Pemba is the second biggest island of the Zanzibar archipelago, Tanzania. Situated just north of the more famous, larger and much more developed Zanzibar Island (whose real name is Unguja), Pemba offers wonderful food, breathtaking views, fabulous diving, and serenity. The isle is greener and more peaceful than other islands. For tourists who wish to relax and escape the crowds, this destination is ideal!
The island is home to many different animals such as the Pemba flying fox (a unique fruit bat), violet breasted sunbirds, miniature antelopes, and many species of monkeys. While enjoying spectacular snorkelling or scuba diving experience, travellers can spot colorful corals, tropical fish, deep sea turtles, manta rays etc. For visitors to Tanzania, and the Zanzibar archipelago, this beautiful island must definitely be on their itinerary! Here are the 5 best tourist spots in Pemba Island:
- Ngezi Forest Reserve
This lush green reserve is one of the best spots in Pemba Island. Here, tourists can enjoy the vegetation and greenery. This reserve is tranquil and peaceful, and visitors are not disturbed by crowds. It covers an area of 3600 acres, and includes several biomes, including tropical forest, riverine forest, and maquis shrubland. It is home to many animals, such as owls, monkeys (notably the Pemba Vervet Monkey and the Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey), and the Pemba flying fox. Bird species include the African goshawk, palm-nut vulture, green pigeon, malachite kingfisher, crowned hornbill, Pemba white-eye, and many others.
- Ras Mkumbuu
These ruins date from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and are a nice spot for tourists who like visiting historical locations, and learning about ancient history and heritage. These ruins include an 11th century mosque, which used to be the largest structure of its type in sub Saharan Africa. Visitors can also spot several elaborate graves, and the old chief’s house. As the site is rarely visited, visitors can explore the area in peace and tranquility, and enjoy the time away from the crowds. Getting information from a local, or a learned guide is highly recommended, in order to make the experience more enriching.
- Misali Island
Surrounded by crystal waters and stunning coral reefs, Misali is one of the most beautiful beaches at Pemba, and offers some of the best diving in East Africa. Snorkelling is spectacular and easily reached from the beach.Visitors can spot nesting turtles, and explore the sandy Baobab Beach. The island is used by local fishermen, but it has no permanent residents, making it serene and relaxing for visitors. Inland, tourists can see the caves which are believed to be inhabited by the spirits of ancestors.
- Kigomasha Peninsula
Kigomasha Peninsula is one of the best tourist spots in Pemba Island. With spectacular sweep along the shores, and great diving opportunities, this remote location is very attractive to visitors. Away from the beach are several traditional villages, known as Makangale, where tourists can go for cultural visits, and explore the area to experience, and learn about local life.
- Vumawimbi Beach
This heavenly beach is an untouched stretch of white sand where tourists can enjoy the sweet smelling air and a cooling swim in the crystalline waters. This breathtaking location is peaceful, private, and serene. As all the hotels are on the west side, this beach is mostly isolated, and not many outsiders visit it.