The island of Pemba is completely different to Zanzibar…more undulating, verdant and remote. This is a real secret paradise, full of undiscovered paradise beaches and some of the best diving in the Indian Ocean.
Pemba Island lies approximately 80 km northeast of Zanzibar Island and is about the same distance from the Tanzanian mainland, situated directly east of the of the port of Tanga.
Unlike Zanzibar, which is flat and sandy, Pemba's terrain is hilly, fertile and heavily vegetated. The early Arab sailors called it 'Al Huthera', meaning 'The Green Island'. During the rule of the Sultans, it was Pemba, with its extensive clove plantations and agricultural base, which provided the economic foundation for the archipelago's dominance.
In addition to its rich history and traditions, Pemba is of interest for its wealth of natural resources ranging from beaches to mangrove ecosystems to natural forests. The coral reefs surrounding the island protect a multitude of marine species and offer some of the best diving in the world. While much of the coast is lined with mangroves, there are a few amazing stretches of shoreline and enough attractive offshore islands with pure, clean beaches and interesting bird-life to keep you busy for quite a while.
The tourism industry in Pemba is still in its infancy and infrastructure is therefore quite basic, although this is slowly beginning to change with a few exclusive resorts springing up on the island. Pemba is definitely one of the jewels of the Indian Ocean and is patiently waiting to be explored.