Diving in Zanzibar

Both bases of Zanzibar Watersports are accredited PADI Five Star Instructor Development Dive Resorts and we actively contribute to the local Divers Alert Network (DAN) hyperbaric chamber. We have a substantial insurance policy that covers all guests regardless of which PADI diving and non-diving courses you choose to do with Zanzibar Watersports.

We have a large and varied fleet of boats that allow flexibility in our diving operations. Motorised dhows are used for diving, allowing you the time to relax, enjoy the coastline and wave to local fishermen as you cruise comfortable to your dive spot. If you are in a hurry then we have a fast speedboat that can get you to any of the sites within half an hour.

Discover Scuba Diving

This course is just a few hours and gives you a taste of scuba diving, while one of our crew members takes care of the technical aspects. This is great for people who want to first see how comfortable they are in the water before committing to a more advanced course. You can choose to complete this course either at Renco Bommi or Mnemba, which is the popular option.

Skill Refresher: This course is also good for those who haven’t been diving in a while and need to get comfortable in the water again. We require people who haven’t used their dive skills in over a year to take this course.

Open Water

This course is made up of three parts completed over three to four days. There are five academic sections (watching videos and taking exams), five confined water sections (learning and practicing important skills in shallow water), and four open water dives (applying new knowledge and skills practically in the ocean).

You will need to show your instructor that you can swim 200m (no time limit) and float for 10 minutes. On completion of this course, you will be certified to dive with a buddy of the same or higher experience level to a depth of up to 18m.

Scuba Diver

This course is essentially half the Open Water Course and takes two days, which includes three confined water sessions and two open water dives. On completion, you will be certified to dive to a depth of up to 12m and must always be accompanied by a dive professional (Divemaster and above). You can easily upgrade to the Open Water Course at a later time by simply completing the remaining sections of the course.

Advanced Open Water

This course consists of five 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 control it, and focuses on general streamlining to make them better, more comfortable divers.
  2. Fish Identification: This dive helps you experience the full enjoyment of dives as you learn to recognize and identify fish families and their characteristics. So, if your first dives left you wondering what were those colourful fish and other sea life you swam past, this is a perfect dive for you.
  3. Search and Recovery: This dive follows on from the Navigation Specialty Dive and is something like an underwater treasure hunt. It teaches you more elaborate navigation skills used for systematically searching for objects underwater and the methods and precautions to take while recovering them.
  4. Night: This dive is eerie and exciting. No matter how many times you have been to a dive site during the day, you will see a different side to it at night. You will be able to catch sight of the nocturnal creatures of the ocean with your dive light.
  5. Multi-level and Computer: This is an interesting, technical dive that will teach you how to operate a dive computer and plan your dives with it. By being able to plan multi-level dives, you can really maximize your time spent underwater.
  6. Drift: This dive shows you how to use the ocean currents to your advantage so that you can literally ‘go with the flow’ as you glide in the water effortlessly. Drift diving can be both peaceful and exciting at the same time.

Emergency First Response

This is a half-day non-diving course that teaches basic CPR and first aid skills that are invaluable for divers and non-divers alike. This course is also a pre-requisite for the Rescue Diver Course.

Rescue Diver

This four-day course will expand your knowledge and experience level as you consider the safety and well-being of other divers. It is an enjoyable way to build your confidence and empower you to prevent problems and, if necessary, manage dive emergencies.


This is the first professional level course offered by PADI and takes a minimum of 14 days. We suggest, however, that students take at least month in order to work alongside our dive center crew and learn all aspects of the industry. It is aimed at those wanting to make a part- or full-time career out of diving or simply to have professional level diving ability.

Upon completion, you will demonstrate exemplary diving and rescue skills, advanced knowledge of dive theory, dive management and supervision skills, competence as a certified assistant and ethical role model, and the ability to make diving fun for others.

Please visit PADI for more information on the above courses.