International Travel

Zanzibar, Matemwe Beach Village

By Fiona McIntosh 

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Diving in the exotic spice island of Zanzibar is always fabulous, and a stay at Matemwe Beach Village on the north-east coast of the island makes it even more of a treat. The small, intimate guesthouse is located on itsflown on a palm-lined stretch of white sand beach, so you’re far from the madding crowd and left with peace and tranquillity. Matemwe’s biggest selling point as a dive lodge is that just offits shore is the world-famous Mnemba Atoll - the circling reef offers some of the best diving in East Africa.

Zanzibar, Mtoni Marine

By Fiona McIntosh

If you’re attracted by exotic Stone Town, but want the beach as well, Mtoni Marine is the place to head.

ImageFive minutes outside Stone Town, on a large crescent of sand, sits one of the best value hotels in Zanzibar. It’s set in a rambling green garden, shaded by trees and flowering bougainvillea. The resort is quiet, spotlessly clean and has a variety of rooms of different sizes to suit various budgets, yet it’s literally just outside town, so you’re soon in on the action should you want it. And amazingly, given its location, it has its own extensive beach where you can stroll by the Indian Ocean without a care in the world. In short, Mtoni Marine is an absolute gem. Owned and managed by Italians, it has a chic, colonial style with large, high-ceiling rooms, big fans and simple decor. There’s a large pool (particularly useful at low tide when the sea is a bit of a walk), big, bed-like loungers to while the day away in, and if you really can’t escape the office, wi-fi and a desktop where you can use the internet.

Zavora - for those who think they have seen it all

For many of the visitors to Mozambique who choose to drive up to the Inhambane province, Zavora has always been known as the best place for deep sea fishing. Yet come to think of it, if there is great fishing, then there must also be a great variety of marine life, which in turn leads to great diving¦ That was what Jon, Roy and Danny had also thought when they started to explore the bay of Zavora and found the most amazing reefs.    By Amilda Boshoff

Zesty Zanzibar

By Fiona McIntosh
Photos by Fiona McIntosh and Shaen Adey courtesy of One Ocean

I clearly remember my first dive in Zanzibar. We clambered aboard an elegant old dhow on the beach and caught our first glimpse of exotic Stone Town from the water as we sailed out towards Bawa Island. It was intoxicating stuff. Yet it got better. As we descended some 30m through the clear water to the British Navy Lighter we had to push through the dense shoals of fish to find the wreck – it was almost surreal, these great swirling masses of yellow and silver. My buddy that day was an old hand, a former Divestyle editor, but I could see that even she was impressed. She summed it up perfectly when we resurfaced; “The wreck was like a present wrapped in colour.” It was the first of many visits I’ve made to the Zanzibar archipelago.

Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi

By Pieter Smith
Photo's by Johan Boshoff

Diving the jewel of Africa

The Chinhoyi Caves in Zimbabwe offer some of the most spectacular diving to be found anywhere.

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History of Chinhoyi Caves

The traditional name is “Chirorodziva”, meaning “The Pool of the Fallen”. This came from the 1830s, when the Angoni Tribe surprised the local tribe living near the caves and flung them into the pool. The delinquents were simply thrown down the cliff . An outlaw called Nyamakwere, who murdered many and threw them into the silent pool, had also used the caves. A headman called Chinoia, who then became chief, eventually defeated Nyamakwere. He used the caves as refuge from raiding tribes and to store grain bins. The nearby town was eventually named after him. The source of Chinhoyi is unconfirmed, but the mineral content is similar to that of Lake Victoria. With water temperature at a constant 22°C all year round, even at 110m, there may be a link through a bigger water body.