Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park
This marine compasses a narrow sliver of coastline extending from Msangamkuu Peninsula (just north and east of Mtwara) in the north to the Mozambique border in the south. In addition to about 5000 people, it provides home to more than 400 marine species. The plan is for the struggling park to become the core of a conservation area extending as far south as Pemba (Mozambique), although conservation and enforcement measures are currently sadly lacking.
The heart of the planned conservation area is the Msimbati Peninsula, together with the bordering Mnazi Bay. Most visitors head straight to the tiny village of Ruvula, which is about 7km beyond Msimbati village along a sandy track (or along the beach at low tide) with a lovely stretch of sand and fine snorkeling. In addition to its beach (one of the few on the mainland offering sunset views), Ruvula is notable as the spot where British eccentric Latham Leslie-Moore built his house and lived until 1967 when he was deported after agitating for independence for the Msimbati Peninsula. His story is chronicled in John Heminway’s No Man’s Land and in Africa Passion, a documentary film. Today, Leslie- Moore’s house stands in ruins; the property is privately owned.
Msangamkuu Peninsula, at the northern edge of the marine park, is best visited from Mtwara. There’s a small beach, and an up market hotel is planned. Most diving in the marine park is done in the waters near Msimbati.