Pemba is one of the islands in the Zanzibar archipelago. The large-scale farming landscape is a testament to an underlying fertile ground and a rich agricultural heritage. Unlike the other islands of the archipelago, Pemba is lush and hilly with stunning marine life underneath its waters.
It is all about the outdoors on this island paradise; remarkable beauty with every square meter, its lively waters make for some exciting fishing grounds. The 50 km wide Pemba channel teems with big fish of all kinds making it a perfect location for game fishing. The unspoiled coral reef off the coast is breathtaking. The waters are clear and provide an unforgettable experience for lovers of diving and snorkeling. Although amateur and first time divers may want to take serious caution as the currents are strong along the coasts of Pemba.
Pemba which means ‘green’ in Arabic is picturesque with its undulating escarpment and mangrove vegetation. It has ten species of mango and the locals also grow such tropical foods as rice, banana, coconut and red beans; meaning an abundance of tropical food.
The people are a mix of Arabs who are descendants of migrants from Oman and the original Swahili inhabitants. The ethnic diversity is a result of years of interactions between indigenous merchants and foreigners who come from all over the Arab world, Persia and other regions around the Indian Ocean. The island is home to the only known early fortification on the whole Swahili coast, the Mkama Ndume ruins located at Pujini village south of the airport. The residents are peaceful and very hospitable.
Exciting places to visit include Ngezi forest reserve, Chake Chake bay, Ras Kigomasha lighthouse, the Panga ya Watoro Beach and the Aiyana. Some of the restaurants are great hangout spots and also offer culinary delight with mouth-watering dishes and friendly chefs. Where to stay will never be an issue as Pemba has some good lodges and inns at great prices. Some even provide personal tour guides to their customers.
Pemba Airport is also known as Karume Airport and it is located about 7 km southeast of Chake Chake. With a growing tourism industry on Pemba Island, the airport is becoming increasingly busier with more tourists preferring the less crowded island. As Salaam Air offers flights from Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.
When To Go
Pemba has a tropical climate with two rainy seasons. The heaviest rain is between April and May and the other less heavy rain is between November and December. It is advisable to avoid April to May as tourists may well spend their vacation indoors. The best time to visit is between June and October when the long dry season comes