You will have the opportunity to explore
Pemba Island, both on land and in the water. You will
see aquatic species whilst diving or snorkelling and terrestrial
species around your private beach retreat, in the mangroves
and if you visit it, in the protected Ngezi Forest.
Location & size:
Pemba island lies north of Zanzibar island, 50km from the mainland. The lifestyle of local Pembans is relaxed and their culture remains largely undiscovered. This island is renowned for its peoples’ knowledge of traditional healing methods.
Landscapes & Vegetation:
Despite its geographical proximity to Zanzibar, this island is relatively remote and rarely visited by tourists. Pemba is also one of the ‘spice islands’, and continues to produce cloves on its fertile hilly terrain. The western shore is hillier than the rest of the island and has small steep hills and deep valleys. This isolated island has an irregular coastline and is fringed by spectacular, unspoilt white sandy beaches that are perfect for snorkelling off.
Beach & Underwater:
Colonised by lush coral and sponge gardens, Pemba’s clear
aquamarine waters are ideal for snorkelling and diving. You
can go snorkelling in the clear warm waters off the beach at your
you are feeling disinclined to move, you can lie on the beach and
soak up the sun. In the evenings you can enjoy sundowners
overlooking the beautiful Pemba channel.
With visibility often reaching more than 30m,
Pemba is a photographers’ and underwater naturalists’ paradise. Pemba
is separated from the mainland by a channel deeper than 1000m
and offers some of the best diving anywhere in the
world. The waters off Pemba are rich with marine life – ranging
from coral gardens & vertical coral walls that support thousands
of species of colourful reef fish to large pelagic fish including schools
of hammerhead sharks and the magnificent manta
ray. In the rich, deep waters, manta and eagle
rays, barracuda, giant 2m groupers and Green & Hawksbill
turtles often cruise past. A myriad of marine life
occurs here, and the closer you look the more you will find.
On Land and Ngezi Forest:
Pemba Island has a high level of endemism including mammals, birds
and reptiles. The forest is alive with wildlife and has
a lush jungle-like canopy with thick cover on the forest. If you
visit the protected Ngezi forest, you will see colonies of the
endemic Pemba Flying Fox (bats). Vervet monkeys and tree
hyraxes both have subspecies endemic to the Island. There
are 4 species of endemic birds, including the Pemba scops owl
and Pemba sunbird; and 5 species of endemic reptiles, including
the Pemba day gecko and Pemba marsh snake.
You can alse choose to explore the mangrove forests,
both on foot and via canoes. African
fish eagles circle overhead, searching for food, whilst brown
headed parrots shriek in the forests. Egrets, Ibis and herons
all hunt for invertebrates in the shallow intertial pools left
behind by the receding tide.
Birding on Pemba - more info
Herping on Pemba - more info
Remote island, rarely visited
spectacular, white sandy beaches
Photographers’ and naturalists’ paradise
Misali island marine sanctuary
Dive or snorkel with migrating whale sharks
Mind-blowing diving with legendary steep wall dives
Visibility often 40 metres plus
Coral & sponge gardens
Thousands of species of colourful reef fish
Large pelagic fish & manta rays
Canoe amongst mangroves
Sundowners overlooking the Pemba channel