The remote Pemba Island is one of the biggest islands in the Zanzibar archipelago. The name for the island is Jazīrat al-Khudrah in Arabic, which translates to “The Green Island”. As the island is fertile, it is greener than surrounding areas, and is home to breathtaking flora and fauna. Surrounded by the serene and tranquil atmosphere, one can enjoy the scenic views, and engage in exciting activities such as swimming, scuba diving, and snorkelling. Here is a guide for getting in and around the heavenly island.
GETTING TO PEMBA ISLAND
One of the easiest and most popular ways of arriving at the island is by air. Pemba Island can be accessed via most airports in East Africa, such as Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salaam. Tourists can also reach the Island with direct local flights with private aviation companies or charter airlines that operate smaller aircrafts. Pemba Airport (PMA) or Katume Airport, which is located 7km away from Chake Chake, is accessible through flights from Zanzibar, Arusha, and Dar Es Salaam. Flights from Dar Es Salaam take around an hour, while flights from Zanzibar reach in about 20 minutes. The airlines that fly to Pemba Island include As Salaam Air, Coastal Aviation, and Auric Air. AsSalaam Air is a great option as it is reliable, with a record of over 90% departures on time, and ensures the health and safety of its passengers.
Visitors can also come to Pemba Island by taking a ferry from Stone Town, Mkoani, Wete, Dar Es Salaam, and Tanga. From Tanga and Zanzibar, travellers can book tickets with Azam Marine, which provides high quality ferries and excellent facilities such as free Wi-Fi, VIP lounges, snacks, and entertainment for the 1-2 hour ride.
GETTING AROUND PEMBA ISLAND
Travel within the city is done by dala dalas which are public minibuses or converted trucks with open backs. The experience is adventurous and provides an authentic insight into the local culture and lifestyle. This is also a very cheap form of travel within the isle.
Tourists can also travel with taxis, which are relatively more expensive, but also provide more comfort and ease. Taxis are private so travellers can enjoy more stress free travel.
Another great way of getting around the island is by renting a bicycle. This is a healthy and environmentally friendly way of exploring the island!
Walking is another healthy and environmentally friendly way of getting around Pemba Island. Visitors can walk around in groups, which allows them to interact with locals and people from all around the world. This also gives them a better opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the region, as the island is home to stunning biodiversity.
Tourists can also enjoy biking tours of the island, which allows them to explore the area according to their own plan and itinerary. Solo travellers can enjoy the privacy and can explore the beautiful island to their heart’s content.
Tourists can use these many ways to get around the island and visit stunning locations such as the pristine and untouched Vumawimbi Beach, the historical Ras Mkumbuu ruins, the breathtaking Misali Island, and the lush green Ngezi Forest Reserve.