Snorkeling in the Blue Lagoon

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When I booked this snorkeling adventure, it was weeks before we’d left for Zanzibar – and, predominantly for Luke, as he’d always been so much more comfortable in the water than I have.

However, by the time we left for the Blue Lagoon, I was confidently hopping off our little boat and swimming wherever the tide decided to take me, following every little bright fish that caught my eye. As a reminder, this was only my second time ever swimming in the ocean – you can read about my first time with Safari Blue here.

Getting to the Blue Lagoon

Let’s start with the basics – the Blue Lagoon isn’t a lagoon at all, it’s well, the ocean. Our boat left from Paje beach – which is about 15 minutes north of where we were staying in Jambiani, and then it was about a 20 minute motorised boat trip to the lagoon. Most snorkelling companies will include transport from your accommodation if asked.

There were two or three other boats with snorkelers there, but as it’s the open ocean, it didn’t feel crowded. You’ll also go past The Rock Restaurant, which is quite a famous tourist attraction – we chose not to visit, as my intensive research and review scouting told me that it was an overhyped tourist trap – but, if you want to include it in your itinerary, it would make the most logistical sense to do so on the same day as your Blue Lagoon snorkelling trip.

What is snorkelling like in the Blue Lagoon?

In a word, incredible. There are so many fish, including parrot fish, lion fish, zebra fish, triggerfish, goat fish, cornet fish, eel, squirrel fish, surgeon fish and butterfly fish – they were so close, I was scared of hurting them with my flippers as I gently glided past. A school surrounded me for a few seconds, and I just floated there, motionless, as they made their way past me. Not bad for someone who’s first time swimming in the ocean was only a few days prior.

We hopped in and out of our little boat, taking a little time to catch our breath, snack on some fresh fruit and water, before hopping back into the water for more exploration. Our guide offered to take us a little further up the coast to, to where starfish are known to make their homes.

Having no idea what this meant, we were half-expecting to have to walk along the beach in the hopes of spotting one or two in tidal pools – but, no.

A further 15 minutes in our boat deposited us in yet another patch of can’t-quite-believe-your-eyes blue ocean – in we hopped, to discover starfish everywhere, generally the size of your face. Our captain encouraged us to take a few into the boat for a photograph, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing this, so just happily admired them from above. We also learned that with starfish, tend to come equally large sea urchins, with particularly unforgiving spikes. So, it’s best to wear your flippers even if only to protect your feet from getting stabbed.

Details and booking

We paid $35 per person for the morning’s excursion, which included return transport from our resort, snorkeling equipment, fruit and water – and, was absolutely well worth it. It was arranged through Crab Tours (which seems to have no web presence) – but, the Blue Lagoon is such a popular spot for diving, any snorkeling company should offer the trip.

Favourites from Poetry this winter
Snorkeling in the Blue Lagoon