PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALAN SUTTON
Zanzibar has great diving and is world famous for its pristine clear waters. There are numerous dive sites on the island and one of the lesser known gems of Zanzibar is Paje. Paje is situated in the south east of Zanzibar and it has a fringing reef that runs along the coast, which with the lagoon to the south makes for a large body of protected water and the area has become a mecca for kite boarding with its cross shore winds. There are dive sites within the reef and outside the reef.
Powoni dive site is a short boat trip from Paje out through the gap in the fringing reef, the boat is a well designed, dedicated diving boat and is easy to exit and enter and the staff are extremely competent and know what they are doing. Once in the water, the reef drops off to 24 meters and the corals, both hard and soft are in excellent condition and there are large varieties of both types.
There are anemones of many different species along with associated clownfish and the small fish life is very good. There are numerous species of wrasse, damsels, butteflyfish, hawkfish,lizzard fish as well as colorful shoals of curious fusiliers and the odd rock cod around. Green turtles are sited regularly in this area.
The large fish life is there but the area is obviously fished quite heavily as there are few of the larger species and those that are there are either juveniles or small. Never the less Powoni is a very worthwhile dive site and the sheer variety of life in many different forms makes this a dive spot to go back to. From a photographic point of view it is great.
Access: By Boat
Dive Operator(s): Buccaneer Diving
Difficulty: Advanced divers only
Average Depth: 18 meters
Max Depth: 24 meters
Currents: Strong ( > 2 knots)
Visibility: Okay ( 10-15)
- Very safe dive
- Abundant with corals and marine life
- Macro life is good
- Winds can cause swells and low visibility
- Full spring tides create greater water flow which drops visibility
- Due to distance bumpy boat ride is possible if swell is up