Pemba

Pemba Island is situated about 50km north of Zanzibar and 50km east of the mainland Tanzania. Most part of the Island which is regarded to be hillier and more fertile than Zanzibar, is dominated by small scale farming of agriculture crops. There is large scale farming of cash crops such as cloves.

Main towns in Pemba are Chake Chake and Wete, which act as trade and administrative centre of the Island.

Relatively untouched by tourism, Pemba offers a variety of tourists’ facilities and activities. It has natural beaches and shallow water grounds which are attractive to people who like fishing and snorkelling. The cool and calm nature of the Island provides for an amicable atmosphere to people who like to distance themselves from disturbances.

Pemba Island is the perfect place to explore the Indian Ocean’s marine life. The Island offers magnificent deep sea diving ground. Experienced scuba divers have an opportunity to explore pristine coral structure with abundant marine life and the relatively frigid unspoiled waters if the Indian Ocean.

Pemba has a cool atmosphere for foot-walking safaris and cycling to different parts of the region. Other activities include:

  • A visit to the ruins in Ras Mkumbuu at the end of Peninsula, the remains of the mosque and several and several pillars which date back to as early as 11th century.
  • Foot-walking safari to Pujini Ruins in the southeast of Chake Chake.
  • A visit to Mkama Ndume to the remains of Century Swahili Town.
  • Boat safari to the Island of Misali, rich in pristine coral reefs and marine species, surrounded with the finest white sands.
  • A visit to Ngezi Forest Reserve which is full of rare species of bird. Here you should be able to see Pemba’s White-eye, green pigeon, scops owl or sunbird. Endemic mammals in this small forest reserve are Pemba flying fox, Kirk’s red colobus, vervet monkey, blue duiker and marsh.

Pemba Diving

  • Emerald Reef | Max Depth: 30m

    The average visibility on this reef is 30m and derives its name from the green coral covering the reef. It is located on the Southern most point of Pemba and subject to strong currents. There is a gentle slope from 7 - 30m where many large brown marbled grouper are found. Most varieties of fish life are found between 20 – 25m. A large school of giant barracuda frequent the area. On occasion hammerhead sharks have been seen.

  • Panza|Max Depth: 14m Wreck

    A shallow dive on an old 100m long Greek freighter called the Paraportiani which sunk in 1969 lying on an inside passage between the outer and inner reefs. Can only dive on a slack low or a slack high.  A great variety of fish, with hundreds of glassfish, a resident juvenile napoleon wrasse, abundant unicorn fish of different types, lionfish and trevally. Also full of diverse marine life such as crabs, nudibranchs, sponges and corals.

  • Samaki Reff|Max Depth: 20m

    A large flat reef on the edge of the Pemba Channel, 20 m+ depth. Best for experienced divers as strong currents are common. Scattered unspoilt corals richly inhabited by diverse marine life. Look out for lobster, octopus and moray eels hiding amongst the bommies surrounded by large schools of trevally, surgeon fish and fusiliers.

  • Misali Big Blue|Max Depth: 40m

    Experienced divers only!! Drop into the blue and get swept along Misali's Southern Channel. You need eyes in the back of your head for this dive as the possibility of reef sharks, barracuda and giant rays is high.

  • Makerere Reef|Max Depth: 30m+

    An interesting undulating reef set on a sandy slope on Misali's South-western edge. A series of coral hillocks extend from the top of the reef at 8 - 10 m depth to the bottom at more than 30 m. The corals are home to torpedo rays, moray eels and lobsters along with many reef fish while the sandy valleys are home to schools of surgeon and unicorn fish, roaming napoleon wrasse and large spotted eagle rays. This area is in dolphin territory and you can often hear a pod of friendly spinners nearby.

  • Misali Coral Garden – Reef |Max Depth: 45m

    The coral garden runs North - South mainly conducted as a drift dive. Consists of a multitude of different corals all in extremely good condition. At its Southernmost point the corals might not be at their best but turtles can be sighted here. The whole site has at lest three resident Napoleon Fish varying in size. Excellent fish life all around this reef.

