Visit Pemba Island, Zanzibar Archipelago
About 80 kilometres northeast of Zanzibar Island Pemba is quiet and undeveloped.
It is smaller than Zanzibar Island and has a gentle hilly landscape. It is also more densely vegetated than Zanzibar and has always been seen as a more fertile place. The early Arab sailors called it 'El Huthera', meaning, 'The Green'. Today, more cloves are grown here than on Zanzibar Island.
Local culture of Pemba Island
Travelling across Pemba you are immediately struck by the number of rural farming and fishing villages. At harvest time, great swathes of cloves lie drying in the sun and filling the air with their scent. Mangos in piles over 6 feet high wait by the roadsides to be trucked to the port at Mkoani and then shipped over to the mainland. Emerald fields are dotted with women in bright kangas attending to crops whilst over the turquoise seas, wooden pirogues and dhows glide gently. It's a peaceful and relaxing island, full of exciting things to explore.
Pemba has very few lodges and nearly all of the beaches are deserted. Offshore, coral islands have sugar white sand and nesting turtles at night. The deep Pemba Channel is rich with coral reefs and offers some of the best diving in East Africa.
Map of Pemba Island
Places & hotels on the map
Accommodation choices for Pemba Island
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Pemba Island. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Pemba Island
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Pemba Island, and which use the best local guides.