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Pemba Island

Unlike its southern sister, Pemba has remained virtually unknown to hordes of beach-bound tourists, and just a couple of distinct luxury lodges have opened up on its rural shores.

Fast Facts

Major Attractions
  • World's leading producer of cloves
  • Pemba ruins
  • Coral reefs
  • Spice farms
  • Beautiful white sand beaches
  • Fishing tours
  • Dhow boat cruises
  • Spice tour
  • World class diving and snorkelling
  • Cycling tours
  • Pemba ruins tour
  • 984km2(380 sq miles)
  • Pemba is the most northern of the two islands that make up Zanzibar. It lies just off the coast of Tanzania, 5 degrees south of the equator.


Pemba Island lies a full 40km north of the ‘main’ island of Zanzibar, (Unguja). Pemba is not much smaller, but feels much more rural and characteristically very distinct.

Unlike its southern sister, Pemba has remained virtually unknown to hordes of beach-bound tourists, and just a couple of distinct luxury lodges have opened up on its rural shores. The island is best known by those who come to explore it’s coral reefs; the extreme depths of the Pemba Channel and thriving marine life make this region a diver’s paradise.

The Pemba Channel shelves off to depths of more than 2000m between the island and mainland Tanzania, and Pemba is famous for seriously large sea fish, which include barracuda, tuna, shark, and even whales cruising its perimeters.

It is a glorious playground for experienced divers. The waters around Pemba provide some of the most fantastic wall dives and drift dives, fine soft and hard coral formations and open water diving opportunities that this East African coastline has to offer.


Pemba island is separated from Unguja island and the African  continent by deep channels and has a correspondingly restricted fauna, reflecting its comparative isolation from the mainland. Its best-known endemic is the Pemba flying fox.


Pemba Island is located in the Indian Ocean about 35km off the coast of mainland Tanzania at longitude 39 degrees East and latitude 6 degrees South of Equator. Pemba is about 40 miles long and 14 miles wide. It has a surface area of 608 square miles (2,332 square kilometers).


Pemba experiences ideal holiday weather for most of the year, with the exception of April and May, which are seasonally subject to the long rains. Short rains can occur in November but are characterized by short showers, which do not last long.

The heat of summer is seasonally often calmed by windy conditions, resulting in pleasant sea breezes, particularly on the North and East coast. Being near the equator, the islands are warm all year round but officially summer and winter peak in December and June respectively. Pemba is blessed with an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily.


  • SUMMER – November to May hot, some humidity with some rains in November, May and June.
  • WINTER – June to October warm with rains in June, otherwise sunny.
  • BEST – December to March and July to October.

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Accommodation at Pemba Island

Fundu Lagoon1

Fundu Lagoon

Fundu Lagoon is the epitome of a "bare foot paradise" with a distinct Robinson Crusoe air in a remote and peaceful location. It is a place for guests to relax and unwind in casual, yet stylish surroundings.

The Manta Resort1

The Manta Resort

The Manta offers great value for money if you are looking to stay in this very remote area of the island of Pemba and if you are keen to experience some of the best diving off the coast of Tanzania.

Optional Activities in Pemba Island