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!
The lush green Ngezi Forest Reserve has several biomes, including shrubland, tropical forest, and riverine forest. This beautiful and tranquil reserve is home to animals like pigeons, Red Colobus Monkey, owls, Pemba white-eye!
Ras Mkubmuu Ruins date from the 13th-14th Century and include an 11th century mosque, the old chief’s house and several elaborate graves, and offer an insight into history.
The private and serene Vumawimbi Beach is an untouched stretch of white sand where you can enjoy the sweet smelling air or a swim in the crystalline waters!
Misali Island is great for diving! You can enjoy the scenic view of the clear water, stunning coral reefs, and nesting sea turtles. You can also swim, snorkel, or visit the inland caves which are said to be inhabited by ancestral spirits!
Kigomasha Peninsula is a top rated tourist spot as it offers excellent diving and swimming opportunities, and visitors can explore the lighthouse built in 1904!
Chake Chake bay is the unofficial capital of the island. You can go to the fish market to buy fresh seafood, or to the Chake town market which opened in 1904! The walled city and Old Fort are also some interesting sites to visit!