As soon as you step foot on the beach in Nungwi you will meet Captain Super, Captain David, Captain Mohammad.
Basically everyone is a ‘Captain’ and for only $20 USD per person you’ll probably be intrigued enough, if not by the fish, by “Bill Gates Island” to get on board their trusty ships.
Here’s what it’s really like (IMO)
We got picked up on foot at our accomodation by Captain Super around 8am, who escorted us to the main beach picking up a couple of other excited travellers along the way.
Once at the beach, we were told to follow Captain Super into the water towards our boat, an easy 50m away.
Our boat was aptly named Cappuccino III (wasn’t sure where I and II were?) Strolling along with Sean in front, I thought I saw an easier route so stepped slightly to the left, kinda like the cha-cha slide.
Cue: instant screams from behind- Captain David “Do not steer from the path” running over to me and pointing into the water where I see a pile of 5-10 sea urchins! Massive… my eyes start darting everywhere, and the sea bed is literally C-O-VEREED in them. No wonder he was anxious that we followed him for the 50m! Advice: Do not steer from the path!
Once aboard Cappuccino III, away from sea-urchins, we set sail aboard very very chopping seas for around 90 minutes, probably the longest 90 minutes of my life, bobbing up and down and trying to keep my eyes on the horizon.
Yay – we arrived at our first stop, the snorkelling site around 100m from “Bill Gates island” Although we were warned, even touching it can incur hefty fines of circa $1000 USD.
Straight into the fresh turquoise sea, the water felt amazing after our journey in the hot sun. We were eager to see Coral and Fish. We did see some however if you are avid snorkellers/divers I would suggest this part of Zanzibar really isn’t worth the treacherous boat ride. A lot of the Coral unfortunately had died. We did see glimpses of coral and highlights of regrowth where we also found the curious fish. My sister had gifted us an underwater camera so we have a few blurry snaps below. We also saw a lot of star fish and sea urchins
Back on board Cappuccino III we headed back over the the top of the main land where we set up camp and enjoyed fresh bbq fish and rice followed by mouth-watering watermelon and relaxed in the sun for around an hour. This was probably my favourite part of the trip – The beaches of Zanzibar are close to immaculate, white sand and crystal seas, minimal amounts of washed up debris. You can really tell the people take pride in their land and it felt magical to spend time here.
After a beach stroll and some more underwater pictures, we headed back to Nungwi, via boat but this time a lot closer to the shore, must be something to do with the change in tides so the journey wasn’t nearly half as bad. Making it back around 2/3pm.
So would I recommend this trip? Yes if you have a long time in Nungwi, like boat trips and want to see the Island which is not too dissimilar to the mainland.
No if you have a short trip and are going to see the coral/fish. Because you will spend a whole day and see very little coral/fish. (Or maybe we’re just spoilt living in QLD!)