Pemba Island : One of the less well-known islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago, Pemba Island, is a well-liked honeymoon getaway. One of the most gorgeous water spots like diving on earth is this lush, unspoiled island. This is the location to be if you want tranquility, rest, and a romantic ambiance.
Pemba Island is a quiet, landlocked place with thriving wildlife. It occupies an incredible 988 square kilometers of land. The island’s landscape is heavily forested, and the mangrove-lined coast offers wonderful beaches and islets. The largest of Zanzibar’s coral reefs and a must-see Tanzanian site, it offers the best diving opportunities.
History of Pemba Island
Pemba Island is an uninhabited, natural island of extraordinary beauty and fertility that has been cut off from the Tanzanian mainland and Zanzibar for decades. Mosques and graves that date back to the Arab era are dispersed across the patchwork of woodlands, marshes, mangroves, secret Zanzibar beaches, and lagoons. The Sultan of Pemba Island was taken by the Sultan of Muscat (Oman) in the 17th century. He built his court in Zanzibar and ruled Muscat from there because he adored the Spice Islands.
The local culture of Pemba Island
You are instantly impressed by the sheer number of rural farming and fishing settlements as you traverse Pemba. Huge expanses of cloves are spread out in the sun to dry during harvest, infusing the air with their fragrant aroma. Mangoes stacked more than six feet high wait by the sides of the road to be transported by truck to the port of Mkoani and then transported to the mainland. Emerald meadows are studded with women tending to crops while wooden pirogues and dhows drift lazily across the turquoise waters. It’s a tranquil island with lots of intriguing things to discover.
Climate of Pemba Island
Regarding the weather, it has a tropical climate that is milder and more consistent than that of Tanzania and Unguja Island, with typical average temperatures typically ranging between 24 and 27.4 degrees Celsius.
Pemba Island experiences two wet seasons, similar to most of Tanzania and Zanzibar. November and December are the months that have a brief rainy season. The dry season lasts from July to October, as well as from January to February. During this time, the weather is sweltering and muggy.
Even if it doesn’t rain constantly throughout the wet seasons, several water sports are prohibited. In fact, the sun shines for a few hours on some mornings and afternoons when the sky is clear.
Getting there: how to get to Pemba Island
There are various ways to reach Pemba, despite the fact that it is a remote island. The most common ways to travel to the island are chartered flights with Coastal Air or Auric Air. Most travelers take a 30-minute flight, which departs from Unguja. Flying is an additional option from Dar es Salaam city. Apart from air transport, Ferries connect Zanzibar to Pemba, although the trip can be dangerous as the crossing is choppy.
Getting around Pemba Island
There is only one main tarmac road in Pemba that cuts through the center of the island, making many attractions inaccessible. Bicycles may be rented from your hotel for about $10 per day, making it one of the most well-liked modes of transportation.
Buses and dala dalas are options for travelers who cannot cycle (they are simple buses that only leave when they are full and do not have a set timetable). Despite having little room for luggage, both alternatives cover the major routes connecting the towns and villages.
Due to the island’s modest size, renting a car in Pemba is uncommon. The majority of tourists hire a driver from a taxi stand or reserve a trip through their hotel. Tours are frequently led by taxi drivers who will take you to the attractions you want, and a car and driver for the day should cost between $50 and $70.
The Best time to visit Pemba Island
The mild, dry months, which run from July through October, are the ideal times to explore Pemba Island.
Tourist activities: Things to Do in Pemba Island
Ngezi Forest Reserve tour: The Ngezi Forest Reserve’s deep valleys and expanse of lush greenery are best enjoyed on a walking tour. The reserve is home to red colobus and vervet monkeys as well as a wide variety of bird species, including the palm-nut vulture, African goshawk, malachite kingfisher, Pemba white-eye, scops owl, and others.
A Visit to The Fortress at Mkama Ndume: This is for those who enjoy history and have a desire to travel back in time. There is a sizable collection of historical structures with architectural styles influenced by the Portuguese, Arab, and Swahili cultures. It’s also fun to visit the Chwaka ruins from the 18th century. The Mazrui clan, whose tombs are now on exhibit, controlled it when it served as the island’s capital.
Scuba diving: One of Africa’s top scuba diving spots is Pemba, which is well known for this. The island’s stunning underwater walls and superb topography serve as a haven for a variety of marine life, including turtles, reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, and large game fish.
The Pemba Channel Conservation Area includes Misali Island, as well as places off the Kigomasha Peninsula, the Fundu Gap, and the Njao Gap, which are all excellent diving locations.
Although most divers have prior diving expertise, several businesses provide classes and day trips for novices. The majority of the year offers excellent visibility, but you should stay away from spice farms during the rainy months of April to May and November to December.
Spice farm tour: Pemba is referred to as the “clove island” since it is the primary supplier of cloves to the rest of the globe. The ZSTC Clove Oil distillery offers tours of a spice farm where you can observe clove trees and learn how cloves are transformed into essential oils.
Due to the numerous spice farms that can be found in the area, the Zanzibar archipelago is also known as the “spice islands.” Cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, lemon grass, vanilla, and nutmeg are also produced by the spice plantations on Pemba Island. You can go on a farm trip to observe how the products are grown, learn about the history of the spice trade in the area, and have the opportunity to purchase the world’s freshest, most genuine spices.