Wish You Were Here: Pemba Island, Tanzania

by Owen James Burke

pembaisland

(Photo: Panoramio/Patrick Munsch)

Much more relaxed and far less toured by the trustafarian and backpacking crowd, Pemba Island sits just to the north of Zanzibar and forgoes the blaring of processed music through blown speakers for unabashed rustic charm (for now). It also might be host to the best diving on the planet.

divetanzania

(Photo: Tanzania.co)

Long overlooked and feared for its past reputation for political instability and witchcraft, Pemba is a very fertile place both on land and sea. Small-scale farming runs the land-based economy, with locals growing coconuts, bananas, cassava, rice and red beans. The waters surrounding the 381-square-mile island are diverse in geography and abundant in marine life.

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(Photo: Manta Resort)

Make sure to get out for a sail on a traditional dhow, but also make sure you time your trip, as these boats can only clear the reef during certain tides.

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(Photo: Panoramio/Patrick Munsch)

And you’d probably be sorely mistaken if you didn’t stop to hang out with these guys for a while.

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