pemba island




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fascinating places

in tanzania include:

 zanzibar, kilimanjaro,

 ngorongoro, serengeti,

 lake manyara, ruaha, selous,

 mikumi, rubondo,

 mafia island, pemba island,

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Known as the 'Green Island', the lush, tropical island of Pemba is charming and enchanting. Clove plantations, rice fields, hilly terrain, green valleys and palm fringed beaches make it a land of variety and contrasts. The Pemba Channel offers excellent opportunities for fishing and diving.


A real nature lovers paradise, bird watchers will be well rewarded!!


Recommended for serious divers and nature lovers and honeymooners, you have been warned.


What to see on Pemba:

Chwaka Ruins

Harouni Site

The Old Site Tumbe

Mazrui Site

Ras Mkumbuu Ruins

Msuka Mjini Ruins

Kichokochwe Ruins

Mkame Ndume / Pujini Ruins

Misali Island

Ngezi Forest

Virgin Grave Beaches



The big game fishing in the Pemba channel is as good as it gets, with a record breaking catch of a giant travally. There are no less than 6 varieties of Billfish in the Pemba Channel, huge sharks (Mako, Tiger, Hammerhead to name a few), tuna, large wahoo, King fish, Dorado, barracuda, giant travally plus many others. Close to shore along the west coast, immediately off Pemba’s beaches, regular catches include rainbow runners, bonito, kingfish, barracuda and wahoo. In peak Marlin season, the billfish and tunas move right up to the coast line making Pemba very interesting for fishing enthusiasts. All big game charters must be booked in advance, for a minimum of 3 days. Costs are about $800 per day, depending on which charter boat is available. Each boat will fish a maximum of 4 people. We can also prove motor boat or canoe trawling, in a comfortable shaded boat, 2 experienced crews, rods and tackle. 



Spices, Kangas, Kitenges, traditionalm paintings and other local handicrafts crafts are well worth buying.



Mouth watering seafood delicacies are on offer at local restaurants.


Zanzibar Magic currently

takes bookings on:

Pemba Island - the northernmost Island of the archipelago. Pemba Island is still the world's major clove producer, but has now slipped into its more traditional role of being an Island
Paradise with small inter-island trade. Chake wharf is now mainly used for swimming & fishing. Pemba was seized by the Sultan of Muscat (now Oman) in the 17th century. He was so enchanted by the Spice Islands that he installed himself in Zanzibar and ruled Muscat from there. When the Western Colonial powers came to East Africa the British forced the Sultanates of Muscat and Zanzibar to separate and then administered the Spice Islands in the name of the Sultan.


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pemba island lodges





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Other Pemba Island Resorts and Hotels:


divers village and the boat house

manta reef pemba island

fundu lagoon pemba island

pemba afloat pemba island





The first fully serviced five star PADI dive center on Pemba, providing multiple dive experiences and water sports, with the variety Pemba Island has become so famous for. The diving round Pemba is nothing else but breathtaking. The untouched coral reef surrounding the entire island makes Pemba one of the top dive sites in the world. There are plenty of dive sites and many of them are actually multiple sites and most can be dived by novice divers, if the tides and currents allow. If 

you are a recently certified diver, Pemba is a great opportunity to upgrade your speciality dives, like  the drift diver. 



The best sites are found at the entrance of the small islands of western Pemba - such as Njao, Fundu and Mesli Island. The coral is excellent, the coral fish life abounds. You can also snorkel right off the lodge in our “house lagoon” at low tide. The best way is to visit the sites at low tide and get as close to the coral as possible. You can join one of our daily trips or hire a private boat just for you and your friends. Visits to the snorkeling areas can be combined with beach picnics. Often you get to see dolphins on the way there as a bonus. Please remember – the sun is very strong here. The best protection when snorkeling is a rash guard. We have several different snorkeling excursions and equipment for hire. 



When the tide is low, suddenly large white sand islands just north of The Manta Resort appears. They offer endless sandbank walks, amazing azure blue waters and great snorkeling. For a once in a lifetime experience ask for the Sandbank dinner. You will be taken out to private sandbank, served a seafood platter, sparkling wine and will be left alone to enjoy the crystal clear water and your company. Perfect for honeymooners. Please book ahead as this is a very popular venue.

All the while, the Arab dhows would ply the trade winds down from the Arabian Peninsula to

East Africa. With the winds they would take cloves to India, textiles back to the Arab lands

and silver and wood to the Spice Islands of Unguja and Pemba.


The Dhows have remained a constant throughout the history of Pemba. To this day they ply  the run from Wete to Shimoni in Kenya and, when the winds are favourable they plough through to Northern Mozambique.

Pemba is a magical island. Unlike Unguja, Pemba is hilly. Gentle, undulating hills and deep verdant valleys are all covered with a dense cover of clove, coconut and mango plantations.


A more fertile land it is difficult to imagine then Pemba. But it is not just the landscape that gives Pemba its magical reputation. For centuries Pemba has held a reputation as a centre for the juju traditions of medicine and magic.


There certainly is a strange atmosphere on Pemba. How can so beautiful a place be so devoid of visitors ? On an island with a population of 300,000 there can rarely be more than a couple of dozen foreigners. It is as if the people of Pemba have a secret that they refuse to let go.

That is not to say that the people here are not friendly. Traveling in Pemba is like traveling in unknown territory. In the countryside, villagers are eager to talk to passers-by and small children cry at the sight of a muzungu. (white man) In town, market stallholders call you over and sit you down to try their different fruits, laughing hysterically at your reaction.

The down side about traveling in Pemba is the lack of infrastructure and facilities.

The visitor simply has to be prepared to 'rough it', unless staying at one of only a few decent accommodations. The only guesthouses on Pemba are at Mkoani, Chake Chake and Wete.

All are very small, modest and with basic facilities.

Food must be bought at the local markets and shops. Generally the only place to eat out is at the local stalls or at one of the few guesthouses.


Transport is limited to a few taxis, private cars and the public bus service. Beyond this, walking is the only option, unless you have arranged pre-booked transfers.


Pemba Island General Travel Information & Advice

Pemba Island Visa Requirements:

  • South Africans require a visa to travel to Pemba Island (Tanzania)
  • Visitors can obtain visas arriving at Zanzibar International Airport and Karume Airport on Pemba Island.
  • Costs vary between nationalities from USD50 for British nationals & USD20 for Italian nationals. (Please check prior to your departure as rates periodically change.
  • Other points in Tanzania currently offering Visas on entry are Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro International Airports.
  • If traveling via Kenya, then a similar visa is required for Kenya, which is also available at the airports.

Tanzania Consulate Details:

  • Tanzania High Commission - Pretoria, South Africa: Tel: +27 12 342 4371/93, Email:

Pemba Island Health Requirements:

  • To visit Mafia Island you require a Malaria & Yellow Fever inoculation.

Getting To Pemba Island:

  • Pemba Island is accessible by light aircraft from Zanzibar (±30 minutes)
  • To Zanzibar: Flights daily from Johannesburg, departing at 13:50 arriving Zanzibar 18:40, returning daily from Zanzibar 09:20 arriving Johannesburg 13:10

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