September 9, 2013
Conveniently located at the pool of Matemwe Beach Village, One Ocean offers snorkeling ($45) and dive trips to Mnemba Island. Both snorkelers and divers are on the same “big” boat and do two guided sessions, 45 minutes each, with an hour break in between where snacks and hot tea are served.
The departure time depends on the tide and varies daily. To reach the snorkeling site a big boat takes you out or back at high tide, about 45 minutes to an hour, and a bus takes you in the opposite direction at low tide.
At the first location the coral and fish were a good 20 – 30 feet below us making it difficult to enjoy the underworld without diving. The highlight of this site, however, is the opportunity to swim with the dolphins.
To reach the dolphins we had to first pull ourselves from the water into a small boat, not an easy task if you do not have good upper body strength. Our first encounter with the beasts was short lived when they shot out beneath us after only a quick glimpse. We then hauled ourselves back into the small boat to go to another location for a second attempt. This time the glimpse was slightly longer, but still much too short for the effort required to get into the small boat.
The second snorkeling session was on the north side of Mnemba Island, a private island home to a high-end resort. The water was full of resort guests and as non-guests we were not allowed on the beach. However, the water was much shallower with coral and many colorful fish directly beneath us. The fish swimming so close you could touch them.