scuba diving mafia island Tanzania East Africa
Photos by ALAN sUTTON

Kinasi Pass – Mafia Island, Tanzania

Red barred rock cod Kinasi Pass - Mafia Island, Tanzania dive sites

A Kinasi Pass is an entrance channel into Chole Bay, just south of Jena Island. It is best dived on an incoming tide and the currents make for an interesting ride into Chole Bay. The dive starts with a drop off the boat in shallower water on the south side of the channel into water some 8 meters deep and one makes ones way across the top of the shelf and then down into Kinasi Pass.

Big eyed bream Kinasi Pass - Mafia Island, Tanzania dive sites

The entrance to Kinasi Pass has a large chicken shaped rock also known as the pinnacle off on the Southern side and the depth at this stage of the dive is around 24 meters. Small marine life abounds as well as hard and soft coral. If one looks in the caves under this rock there are usually some large Oriental Sweetlips and Eyestripe Surgeonfish hiding in them.  As one moves into the bay so it deepens to around 30 meters and there is often a large Marbled Ray resting on the sand.

Kinasi Pass 1

As one moves into the bay along Kinasi wall with caverns in it,  large groupers and Potato bass can be seen as well as a large resident shoal of Humpnose big eye bream and shoals of Hump backed snapper. Shoals of reef fish and other pelagic fish such as Barracuda appear in the distance. Turtles both green and hawksbill are in the area as well as rays.

Other large fish are commonly seen as one drifts with the tide over the rich coral life below. Large areas of lettuce coral cover the bottom towards the end of the dive. All in all a stunning dive with a magnificent variety of sea life all healthy, large and in good condition. Definitely a dive to be repeated.

Kinasi Pass 2





Access: By Boat
Dive Operator(s): Mafia Island Diving 
Difficulty: Advanced divers only
Average Depth: 18 meters
Max Depth: 26 meters
Currents: Strong ( > 2 knots)
Visibility: Okay ( 10-15)


An exciting dive riding the currents into Chole Bay, lots of large fish and great coral life make this an experience not to be missed
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Unspoiled by Man
Reader Rating1 Votes
Exciting dive drifting into the bay
Abundant with corals and marine life
Shoals of large fish
Tide dependant
Full spring tides create greater water flow which drops visibility
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