Pemba Island

Pemba- a green, friendly and hilly island

On Pemba, situated 80 km from Tanzania mainland, lays a love story with rich bird life, secluded beaches and mangrove Eco systems. Tourism is still in its infancy yet slowly beginning to develop so now is the time to explore this untouched island with breathtaking beaches and lush landscape. Compared to its more famous Southern sister Zanzibar, it is greener and more hilly. The greenness comes from the ten types of mango trees and  the 3.5 million clove trees covering the island.

Pemba Island is one of the top diving and snorkeling locations off the coast of Tanzania with the entire island surrounded by coral reef.

Get itinerary 
Pemba- sea, palm trees and green
Start:            Dar es Salaam
Finish:          Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar
Theme:         Discover, beach, snorkeling
Days:             8
Breakfasts:   7
Lunch:           2
Dinner:          7
Excursions:  3 

WHY WE LOVE THIS TRIP

  • Pemba Island is yet unspoiled
  • One of Tanzania’s best snorkeling and diving spots
  • Great variation with villages, forest, mangroves, snorkeling, diving, fruit bats
  • Many different excursions
  • Misali Island- spectacular snorkeling and diving
  • Ngezi amazing Forest
  • Easy to combine with a trip to Zanzibar or  Saadani or Selous Safari 

ITINERARY

This is the itinerary as we would do it.  You will explore the most interesting parts of Pemba and stay some days on our favorite beach. You can of course add or deduct days and combine it with Zanzibar or Mafia. 

Day 1
 

Day 1 Arrival to Wesha (0-20 km)
Upon arrival you will be met at the airport for transfer to Wesha. In Wesha lies Pemba Misali Sunset Beach Resort, situated in the Mangrove Forest, a peaceful retreat with an amazing sunset and calm ocean. When sitting on the wood porch on the sea you can follow the life of the fishermen passing by in the dark spear hunting octopuses with a torch.

Dinner

 
The beach at Pemba Misali Beach
Day 2

Day 2 Misali Island Snorkling
Pemba is an underworld delight comprising almost half of Tanzania´s coral reefs and ranked as one of the world´s best diving destinations. Misali is one of Pemba´s highlights offering natural trails, heavenly beaches and stunning snorkeling. The small island, a piece of coral rag rock that emerged from the ocean, has a rich Eco system with over 40 types of corals and hundreds of various fish species. We spend the day here bringing a lunch box so we can be free and go back when we want.

Read about Misali Island on Tripadvisor

Dinner and overnight at  Pemba Misali Sunset Beach Resort

Breakfast/lunch/dinner 

The beach of Misali Island  

 

Day 3

Day 3 Wete 
After breakfast you head North passing the most beautiful area on Pemba with jungle covered hills with the turquoise Indian Ocean as a back drop.  Our destination is Wete, a sleepy charmig little town on a hill overlooking the Indian Ocean,  resting from its earlier grandiose days as main harbor for the clove trade. Today the life is slow at the
port. However, the area around the port is a very special place with thousands of “Flying foxes” hanging around the trees in their black suede cocoons. The species is endemic to Pemba and was almost extinct in recent years but thanks to an effective protection programe its population has now grown to an estimate of 20,000 individuals. Around 6 o´clock these nocturnal huge bats, 1 m between the wings, wakes up starting their morning procedure in cleaning and exercising. When the sun is set over he horizon they start their night hunt and they will all fly over your heads.

In terms of accommodation Wete does not offer a lot. Sharook Riviera Grand Lodge ( the name is a little over the top in comparison to what you get) is clean and simple with a roof top overlooking the bay and the sunset.

Read about Sharook on Tripadvisor

Breakfast/lunch/dinner 

 

The big bats on Pemba hanging in the tree

Day 4

Day 4 Going up North via Ngezi Forest 
We continue to the Ngezi Forest at the Northern tip of Pemba passing the neat and lively little village Konde. Ngezi forest is an ancient coastal forest that once covered the whole of Pemba and with its own plant species unique to this area.

You will enjoy the shaded and lush road up to Panga ya watoro beach where the landscape changes dramatically with sand dunes, cultivation, cows and a slow life lived by the people in this remote area.

We check in at Gecko Nature Lodge,  loved for its laid back atmosphere and sunset over the horizon. You will feel at one with nature on a unique, secluded beach. Here you can sit on the large wooden terrace over sea while t warm breeze hug you to rest. The place, as well as the food, is simple but loving.

Breakfast/lunch/dinner  

 Sunset at Gecko Nature Lodge Pemba

 

Day 5

Day 5 Lazy day on the beach

Today we just enjoy the peace at Gecko Nature Lodge. They have activities ( canoeing in the mangroves for instance)  there you can do if you get tired of watching the stunning sea and walk on the beach.

The day ends with yet another sunset. But no worries- we can assure you cannot get enough sitting on the wood porch overlooking the horizon.

Breakfast/dinner 

 The beach at Pemba Gecko Nature Lodge

Day 6

Day 6 Ngezi Lighthouse and Vumawinbi beach 
At the tip of the peninsula, Ras Kigomasha, lies Ngezi lighthouse presenting a wide view of Pemba for the ones climbing the 38 meter high building shipped here by the Brittish in 1904. On the way there we can stop take a dip at one of the most beautiful beaches in the Zanzibar Archipelago: Vumawinbi beach.

The day ends with yet another sunset. But no worries- we can assure you cannot get enough sitting on the wood porch overlooking the horizon.

Breakfast/dinner

 

 

The end of Pemba seen from the light house

View North from Pemba Lighthouse

Day 7

Day 7  Trip to nearby islands and snorkeling
After yet another lazy lovely breakfast we pack a lunch box and head out on the sea to explore the nearby islands. On the way we do some snorkeling as well. But no worries- still some time to be lazy with a book and watch the sunset before dinner.

Breakfast/dinner

 
Beach at an island near Pemba

 

Day 8

Day 8  Home – or Zanzibar, or Mafia or…
Flight with to Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar

Breakfast

 
Animals grassing on a green hill of Pemba

Get itinerary 

Ngezi Forest
Ngezi Forest on the north of Pemba , is an old forest once covered
the whole of Pemba. Read more…

Misali Island
Surrounded by crystal waters and stunning coral reefs, Misali offers some of the best diving in East Africa, while snorkelling is spectacular and easily reached from the beach. Read more…

Diving
As Pemba is surrounded by a long and fine coral reef with pristine Ocean, it is known to be one of the best diving spots in the world.  Visibility is good through out the year and you can see some truly large fish: barracuda, tuna, shark, and even whales. The Pemba Channel, between mainland and Pemba Island, has shelves off to depths of more than 2,000m.

The Pemba Clove Trade
During the late 19th century Sultan Said, the Sultan living on Unguja,  developed his spice trade empire across Zanzibar. He introduced an enormous clove-planting initiative on Pemba, which today is solely controlled by the Government, Zanzibar State Trading Company. Cloves are harvested twice a year and are considered having the best quality and finest aroma. The Pemba Essential Oil Distillery at Chake Chake extract the essential oil from cloves locally and you are welcome to visit the distillery.

Get itinerary