautiful corals and sponges
Most dives are carried out as drift dives as there is almost always a current present. We always conduct our dives as a group with a dive guide who carries a surface marker buoy. Sea conditions can be variable and change quickly and our boat captains must always be able to spot our dive groups quickly and easily.
Many of our dives are spectacular wall dives along the outer reefs of the tiny Pemba islands or in between the islands in the Gaps which can produce very fast drift and where the Mantas are known to enter feeding on plankton.
We also have a stunning wreck dive in the South of Pemba Island at Panza populated by large groupers and Napoleon wrasse.
Fundu Lagoon is just a short distance from Mesali Island, famous as Pemba's only marine sanctuary. A visit to this beautiful reef is a must for all - beach lovers, snorkellers and divers alike. A perfect spot for a picnic and with delightful walks through the interior bush, you can spend the day relaxing on the white beach or snorkelling and diving on the numerous reefs around the island. The Mesali beaches are especially important as sea turtle nesting beaches.
Water temperatures are around 27 - 28C most of the year except during the 'winter months' when the temperature drops a little to 25C at the lowest times. We recommend using 3mm wetsuits whilst diving all year round not only due to water temperatures but also to better protect from accidental scrapes and abrasions.
Sea conditions are generally good. There are certain months of strong winds: the Kaskazi (Northeast) from January to March and the Kusi (Southwest) from June to September. Winds can affect sea conditions but it is often the case that the best visibility can be during these times, particularly during the Kaskazi.