Mbudya: A perfect island for snorkeling, scuba diving

Wednesday April 27 2022
A coral reef near the Msasani Slipway

A coral reef near the Msasani Slipway on the way to Mbudya Island. PHOTO | POOL


If you find yourself in Dar es Salaam with money to spend and time on your hands, head to Mbudya Beach Island.

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

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

Tanzanian citizens and residents pay $8 to get to the island, and foreigners are charged $20. It is worth every cent for pristine white-sandy beaches and shimmering warm turquoise waters for swimming.

The island has a restaurant serving sea food and a variety of beverages under the shade of palm trees or palm frond thatched huts.

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


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

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