Islands of Pemba & Mnemba

A stay on the smaller islands of Pemba and Mnemba means underwater treasures and onshore pampering in small, exclusive lodges away from the crowds.


The Zanzibar Islands of Pemba Island and Mnemba Island are perhaps most famous for their fantastic diving and snorkeling. But the gorgeous beaches and easy travel connections to Zanzibar make them ideal for for relaxing beach holiday after a Tanzania safari.

Pemba Island

Pemba Island lies to the north of Zanzibar, only a 30 minute flight away. This is the largest of the satellite Zanzibar islands. It's known for its lush, green hills and clove plantations. Plus it's a favourite haunt for scuba divers with some notable dive sites. The Pemba Channel, with its coral reefs and abundant marine life, separates Pemba island from mainland Tanzania.But it deserves to be on the “must see” list for other savvy travellers too, as the beaches are pristine.

The 800m deep channel which divides Pemba from the Tanzania mainland. also makes Pemba Island one of Africa's greatest deep sea fishing destinations.

The rich and alluring smell of cloves hangs in the air through much of Pemba Island. And the locals remain friendly and interested in conversation with overseas visitors. Here we would recommend staying at Fundu Lagoon amongst the (few) lodges.

Fundu Lagoon on Pemba island

Mnemba Island

Mnemba Island is the most serenely private, untouched and tropical of all the Zanzibar islands. Yet it is only 20 minutes from Zanzibar by boat. A “therapy for the spirit” is how some people describe Mnemba Island. Pristine beaches wrap around the island's small 1km circumference, which takes less than one hour to walk). Whilst an outer protection zone conserves magnificent coral reefs. Here giant turtles, ghost crabs and spectacular tropical fish drift through the lagoons.

Private dining on Mnemba island

When to visit Islands of Pemba & Mnemba

January to mid-March

Summer in Islands of Pemba & Mnemba

Pemba & Mnemba both have a tropical climate which means hot and humid for most of the year, with plenty of rain. There is a steady rainfall through the year apart from a fairly dry spell from June to September. However this rain takes the form of short, sharp thundery rain-showers, usually in the late afternoons. So in the summer months it doesn’t interfere with your beach time, as there’s plenty of sunshine at other times.
MAX TEMP 34 ℃ / 93 ℉
MIN TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉

Mid-March to May

Rain season in Islands of Pemba & Mnemba

This is the rainiest time of the year and not recommended for a beach holiday – especially April which sees nearly 400mm of rain in one month. It typically rains at least every other day during this time. This slightly cools down the temperatures but not by much! April is particularly cloudy with only 6 hours of sunshine. However late May sees the rain drying up and hotel prices and offers remain keen.
MAX TEMP 31 ℃ / 88 ℉
MIN TEMP 23.5 ℃ / 74 ℉

June to October

Summer in Islands of Pemba & Mnemba

This is a reasonably dry period with short showers every few days. It’s a wonderful time for some beach relaxation after your safari as temperatures are still hot (29c) and a very pleasant 21c at night). Days are dry and sunny.
MAX TEMP 30 ℃ / 86 ℉
MIN TEMP 22 ℃ / 72 ℉

November to December

Summer in Islands of Pemba & Mnemba

This is start of the “short” summer rains with hot and humid conditions and short, sharp thundery rain-showers, usually in the late afternoons. Rainfall tends to be higher at the start of summer (November and December) before settling down later on. However there’s still plenty of sunshine around.
AVG DAYLIGHT 7 to 8 Hours
MAX TEMP 33 ℃ / 91 ℉
MIN TEMP 24 ℃ / 75 ℉

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Did you know
  • Clove IslandKnown as the 'clove island' because it's the world's main exporter of cloves.
  • NamePemba is the Arabic word for “Green Island,” as it is more fertile than Zanzibar