Currently only 1 company offers diving in the area but there are plans for more dive shops to open in the near future and take advantage of the natural bounty in these waters.
Within the district of Lindi, where Kilwa Masoko is situated, there are about 42 patch reefs and 80 kilometres of coastal reef. Dive operators based in Kilwa offer some unique diving experiences. Kilwa district itself has many small sandbanks ad islands, these are surrounded by fringing reefs seaward and extensive patch reef formations on all remaining sides. The fringing coral reefs flank the coastline and form an additional chain of small islands. Most of the coral reefs are pristine and rich in marine biodiversity. The sandy islands are also important breeding sites for sea-turtles.
Exploratory dives in the area have revealed a plethora of small fish and large schools of game fish. Whale sharks are also seen in the area as they migrate up the African coastline from South Africa. Most important to more than just Tanzania, is the fact that these like all coral reefs have an incredible diversity of animal life and are home to many endangered and threatened species of marine wildlife.
Much to many peoples surprise are the proximity of the coral patch reefs just off the coastline at Masoko Pwani. These reefs are perfect for snorkeling and are just a short boat trip off shore. Despite the proximity to the fishing village these reefs harbour an interesting amount of marine life and have been ignored over the centuries by the fisherman as they understand these areas to be necessary for fish breeding.
The NGO Seasense has been working in Kilwa district and through training, education and employment Sea Sense is changing attitudes towards conservation. Many coastal communities are participating in marine conservation initiatives and becoming aware of the need to conserve Tanzania’s rich natural heritage for future generations.
Part of the research has been on the last remaining populations of the elusive dugong. Further research is being carried out by the KIYODEA research centre into distribution and sustainability.
Over the last decade Kilwa has beenhas become known throughout the international fishing community as a hidden gem. The vast number of large species caught regularly includes Giant Trevally, Sailfish and Dogtooth Tuna. This is a great destination for those who like to fish from boats for big game fish, with kingfish common and marlin occasionally caught.
“We highly recommend that all visitors to Kilwa experience the underwater life in one way or the other.
Whatever expedition you enjoy please make sure that the boat you hire is seaworthy and if you hire without an engine be prepared for a slow ride.”