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Separated from the mainland of Tanzania and Zanzibar for decades, a visit to Pemba island is like stepping back to prehistoric times to an untouched pristine corner of the world. It is an island of stunning natural beauty combining forests, swamps, mangrove as well as lovely hidden beaches and lagoons. It’s a truly fascinating place with ruins of mosques and tombs dating back to when the Arabs ruled this area. The Sultan of Oman seized this area back in the 17 th century valuing the region for its abundant spices and qualities as a gateway port to the rest of the continent.
Pemba is best known for its cloves yielding around 70% of all the world’s supply. It is a place growing in popularity as an alternative to Zanzibar. However, despite having a population somewhere in the region of 500,000, there are rarely more than a couple of dozen foreigners here at any one time making it completely off the beaten track.
Pemba is a very different experience to more famous Zanzibar in terms of landscape too. Unlike Zanzibar island, Pemba is hilly with gentle, undulating hills and deep verdant valleys, all covered with a dense cover of clove, coconut, mango and other fruit and crop plantations making it the most fertile land in the archipelago.