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Mnarani Natural Aquarium

View adult and hatchling hawksbill and green turtles and help to ensure their conservation at this community-operated site where you can stay as a volunteer.

For more than 20 years, the Mnarani Natural Aquarium has engaged in efforts to save endangered sea turtles hunted for their patterned shells and distinctive meat. Local residents operate this site to rescue these elegant creatures and provide education to drive long-term success of conservation efforts. Visit for a day or sign up for a longer-term volunteer stay.

Also known as the Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond, the site centers on a natural coral lagoon next to the lighthouse near Nungwi. In 1993, Eco & Culture Tours NGO, a local cultural non-profit group, teamed with Nungwi villagers to start the conservation operation. View the hundreds of tiny hatchlings in tanks and pools and see the adults in the lagoon.

Each year the team rescues these endangered turtles, including paying local fishermen for any turtles caught in their fishing nets. The lagoon is connected to the Indian Ocean but partially separated by a small section of rocky reef. Stand on a wooden platform over the lagoon and join team members feeding seaweed to the hungry turtles. At times, swimming in the lagoon with the turtles is allowed. Come in February to watch a joyful release of turtles back to the ocean from nearby Nungwi Beach.

Join the team at the aquarium for a volunteer stay for a month or more. As a volunteer, you will engage in beach cleanup, seaweed collection, keeping the turtles clean and providing guided tours. Pay a fee for room and board, some of which contributes to support the organization and the community.

Drive to Nungwi at the northernmost tip of Zanzibar in about 1 hour from Stone Town. Walk to the conservancy site near the lighthouse. The Mnarani Natural Aquarium is open daily from mid-morning to early evening. Arrive 2 hours before high tide for the clearest water in the lagoon. Admission fees and contributions support the ongoing efforts of the conservation team.


Top Mnarani Natural Aquarium Flight + Hotel Deals

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See all 161 Properties near Mnarani Natural Aquarium
The Z Hotel
The Z Hotel

The Z Hotel

Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar, Nungwi
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Nestled on the beach, this Nungwi hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Nungwi Natural Aquarium, Nungwi Beach and Kendwa Beach. Mnarani Natural Aquarium is 1.3 mi (2.2 km) away.

    Sandies Baobab Beach Zanzibar £205
    Sandies Baobab Beach Zanzibar

    Sandies Baobab Beach Zanzibar

    Nungwi Road, Nungwi, Zanzibar
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Nestled on the beach, this Nungwi resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Nungwi Natural Aquarium and Nungwi Beach. Kendwa Beach is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away.

      DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Zanzibar - Nungwi £151
      DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Zanzibar - Nungwi

      DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Zanzibar - Nungwi

      Nungwi Village, Nungwi
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Nestled on the beach, this Nungwi resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Nungwi Beach and Mnarani Natural Aquarium. Kendwa Beach and Mnemba Island are also within 16 mi (25 km).

        Aluna Nungwi £77
        Aluna Nungwi

        Aluna Nungwi

        Mnarani Road, Nungwi
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Nungwi, this beachfront lodge is in the entertainment district and within 3 mi (5 km) of Nungwi Beach and Kendwa Beach. Mnemba Island and Mapenzi Beach are also within 25 mi (40 km).

          Essque Zalu Zanzibar £182
          Essque Zalu Zanzibar

          Essque Zalu Zanzibar

          Nungwi Village, Nungwi
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Nestled on the beach, this Nungwi hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mnarani Natural Aquarium and Nungwi Beach. Kendwa Beach is 2 mi (3.2 km) away.

            Nungwi Dreams £169
            Nungwi Dreams

            Nungwi Dreams

            North Coast, Nungwi
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Nestled on the beach, this Nungwi hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Mnarani Natural Aquarium and Nungwi Beach. Kendwa Beach is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) away.

              Mnarani Beach Cottages £92
              Mnarani Beach Cottages

              Mnarani Beach Cottages

              North Coast, Nungwi
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Nestled on the beach, this Nungwi resort is within a 15-minute walk of Mnarani Natural Aquarium and Nungwi Beach. Kendwa Beach is 1.9 mi (3 km) away.

                Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel £75
                Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel

                Kendwa Rocks Beach Hotel

                Kendwa, Kendwa
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Nestled on the beach, this Kendwa hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Kendwa Beach and 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from Nungwi Beach. Nungwi Natural Aquarium and Mnarani Natural Aquarium are also within 3 miles (5 km).