  • Misali Coral Mountain |Max Depth: 45m+

    Rose coral dominates this beautiful mountainous site to which are attracted some unusual fish such as the leaf fish. Octopus and lobsters can be seen here and manta rays have been spotted passing through the area. Depths reach 80 m. Many other game fish such as dog tooth tuna, rainbow runner and trevally hunt on the mountain and blue striped fusiliers abound.

  • Mapinduzi |Max Depth: 45m+

    A wall dive dropping to 45 m with large gorgonians and fan corals adorning its sides. This site has also had sightings of manta rays, big shoals of barracuda and sharks. Giant triggerfish live here in large numbers. They are Pemban triggers and are not aggressive.

  • Uvinje Gap |Max Depth: 40m

    Spectacular sheer wall dropping to over 40 m with breathtaking overhangs and numerous fish such as moorish idols, butterfly and angelfish hiding amongst the black corals commonplace in this area. Large groupers and napoleon wrasse can be spotted at depth. Plenty of life in the shallows with thousands of goldies playing amongst the large coral bommies.

  • Uvinje Outer Walls |Max Depth: 40m+

    The coral on the North wall is in excellent condition with large gorgonians and fan corals surrounded by the thousands of ever-present goldies. Manta and spotted eagle rays are known to frequent the area as well as giant reef rays and hawksbill and green turtles. Schools of tuna and barracuda and large napoleon wrasse have been seen here.

  • The Balcony | Max Depth: 30m+

    Max Depth: 30m+
    A deep wall from 7 m to 100m + covered in seawhips and gorgonian fans with a giant overhang hence the name. Look out for large napoleon wrasse, big mackerel, jackfish and large numbers of fusiliers.

  • Fundu South Wall | Max Depth: 40m+

    Strong currents can be present and as on many dives in Pemba only recommended for experienced divers. The reef lies from 5 m to 40 m +. Shallow caverns and sheer wall faces make up the topography of this wall with superb coral formations and plentiful fish life. Kingfish, jacks, barracuda and napoleons are present with humphead parrotfish and sweetlips swimming around the yellow fans.

  • Manta Point |Max Depth: 40m

    Max Depth: 40m
    A coral pinnacle reaching up from 40 m to within 8 m of the surface situated just outside the mouth of Fundu Gap. The pinnacle is covered in beautiful dense corals and drops dramatically on its Western side. The abundance of fish on this reef makes it a superb dive, one of the best. Circling the pinnacle you can watch the behaviour of large jack fish, schools of surgeonfish and fusiliers, the occasional reef shark and turtle.

  • Mandela Wall|Max Depth: 15m

    The top of Mandela Wall is between 8 to 15 m deep and drops dramatically to 200 m + in some parts. The vertical drop is adorned with gorgonian sea fans and whip corals. Keep eyes peeled for large pelagics and also for the beautiful manta ray passing by.

  • Njao Gap|Max Depth: 18m

    Njao Gap North is a beautiful coral garden starting at 5 m and sloping down to 18 m before dropping away into the deep blue of the wall. Resident green and hawksbill turtles are a common sighting and the currents can be strong and exhilarating. Njao Gap South is best dived using the Northerly current to sweep you inside. Drift dive this reef with large Napoleon Wrasse and look out for more turtles in the cabbage corals which abound. As you enter the gap look out for Manta Rays as the bottom again drops away to form a breathtaking immense vertical wall reaching un-diveable depths.

  • Emerald Reef
  • Panza
  • Samaki Reff
  • Misali Big Blue
  • Makerere Reef
  • Misali Coral Garden – Reef
  • Misali Coral Mountain
  • Mapinduzi
  • Uvinje Gap
  • Uvinje Outer Walls
  • The Balcony
  • Fundu South Wall
  • Manta Point
  • Mandela Wall
  • Njao Gap

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