Set off the coast of Zanzibar and lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Pemba Island is a place of authentic barefoot luxury that doesn't disappoint. This lush tropical escape is quite undiscovered and certainly a quieter option compared to its well-known neighbour. If your dream is that of a Robinson Crusoe style holiday Pemba is ideal; set off the tourist track you will have the small island practically all to yourself.
While the beaches on Pemba's main island don't necessarily match up to the standard found on Zanzibar its surrounding islands, such as Funzi and Fundo certainly make up for this with pristine white sands. The tropical hills and forests inland on Pemba are also noteworthy and reminiscent of any castaway imagery you can call to mind.
The staple reason to enjoy holidays to Pemba Island is diving, with the waters surrounding the island holding some of the best dive spots in Tanzania. Pemba is surrounded by beautiful lagoons (Fundu Lagoon being one of the island's best) and striking coral reefs, which are home to a huge number of colourful sea-life, including some larger inhabitants, such as shark, and occasionally whales. While snorkelling is another water based pursuit to enjoy, diving is the best way to explore the Pemba Channel, which is known to drop to depths of 2000m.
Accommodation on the island is sparse, with only a few exclusive resorts to choose from. However, the barefoot luxury they afford is excellent.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Pemba Island
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30 villas on the stunning white sands of Pemba Island, Tanzania, and a tranquil spa, Constance Aiyana is the perfect African beach retreat.
A classic island escape, Fundu Lagoon can only be reached via boat or plane. Effortlessly blending with its surrounds, enjoy a true castaway experience.
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