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Surnommée l’île verte, l’île de Pemba est un véritable joyau de l’océan Indien. Cette île dotée d’une nature verdoyante et de plages paradisiaques est une alternative dépaysante à l’île principale de Zanzibar.
The green lung of the Zanzibar archipelago, Pemba Island plunges visitors into a paradise-like setting. With a surface area of 988 km², it is the second largest island in the archipelago. Its size in no way detracts from the wild beauty of its lush landscapes and white sandy beaches bordered by turquoise waters. The island of Pemba owes its nickname to the fertility of its undulating soil. An environment conducive to growing rice, cloves, coconuts, bananas, cassava and beans. Far less touristy than Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago, Pemba Island offers travellers a change of scenery. Tranquillity, escape and relaxation are the watchwords of any stay in the heart of this dense, verdant natural environment surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Mangroves, tropical forests, fine sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, rich marine reserves – the landscapes offered by the island of Pemba will not leave you indifferent. It’s the perfect place to end a Tanzanian safari tour in style, or to enjoy a confidential honeymoon destination.
Pemba’s heavenly beaches during your stay
The island of Pemba is full of natural treasures, including its deserted beaches. Preserved from mass tourism, these stretches of white sand add a wild dimension to the landscapes of this green island. A small paradise lost in the heart of the Indian Ocean, ideal for recharging your batteries. Enjoy a relaxing break on the dream beaches of Pemba Island. Farniente under the coconut palms, swimming in the turquoise lagoons, snorkelling in search of coral reefs and the multicoloured fish that populate the marine reserve – you’re spoilt for choice!
The cultural and historical wealth of the island of Pemba
The beaches of Pemba Island are among the most beautiful in the Zanzibar archipelago, but the appeal of the green island is not limited to its dreamy landscapes. The island’s rich culture and history are just some of the reasons why travellers choose to set down their suitcases on this verdant piece of land. There are many ways to discover Pemba’s cultural heritage. You can visit the ruins of Jambagome, Ras Mkumbu, Chwaka and Mkama Ndume. These archaeological sites and historical monuments offer a real step back in time. Visiting the Pemba Museum and the port of Chake Chake is also a great way to learn more about the history of the Green Island, its Arab and Swahili heritage, and its role in the archipelago’s maritime trade.
Sports and adventure activities in Pemba
A change of scenery is just around the corner on the island of Pemba. This little paradise owes its reputation not only to its heavenly landscapes, but also to the unforgettable moments it offers travellers. The most immersive experiences include kayaking through mangrove forests, snorkelling in turquoise lagoons, scuba diving in one of the archipelago’s most beautiful marine reserves, cultural walks through traditional villages and visits to local plantations and farms. There are plenty of options to discover all the facets of the island of Pemba.
Gastronomy and flavours of Pemba during your stay
A stay on the island of Pemba is an opportunity to discover the local cuisine and traditional dishes of Zanzibar. Take the time to sample the island’s specialities and the exotic flavours for which Zanzibari cuisine is renowned. Seafood and grilled fish feature prominently in the archipelago’s typical dishes. Spices also play a key role in this colourful cuisine.
The comfort and charm of accommodation in Pemba
There are a number of accommodation options on the island of Pemba. Luxury, simplicity, authenticity, it’s up to you to choose the world in which you wish to live during your stay on Pemba Island.
Fundu Lagoon is very popular with travellers who choose Pemba Island for their honeymoon or romantic getaway. This beautiful beachfront resort offers more than 20 comfortable bungalows overlooking the surrounding wilderness.
Manta Resort, located on the north side of the island, offers a unique experience with its panoramic ocean views and white sand. The hotel is famous for its room, which is submerged to a depth of over 4 metres.
The Aiyana is a chic lodge designed in a natural style to offer exceptional panoramic views. Comprising 30 magnificent private villas, this beachfront hotel has it all.
