Not only is Tanzania the number one destination for safaris, its endless coral reefs in the crystalline waters of the Indian Ocean offer some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world.
The archipelago of islands off the coast of Tanzania and Zanzibar are surrounded by coral reefs and are home to an amazing array of wildlife and unique ecosystems, as well as providing shelter, sustenance and employment for local people.
From Mafia Island Marine Park, an unspoiled, uncommercialised 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, Tanzania’s marine parks and reserves are exceptionally rich in their diversity of cultural, coral, fish, bird and plant life.
In order to protect and manage these areas from over fishing, mangrove deforestation, and coral mining, the following marine parks and reserves have been established and can be visited for day trips and longer stays.
The Marine Parks and Reserves Authority was established under the Marine Parks an reserve Act Number 29 of 1994, to oversee the management and administration of marine parks and reserves to ensure sustainable use of the marine resources.
The Marine Parks and Reserves Authority currently manages: a. Dar Marine Reserves - located in Dar es Salaam region. Four marine DSM reserves, Bongoyo Island Marine Reserve Mbudya Island Marine Reserve Pangavini Island Marine Reserve Funguyasini Marine Reserve b. Maziwi Island Marine Reserves - located in Pangani district (Tanga region). c. Mafia Island Marine Park - located in Coast Region. d. Mnazi Bay - Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park (MREMP) located in Mtwara Region. e.
Transfrontier Conservation Area encompassing (TFCA) Southern Regions and areas bordering Lake Nyasa in the countries like Malawi and Zambia.
Tanga was once another stopping point, in competition with Pangani and Bagamoyo, for caravans on their way to the hinterland of Central Africa searching for ivory and slaves.
Pangani is a small town in East Africa’s coast that was 50 kms South of Tanga with long history culture the town has Arabic, German, Asian and British Colonial rules influence.
Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve
The Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve System (DMRS) is a group of marine wildlife reserves in Tanzania, situated off the coast of Dar es Salaam Region. The reserve system consists of Seven (7) islands of Bongoyo.
Mafia Island Marine Park
Mafia is renowned as an excellent world-class diving destination with some of the richest reefs in the world, The park covers the Southern part of Mafia Island .
Mikindani Bay Marine Reserve
Mikindani is a fascinating old town with winding streets and an exciting blend of African, Arabic and European architecture. The arms of the bay mouth contain old houses with doors which are carved.
Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park
Located in southern Tanzania, on the Mozambique border, is home to important populations of whales, dolphins, four species of turtle and numerous birds.
Maziwe Marine Reserve
Maziwe island is a very small unvegetated island surrounded by coral reefs located about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) south east of the town of Pangani off the northern coast of Tanzania.
Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park
Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park (TACMP) is located on the northern coastline of Tanzania. It extends for 100 km along the coastline from north of Pangani River estuary to Mafuriko village.
Chumbe Island Marine Sanctuary
Chumbe offers some of the most pristine and colourful coral reefs in the world, with over 200 species of coral providing a sanctuary for more than 400 species of colourful fish.
Mnemba Island Conservation Area
Mnemba Island is a single small island located about 3 km off the northeast coast of Unguja, the largest island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, Tanzania, opposite Muyuni Beach.