Marine Parks In Tanzania: A Complete List : Tanzania is the most popular safari destination in Africa, and the Indian Ocean’s endless coral reef offers some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. The coral reefs that surround the archipelago of islands off the coasts of Tanzania and Zanzibar are home to a staggering variety of wildlife and distinct ecosystems, as well as offering locals a place to live, eat, and work.
Tanzania’s marine parks and reserves are exceptionally rich in their diversity of cultural, coral, fish, bird, and plant life. They range from Mafia Island Marine Park, an undeveloped, non-commercial island where local people go about their traditional businesses in a way (as far as one can tell) they have done for centuries, to Maziwe Island Marine Reserve, which only appears during low tide. The following marine parks and reserves can be visited for day trips or overnight stays in order to protect and manage these areas from overfishing, mangrove and coral mining, and other environmental threats.
Chumbe Island Marine Sanctuary
With more than 200 species of coral serving as a haven for more than 400 species of vibrant fish, Chumbe has some of the world’s most pristine coral reefs. In the marine park, diving is not allowed to protect the coral reefs.
Dar es Salaam Marine Reserves
These Dar es Salaam Marine Reserves (Fungu Yasin, Mbudya, Bongoyo, and Pangavini Islands) are special for a variety of reasons, including their proximity to the city and potential biodiversity and richness, good scenic diving and snorkeling sites, marine bird and dolphin viewing, and good diving and snorkeling sites. From May to August, hunchback whales are also occasionally spotted in the deep waters surrounding the reserves.
Mafia Marine Park
Mafia Island, which is 120 kilometers south of Dar es Salaam, is encircled by some of the world’s richest coral reefs, with more than 50 different varieties of coral and 400 different species of fish currently known. There are numerous shelves and coral heads, along with colorful coral gardens, walls at different levels, and some of the most spectacular diving in the entire world.
Maziwe Island Marine Reserve
Located 15 nautical miles east of Pangani, Tanga, Maziwe Island Marine Park is home to over 350 different species of fish, 35 different genera of coral, and a remarkable bird population. It is an excellent location for diving, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.
Menai Bay Conservation Area
Menai Bay, located in the southwest of Zanzibar Island, is a sea turtle breeding area that also includes a number of coral reefs, an abundance of marine life, and dense mangrove forests. It is close to Fumba to the west and Unguja Ukuu to the east. Regular trips on traditional boats take place for activities like picnics on the island, snorkeling on the reefs, and swimming with dolphins and whales.
Misali Island Conservation Area (Pemba)
Misali Island, which is west of Pemba, has some of the highest recorded coral cover and a high species diversity thanks to its 350 different species of fish and 40 different genera of coral. In addition to green monkeys, the critically endangered and endemic Pemba Flying Fox, critically endangered coconut crabs, and numerous bird species, the 1 square kilometers of terrestrial area also supports endangered nested turtles. Within the non-extraction zone, recreational pursuits like scuba diving and snorkeling, passage, and academic research are allowed.
Mnazi Bay Marine Park
In southern Tanzania, close to the Mozambique border, the Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park is home to significant populations of whales, dolphins, four species of turtles, and a wide variety of birds. Mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs live on the island, which is recognized for its biodiversity on a global scale.
Mnembe Conservation Area
About 4.5 kilometers (km) off Zanzibar Island’s northeastern tip is Mnemba Island. The diving and snorkeling are excellent, and turtles lay and hatch their eggs all year.