Who says African safaris tours are only about the vast savannah and big cats?
Coral Reefs around Fundu Lagoon and Misali Island, Tanzania
‘The waters around Misali contain more than twice the number of coral genera than are found elsewhere in Tanzania; often seen are beautiful gorgonian sea fans and giant sponges amongst fields of ancient cabbage corals. With over 300 species of fish such as barracuda, kingfish, wahoo, tuna and jacks patrolling the reefs, there is plenty to keep you busy at Fundu Lagoon’. Reports Hannes Wolters, Manager of Fundu Lagoon.
If you are a diver, or just fascinated by coral reefs, Fundu Lagoon must be on your bucket list. Fundu is situated on a small island, Pemba, just off the coast of Tanzania (not to be confused with Pemba in Mozambique which is entirely different kettle of fish). Pemba’s little neighbour, an atoll called Misali (an atoll being a ring-shaped coral reef that encircles a lagoon, of course), is what all the fuss is about, and is what Fundu Lagoon is investing great time into conserving.
‘We work directly with the local government to preserve the pristine coral reefs’ continues Hannes; ‘we contribute financially so that a park ranger is stationed on the island 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to protect the surrounding coral reefs; we educate guests and rangers about the environment of the coral reefs, and ways in which we can observe this environment with the smallest impact on their wellbeing; we also ensure we maintain an excellent relationship with local fisherman and educate them on environmentally friendly ways we can co-exist on these extremely beautiful coral reefs. These measures have proven extremely successful as evident on our daily diving and snorkeling trips.’
Misali Island is part of a conservation area that was set up in 1998. A ‘non-extraction’ zone encompasses the north and western fringing coral reefs, and only a limited number of seasonal fishermen are permitted to camp on the island, within designated areas. As a result of this focus the coral reefs around Misali and Fundu Lagoon are littered with pristine coral.
Pemba’s tranquil surroundings have a unique underwater experience difficult to find anywhere else in the world, gifted with a stunning variety of untouched snorkeling and dive sites including reefs, deep walls and wrecks, all patrolled by lively marine life.
Contact us to find out how you can experience your next African safari, underwater!