The stunning Pemba Island is the second largest island of Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago. It is also known as The Green Island and is located at the north of Zanzibar Island. This gorgeous island is ideal for a trip as it offers wonderful food, scenic views, and exciting adventures! Here is a comprehensive guide to the pristine Pemba Island:
Pemba Airport or Katume Airport is 7km away from Chake Chake and can be accessed via flights from Zanzibar and Dar Es Salaam. You can also take a ferry from Stone Town or Tanga.
Within the city, you can use cheap means of travel such as public minibuses called dala dalas. Taxis are more than dala dalas but still not expensive, especially if you ask for a better price. But do bear in mind that the fair price is the right price, not the cheapest you can get. A fun and eco-friendly idea is to rent a bicycle to explore the island!
Knowing the local language, Swahili, is not necessary, as tourism is a key part of the island’s income and there is enough english particularly spoken. To make your experience more comfortable and as a show of respect, you should learn a few basic words and phrases, and carry a translator or phrasebook with important vocabulary!
The food of the region is unique and delicious, and is influenced by Indian, Arabic, African, Portugese, and Swahili cultures. You can enjoy dishes such as rice, biryani, date nut bread, spiced potatoes, soup, kebabs, curry, chapati, grilled meat, and fresh seafood such as lobster, shellfish, calamari, tuna, octopus, and prawns. The food uses spices such as ginger, cloves, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg, fennel, lemongrass, saffron, vanilla and pepper!
The locals are relaxed, helpful, and easygoing. Interacting with them is a good idea as it can help you learn the culture and heritage of the region. Predominantly muslim, visitors are asked to respect the local customs and norms such as dress, consumption of alcohol in public spaces and overt, public displays of affection. Crucially, maintain precautions to protect yourself and locals from the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Pemba Island is home to diverse wildlife, such as the Pemba flying fox, malachite kingfisher, green pigeon, African goshawk, deep sea turtles, crowned hornbill, Vervet monkeys, miniature antelopes, palm nut vulture, manta rays, owls, and violet breasted sunbirds!