Pemba Island lies 40km north of the island of Zanzibar. Pemba slightly smaller, but is much more rural than Zanzibar. Where Zanzibar is relatively flat, Pembas hills and escarpments are green and picturesque. Pemba is a true island with incredibly fertile hilly terrain and spectacular deepwater drop-offs for divers.
Despite its proximity Pemba island really is off the beaten track, getting less than 1% of its neighbours visitor traffic. Those who do venture here are rewarded with an incredibly authentic Swahili Coast experience. Regular flights make getting here relatively easy these days, but the choice of accommodation remains remarkably thin.
Pemba Island is one of the top dive and snorkel locations off the coast of Tanzania with the entire island being surrounded by coral reef. The Pemba Channel shelves off to depths of more than 2,000m between the island and mainland Tanzania, and Pemba island is famous for seriously large sea fish, which include barracuda, tuna, shark, and even whales. It is a glorious playground for experienced divers. Visibility is generally very good and there are some spectacular pinnacles. Current are strong at Pemba island and it’s not ideal for first timer divers.
Pemba island is best visited during the dry season from July through to late October. There are a few showers in November time but generally still great all the way through until March. April and May should be avoided as it is the heavy rains and the lodges actually close during this period.
Some of the hotels and lodges found in Pemba island
Fundu Lagoon resort Pemba
Pemba island lodge
Tours available from Pemba Island
A walking tour of the Ngezi Forest Reserve, a lush green expanse with deep valleys and steep inclines.
tour the 18th-century ruins at Chwaka, which was perhaps the capital of the island around that time and ruled by the Mazrui clan whose tombs can be still seen today.
Try your hand at catching fish yourself by going on a deep sea fishing expedition in a dhow or motorized boat. Enjoy pitching your wits against stalwarts like swordfish, barracuda, spearfish, giant trevally, sailfish, marlin, tuna, wahoo or many more.
Pemba island is an ideal spot of diving. The pristine condition of the coral reefs around Pemba Island makes it renowned the world over, Their clarity allows easy visibility from 30 to 40 meters when the sun is shining.