Meet the locals and discover their way of life
For the perfect escape on the island of Pemba, meet the locals! Meeting the locals is synonymous with sharing, exchange, discovery and conviviality. It’s an unforgettable experience that will allow you to discover the local customs and way of life for a totally immersive experience.
Pemba’s exceptional underwater fauna
With its rich marine ecosystem, Pemba Island is certainly one of the most beautiful diving and snorkelling spots in the Zanzibar archipelago. Meet tropical fish, sea turtles, manta rays and other incredible species living in the crystal-clear waters of Pemba Island. Corals, anemones, multicoloured sponges – the flora that populates the reserve’s seabed is just as majestic. Exploring the depths of Pemba Island is full of surprises.
The unique and luxuriant flora of Pemba Island
The island of Pemba stands out from its neighbour, Unguja, for its hilly landscapes and dense, lush vegetation. This environment is ideal for growing rice, cloves, coconuts, manioc and bananas, giving it the nickname of the Green Island. A land of agriculture and plantations, Pemba Island hides a real botanical wealth in the heart of its tropical forest. Nature lovers will be won over by this exceptional environment.
Must-sees on your visit to Pemba
A seaside destination par excellence, the island of Pemba has many facets. Here are the must-sees during a stay on the green island:
– Visit the town of Chake Chake
– Explore the primary forest of Ngezi
– Meet the flying fox, the largest bats in the world, at the Kidike Flying Fox Sanctuary
– Visit the clove plantations
– Snorkelling or scuba diving
– Take a kayak trip through the mangroves
– Discover the ruins of Ras Mkumbu
Why visit Pemba Island?
Pemba Island is a popular destination for honeymooners. With its white sand and turquoise waters, you’re guaranteed a complete change of scenery during your romantic break.
The island of Pemba is nicknamed “thegreen island” because of its very fertile land, which gives it a dense, verdant natural environment.
With its fertile soil, the inhabitants grow all kinds of food such as :
The island of Pemba is a good alternative to Zanzibar’s main island, Unguja. Unguja attracts around 100,000 travellers a year, compared with just 6,000 for Pemba. The island therefore still attracts very few tourists.
The island of Pemba is one of the most hilly islands in the archipelago, unlike the other islands, which are flatter and whose soil is mainly coral rock.
Activities on Pemba Island
Kayaking in the mangrove forests
Snorkelling and scuba diving
Visit the Jambagome Ruins
Discover the secrets of the Indian Ocean during a snorkelling session and observe the marine animals in their environment.
If you’re the type of person who prefers activities on dry land, there are several excursions on offer to discover every corner of the island, with its tropical forests, hilly landscapes, palm trees, etc
One activity not to be missed is a visit to the ruins at Ras Mkumbu, where you can learn a lot about the island’s history.
Don’t panic if you’re looking for a relaxing break. All you need to do is bring your swimming costume and towel and relax on the white sandy beaches.
When to go
You can visit Pemba all year round to enjoy a moment of tranquillity and a romantic break for two.
We recommend that you stay on the island for a minimum of 5 days, to allow time to discover the island’s culture and nature.
How do I get to Pemba Island?
Access to Pemba is relatively easy, with flights from Zanzibar available at any time of day.
You can also take flights from Tanzanian cities such as Arusha and Dar Es Salaam.
Zanzibar = 2.5hr flight
Arusha = 30min flight
Dar Es Salaam = 1hr flight
Where to sleep on the island
There are a number of accommodation options on the island of Pemba:
Fundu Lagoon is very popular with honeymooners or those simply looking for a romantic getaway. It is located on the seafront with a quality staff service. With over 20 bungalows, each with en-suite bathroom with shower, large double bed with mosquito net and ceiling fan, the lodge has it all.
Manta Resort, located on the north side of the island, offers a unique experience with its panoramic ocean views and fine white sand. One of the reasons why Manta Resort is such a popular lodge is because of its underwater chamber over 4 metres deep.
The Aiyana opened its doors in 2015, and is a chic lodge with a great deal of design flair.