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Turtle at Mechangangazi, Pemba
Mechangangazi, Pemba

Pemba Scuba Diving

Dive Site: Mechangangazi

Location: Mechangangazi, Pemba, Tanzania

Description: Reef / drift

Depth: 20 - 40 metres (60 - 180 feet)

Visibility: 25 metres (80 feet)

Rating: ****

This dive site isn't listed in local guides so we have called it Mechangangazi after the lagoon it fringes, which is the largest lagoon on Pemba. Perhaps it should be known as Mechangangazi Express as the dive we did here had the strongest currents we experienced anywhere in Pemba. The dive site is on a coral ridge that lies slightly away from the main reef. The reef starts at about 20m and drops to 30m at the southern end and 40m on the northern end. When we dived it the swim down onto the reef was hard going and once we were on it we were catapulted past the reef at what must have been 4 knots. The only reprieve from the current was by sheltering behind some of the larger coral mounds. In the sunlit waters there were the usual triggerfish, unicorns and anthias in there hundreds. We also saw a turtle and at one point a grouper thought his time was up as I came hurtling towards him, caught in a downcurrent. He looked at me eye to eye and before he could think about fleeing from the bulky predator I was taken up and over him by a current. A good dive, but even our dive guides were taken aback by the force of the current.

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