Pemba Island

from $191 /person

Pemba Island, at a glance

Pemba remains largely ‘undiscovered’ by travellers, and this is part of the island’s appeal. Pemba is often overshadowed by its larger neighbour, Unguja, even though Pemba is hillier and more verdant.

Pemba is a hidden masterpiece filled with forests, mangrove swamps, hidden beaches, lagoons, and tidal sandbanks. It is littered with the ruins of mosques and tombs, reminders of the Arab domination of the island in the 17th century.

Pemba’s pristine beauty has been preserved so well due to a lack of awareness about the island. There are few towns and hotels on Pemba, making this destination one for the intrepid traveller.

Known as ‘clove island’ due to being the world’s main exporter of cloves (70% of all the world’s cloves are grown in Pemba) the island is also the centre for ju ju traditions of medicine, giving it a reputation as the world’s ‘magic’ island.

How do I get to Pemba Island?

While Pemba is off the beaten track, there are several ways to get to this secluded island.

Chartered flights with Coastal Air or Auric Air are the most popular methods of getting to the island. Most travellers fly from Unguja and the journey only takes 30 minutes. It is also possible to fly from Dar es Salaam.

You can travel from Zanzibar to Pemba via ferry, but the crossing is rough, and it can be unsafe. Zazm Marine is the most reliable ferry.

If you arrive at the airport or ferry port, your resort should organise a pick-up for you. This may be included, or it may be added to your bill.

Activities on Pemba Island

  • Archaeological sites
  • Spice farms
  • Kidike flying fox sanctuary
  • Scuba diving
  • Deep-sea fishing