Diving in Zanzibar

Zanzibar Watersports is a PADI Dive resort that employs trained PADI professionals both local and expat to offer a high degree of quality and satisfaction and most importantly safety to all our students and customers. We have a sizable insurance policy that covers all our guests and we are active contributors to the local decompression chamber.

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We conduct PADI courses of all levels from Discover Scuba Diving to Divemaster.

Discover Scuba Diving

Discover Scuba diving is for people who just want to have a taste of scuba diving with someone else taking care of the technicalities kind of like a tandem skydive. It is also for people who aren’t sure if they will be comfortable in the water and want to test this out before committing to a course. However, if you have at least 3 days, are fairly comfortable in the water and can swim 200m at an average pace, you can jump straight into the Open water course. You can either opt to do this at Renco bommi which takes only a few hours out of your day or take the more popular option and do it at Mnemba.

Skill Refresher If you haven’t been diving in a while and need to get back into your comfort zone then this is the course for you. It takes only an hour or two and can also be invaluable for new divers. We require people who haven’t used their dive skills in over a year to take this course.

Open Water Diver

The Open Water course takes 3-4 days and consists of 3 parts: 5 academic sections (watching videos and taking exams), 5 confined water sections (learning and practicing important skills in shallow water) and 4 open water dives (applying your knowledge and skills to dives in the ocean). You must show your instructor that you know how to swim by swimming 200m (no time limit) and floating for 10 minutes. The price of the course includes all of the equipment and material, plus the certification card. On completion of the Open Water course, you will be certified to dive with a buddy of the same or higher experience level up to a depth of 18m.

Scuba Diver

The Scuba Diver course is essentially half the Open water course and takes 2 days. It includes 3 confined water sessions and 2 Open Water dives. On completion, you will be certified to dive to a depth of 12m and must always be accompanied by a dive professional (divemaster and above). The Scuba diver course can easily be upgraded to open water at a later time by simply completing the remaining sections of the course.

Advanced Open Water Diver

The Advanced Open Water Course consists of 5 dives over two days. The Deep and Navigation Specialty dives are compulsory. For the other three dives of your course, you can pick from the following:

  1. Peak Performance Buoyancy: This dive is aimed at making a new diver more aware of how much their breathing effects their position in the water, helps them get it under control and focuses on general streamlining in order to make them better, more comfortable divers.
  2. Fish I.D.: Did you see a lot of fish and other sea life on your first dives that you had absolutely no clue about? Then this dive is for you.
  3. Search and Recovery: Follows from the Navigation dive to teach you the more elaborate navigation skills used for systematically searching for objects underwater and then the methods and precautions to take while recovering them. A little bit like an underwater treasure hunt.
  4. Night: Eerie and exciting, the night dive needs no explanation.
  5. Multilevel and Computer: Teaches you how to operate a dive computer and plan your dives using one as well as maximize your time underwater by planning multilevel dives.
  6. Drift: Learn how to use the ocean currents to your advantage and glide along effortlessly.

Emergency First Response

This is a non-diving course that teaches basic CPR and first aid skills that can be invaluable for divers and non-divers alike and can be completed in an afternoon. This is also a pre-requisite for the Rescue Diver course.

Rescue Diver

Rewarding and fun – that best describes the PADI Rescue Diver course. This course will expand your knowledge and experience level: Rescue Divers learn to look beyond themselves and consider the safety and wellbeing of other divers. Although this course is serious, it is an enjoyable way to build your confidence. Rescue Diver training will prepare you to prevent problems and, if necessary, manage dive emergencies. The course takes a minimum of 4 days and during your training sessions, you will learn:

  • Self-rescue and diver stress
  • AED and emergency oxygen delivery systems
  • Diving first aid
  • Swimming and non-swimming rescue techniques
  • Emergency management and equipment
  • Panicked diver response
  • Underwater problems
  • Missing diver procedures
  • Surfacing the unconscious diver
  • In-water rescue breathing protocols
  • Egress (exits)
  • First aid procedures for pressure related accidents
  • Dive accident scenarios


If you decide you want to make a full or part time career out of diving or just want
to have professional level abilities, the Divemaster course is for you. The Divemaster Course is the first “professional” level course PADI offers. The diver will demonstrate exemplary diving and rescue skills; professional-level knowledge of dive theory; dive management and supervision skills; competence as a certified assistant; ethical role model; be enthusiastic and fun to be with. This course takes a minimum of 2 weeks to complete but we recommend students take out at least a month and work side by side with the dive center to learn all possible aspects of working in the dive industry.


If you don’t dive, there are also some fantastic snorkeling options for you at Mnemba atoll and Tumbatu Island. The perfect way to spend the day with your partner or family if some dive and some don’t or even if you just fancy a day out but do not want to lug around that dive gear.