Mnarani natural aquarium is a marine conservation centre located in Nungwi in the northern cape of Unguja island(Zanzibar). It was established in 1993 as an effort to conserve the population of sea turtles that are native to the island's waters. The name Mnarani originates from the swahili word for tower "Mnara", referring to the light house that sits next to the aquarium grounds. Mnarani in particular means "at the tower". It is run by a community based group, employing over 20 locals as well as working with some foreign or local volunteers.
The aquarium itself was established in a large natural lagoon and gets its water from the Indian ocean. It acts as a breeding ground as well as sanctuary for turtles and also provides a spot where tourists may actually see or even hold turtles of all sizes that would otherwise be hard to find.
Today the groups activities have expanded to include beach cleanups, beach patrols, turtle nest protection and community education on marine life. Since its establishment the group has rescued more than 240 turtles from nets of local fishermen as well as collected over 1500 hatchlings. The group also promotes education among local fishermen on how to avoid deliberate capture of turtles and their safe release when accidentally caught.Location of Mnarani natural aquarium
Mnarani natural aquarium is located in Nungwi in the northern cape of Unguja island(Zanzibar). The aquarium itself sits next to a small lighthouse that is also on the northern most part of the island. Thus making the aquarium a few metres shy of being the northernmost point on the island. The aquarium is also on the outskirts of Nungwi's urban area.
Mnarani natural aquarium is about 59 km north of stone town
the oldest part of the island as well the main and largest town. It also about 66 km from Karume airport by road.