Pemba Island is the smaller and greener “sister island” of Zanzibar – separated for decades. While Zanzibar as a beach destination is world-famous, Pemba is actually very often forgotten. Not much influenced by tourism, the island with its friendly inhabitants has maintained a quiet and relaxed atmosphere with just a few beach resorts. The island is well known as clove island of the Indian Ocean – a scent that is present everywhere you go!
While Mafia and Zanzibar are both coral atolls and flat, Pemba is the total opposite – a real oceanic island with lush hills and green fruit plantations due to the rich fertile soil. Surrounded by a fine coral reef, the island is recognized as a diving paradise with some of the best diving sides along the entire East African coastline! The water is incredible clear with untouched corals and an abundance of marine life. Although the island lacks powder-white beaches, the nearby sandbanks make definitely up for it!
offshore island in Tanzania
reachable by small aircraft plane
size: 984 km²
capital: Chake Chake
all year around – except April and May
humpback whales pass by: August and September
Snorkeling & Diving
Boat trips to sandbanks in traditional dhows
Cultural tours to ancient ruins and fishing villages
Perfect for travelers...
who are looking for a quiet & authentic beach vacation away from hustle
who love to snorkel or dive – especially with challenges
who are adventurous & don’t fancy perfectly white-powdered beaches
Further Details – Pemba Island
Where is Pemba Island and how is it reached?
Pemba Island is located 60 km offshore from Tanzania’s mainland (opposite Tanga) and roughly 120 km north of Zanzibar. Domestic flights operate daily from/to Dar es Salaam and from/to Zanzibar with the domestic airlines Auric Air and Coastal Aviation. It is also possible to connect from Arusha, or other airstrips within the national parks, to Dar es Salaam and then onwards to Pemba Island.
Flora, Fauna & Wildlife above water
Pemba Island has been isolated from the African continent for several million years and supports a range of endemic flora and fauna which is nowhere else found. Thanks to its rich fertile soil, the island is known as “green island” with large fruit and spice plantations. Pemba is famously known for the endemic Pemba Flying Fox and is further home to a large variety of birdlife.
Pemba is an underwater paradise for divers…
The Pemba Channel separates the island of Pemba from Tanzania’s mainland. It is roughly 50 km wide, but more than 1000 m deep and considered as of the best and unspoiled areas for spectacular diving. Pemba has everything that experienced divers appreciate: untouched coral reefs; enormous drop-off’s, hard and soft coral gardens; and a clear view of 30 to 40 m almost every day!
During your snorkeling and diving adventure you can expect to encounter a large variety of marine life. Chances are high to come across larger fish species like barracuda, napoleon fish, eagle rays, giant trevally, and white tip reef sharks. However, it must be mentioned that most of the dive sites are only recommend for experienced divers due to the strong currents.
Interested? Talk to an expert!
As an adventurous European travel is in my blood! Tanzania is a fascinating country with so much to explore! It’s a pleasure to share my insider knowledge and offer first-hand advise. I take the time to listen to your ideas and create a unique safari adventure out of these – tailored to your indivudal requirements and designed just for you!
Not sure if this itinerary is suitable for you? You have questions or missing a particular activity? Don’t worry we are here to assist!
Not sure – Talk to an expert
Let me show you my stunning home country and discover the true Tanzania – authentic and first-hand with a native at your side! As a Tanzanian myself, I am intimately familiar with the local conditions. With my experience in the bush and my passioan for wildlife, I will happily design an itinerary based on your travel interests.
You have any questions or are unsure if Tanzania is the right travel destination for you? Get in touch for a first chat to discuss your requirements!
Phone/Whats App +255 787 298 159
You want to explore more about Pemba Island?
Scroll through our selection of beach resorts on Pemba Island – each personally visited and reviewed! Depending on your travel preferences and budget, we will recommend the perfect accommodation stay for you!
Activities & Daytrips
Maybe relaxing and sunbathing at the beach sounds a bit boring? Pemba Island has lots of activities to offer: for water enthusiasts and travelers interested in ancient ruins. Check out our favorite ones here!