Mbudya: A perfect island for snorkeling, scuba diving

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By EMMANUEL ONYANGO

If you find yourself in Dar es Salaam with cash to spare and free time, head to Mbudya Beach Island.

You will need a guide as it is off the beaten track.

You can only get to the island by a 15-minute boat ride, a service provided by local boat operators at White Sands Beach Resort in Mbezi or the Msasani slipway.

Tanzanian citizens and residents pay $8 to travel to the island, and foreigners pay $20. It’s worth every penny for its pristine white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters for swimming.

The island has a restaurant serving seafood and a variety of drinks under the shade of palm trees or thatched-roof huts.

It is a paradise for snorkeling at low tide as well as scuba diving for an intimate and personal look at the abundant marine life.

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Mbudya Island is a protected marine reserve and according to tourist guide Kalunde, unlicensed cameras and drones are not allowed there.

However, the use of smartphones is allowed for personal photos. Fishing and human habitation are also prohibited, with limited entries for tourism and research activities to protect the island’s delicate wildlife from mining, fishing and human settlement.

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