Off the beaten tracks, as first. Pemba, the green island, is the less touristic corner of the Archipelago of Zanzibar – mostly covered by rainforest and surrounded by lagoons, where the sea looks as an incredible emerald ocean.
The quiet population are mainly farmers and fishermen, proud of their land and their tradition; welcoming towards small scale tourism, much less towards the mass one. Long roads crossing endless forests, totally unspoilt beaches, just a few cars, small towns… this is what you are going to see in Pemba.
Environmental and cultural treasures are many, and still well hidden many times. Let’s try to discover them.
Looking for Pemba Flying Foxes…
These giant bats are the most famous endemic species. Several colonies are spread around the island, even nearby places where humans live. One is at the archaeological site Kidike, so a visit is worthing for more than a reason. Another very large one is in the town of Wete, nearby the port, where at sunset you can see hundreds flying foxes floating in the air.
Beaches & Forests
A nature walk in Ngezi Forest will surprise you in many ways. This is a majestic indigenous rainforest, full of birds and wildlife: over thousand-years trees all around, in a very special atmosphere that you can’t find in many other places in the world. After crossing the forest, take some time to walk along Vumawimbi beach, one of the favourite places where local people spend the week-end.
Diving and snorkeling at the coral reef
Many smaller islands surround Pemba, and many of them are in coral reef areas. One most famous is Misali, but there are many more unspoilt corners that are excellent locations to see the rich marine fauna of the Indian Ocean: it’s possible to see as many as 400 types of fish, and a huge array of pelagics. Colorful tropical fishes, extraordinary corals and other creatures are very near… even if you’re just a snorkeler for hobby.
The factory of essential oils
You will need a good guide in order of booking a visit to this special secret place! Here spices of the island are used to produce extraordinary oils… probably the best souvenir that you can bring back home, to remember the magic Pemba from its typical fragrance.