Pemba’s landscape is hilly, fertile and densely covered with vegetation. It is also named ‘The Green Island’ due to the thick and lush vegetation. Pemba has loads of natural forests, countless green mango trees and vast coconut and clove plantations. Most of this tropical island is dominated by small scale farming, such as cloves, pepper and cinnamon. They grow in large quantities and are a key source of income.
The coral reefs surrounding the island protect a huge amount of maritime creatures and offer some of the best diving spots in the world. While much of the coast is lined with mangroves, there are a also amazing stretches of shoreline with beautiful pristine beaches. The multi-coloured coral reefs and abundant marine life make Pemba a top spot for snorkelling, diving and deep sea fishing. Pemba’s underwater paradise contains 50% of Tanzania’s coral reefs with impressive marine life including Barracuda, Marlins, Tuna, Giant Trevally, Surgeonfish, Napoleon Wrasse, Lion and Clown Fish, kingfish and sharks. With a bit of luck you can also see dolphins, turtles and whales.
This is probably as far away from civilisation you might ever find yourself. The tourism industry on Pemba is still in its early stages and the infrastructure is quite basic. There are relatively few hotels and restaurants. If you however really want to go off-the-beaten track and experience pure and untouched nature, this is the perfect remote paradise island.
Activities on this island are focused on the natural surroundings, especially in the Forest Reserves such as Ngezi Forest, and Kigomasha Peninsula in the north of the island, and around the coral reefs and marine life, like scuba diving and snorkelling. It’s also a great site for kayaking, kite and wind surfing. Other attractions include dhow cruises, a bat (flying foxes) tour, spice tours and a number of stone and coral rag ruins from the 11th century.
Best Time to Visit
Visiting in May or June offers a good chance to see the humpback whales passing the coast on their annual migration.
Tip from Lomo Expert
Walking Safaris in Tarangire are spectacular opportunities to experience authentic, remote places in the south of the park. Explore the breathtaking landscape of Tarangire on foot, stopping for a sundowner along the river while the elephants roam the plains.