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A small lagoon dug in the reef flats of the east coast of Zanzibar, the Blue Lagoon is one of the snorkeling tour favorite stops. The seabed, made of seagrass and poor in corals, is quite disappointing, but the sea life is in full swing all around. Common sightings include clownfish, surgeonfish and butterflyfish, among dozens of other species.

The Blue Lagoon, Zanzibar
The Blue Lagoon, Zanzibar.

How to get to the Blue Lagoon snorkeling spot?

The Blue Lagoon is a small snorkeling spot on the east coast of Zanzibar, located on the Michamvi Peninsula, halfway between Pingwe and Dongwe. This spot can be visited during boat tours, often in combination with the Starfish snorkeling location, further north.

You can theoretically reach this spot by swimming from the beach (200 meters) but we do not recommend this option because you have to cross a deep channel, in which there are current and boat traffic.

Blue Lagoon snorkeling map, Zanzibar
Blue Lagoon snorkeling map, Zanzibar.

Water entrance for snorkeling the Blue Lagoon

Water entrance is from your boat, directly in the lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon snorkeling exploration tips

The Blue Lagoon is a pool about 40 meters wide and 100 meters long, naturally dug into the flats. The depth reaches 12 to 15 feet/4 to 5 meters in the center of the lagoon, but the reefs are much closer to the surface (often less than 6 feet/2 meters).

Snorkeler surrounded by sergeant major fish at the Blue Lagoon
As soon as you jump into the water, you’ll be surrounded by scissortail sergeants.

You can snorkel throughout the lagoon but in its central part, the deep sandy areas are not very interesting. To spot more sea life, snorkel at the edge of the reefs that border the lagoon.

Blue Lagoon is poor in orals. About 70% of the reef surface is covered by seagrass, which forms extensive meadows in some places. The coral areas are made of a mix of Porites, brain coral, and Acropora (mainly finger coral), not very colorful. In some places, you will notice giant clams, starfish, sea urchins and sea anemones.

Peppered butterflyfish at the Blue Lagoon, Zanzibar
A Peppered butterflyfish at the Blue Lagoon.

Despite the coral-poor bottoms, this sheltered lagoon attracts lots of reef fish. Among the most remarkable, are the Powder-blue tang, the Moorish Idol, the lionfish, or the Goldbar wrasse, which darts from reef to reef. In the shade of the overhangs, you will probably notice schools of sweepers.

Sea anemones host two species of anemonefish: the Skunk clownfish and the Twobar clownfish, which are easy to see at shallow depths. In the blue, you may spot a school of garfish or convict surgeons.

Giant clam at the Blue Lagoon
A Giant clam at the Blue Lagoon.

This location can be crowded on certain days. Be careful of boats and other swimmers. Underwater visibility is variable, and rarely great.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

Most tours to the Blue Lagoon are half-day. Some day tour options include lunch.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth15 feet/5 meters
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsCost of a snorkeling tour

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.