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Pemba Island

One of the many fascinating islands Pemba island might seem like a dime a dozen but looks can be deceiving, Discover more.

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Pemba Island is an isolated land of tranquility and flourishing nature on land. It spreads over a staggering 988 square kilometers of land. 


The island’s terrain is lushly vegetated with the coast lined with mangroves offering excellent beaches and islets. It is a must-see and unpassable Tanzanian attraction and the largest island within the college islands of Zanzibar with the best diving experience.

A Glance at the Culture 


It was not always smooth sailing for this amazing exotic island. In the past, the island was seldom visited due to a reputation of political violence which primarily stemmed from a belief that it was a hub for traditional medicine and witchcraft. 


Pemba island is also a coherent tapestry of many cultures and identities. The native local owners of the land are called Waswahili inhabitants. They are a considerable part of the population identifying themselves as Shirazi people. 



Pemba Island is located north of Zanzibar, 50 kilometers north of Unguja. 


How to Get There


Pemba Island is easily accessed via most airports in East Africa: Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam. The island is accessible through direct local flights . The most frequent route among them all is Zanzibar - Pemba. 

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As for the climate, it enjoys a tropical climate somewhat milder and more than the weather in Tanzania and Unguja island with the average temperatures usually ranging between 24 degrees Celsius to 27.4 degrees celsius. 


Like most regions in Tanzania and Zanzibar, Pemba Island has two wet seasons. The longer one takes place from March through June with peaking in May. The short rainy season occurs during the months of November and December.


The dry season occurs during January to February, and also from July to October. The weather is hot and humid during this period.  


Note that some of the water activities are not allowed during the wet seasons, although it doesn't rain all day long. Actually, some mornings and afternoons, the skies are clear and the sun shines for a few hours. 


The Best Time to Visit 


The best time to visit Pemba Island is during the cool-dry months, from July to October.  From January to February, is also an excellent time to visit Pemba. It is around the time of the peak winters in America and Europe. 

Things to Do in Pemba Island


1- Ngezi Forest Reserve


Having a walking tour in Ngezi Forest Reserve is a great way to enjoy the lush green expanse and deep valleys. Red colobus and vervet monkeys and a plenty of bird species such as palm-nut vulture, African goshawk, malachite kingfisher, Pemba white-eye, scops owl and more can be spotted in the reserve. 


Flying Fox Bats are must-seen. They have wingspans of 1.60 meters and their faces resemble their name. They are found in numbers of 850 bats in a single location.


2- The Fortress at Mkama Ndume


This is for history lovers who want to take a step back to a long time ago. There is a huge collection of historical buildings featuring Portuguese, Arab and Swahili architectural trends. 


The 18th century ruins at Chwaka is also entertaining to head to. It was the capital of the island back then and was ruled by the Mazrui clan whose tombs are displayed today. 


3- Water Sports


For adventure seekers and watersports lovers. A plenty of activities like snorkeling and diving are available. It is a great way to discover the ocean treasures and enjoy the magnificent sea creatures.