"Along the glittering coastline of Pemba, deep shades of blue, turquoise and azure colours the crystal clear waters of Africa’s largest bay. This coastal city embodies a laid back yet rundown feel, and is infused with the charm of history and the allure of local culture.
Pemba is a historical town which is surrounded by forests of baobab, wooden village huts and many national monuments that embraces the heritage of a turbulent past. Village life is vibrant and the traditional markets of Pemba are bustling centres which boasts some of Africa’s most creative arts and crafts. The city’s skyline outlines the colonial architecture which still stands barely erect, telling the tail of days gone by when Portuguese and Arabs sailed the waters of the Indian Ocean to reach the coastal town of Pemba.
Rich in both history and alive with local culture, Pemba is the gateway to the magnificent jewels of the Indian Ocean that is the Quirimbas Archipelago. Consisting of 31 islands, the allure of a tropical island paradise is the ideal setting for an exquisite ocean vacation.
Offering visitors exclusivity, privacy and luxury; the coastal areas of Pemba and its Quirimbas Archipelago are increasingly becoming popular as a seaside vacation and an ocean adventure. The beautifully multicoloured coral gardens are said to be listed as some the best diving sites in the world, attracting a myriad of majestic sea creatures. From seahorses to whales, dolphins, turtles and even the very rare dugong have been spotted in the protected waters of the Quirimbas National Park.
Visit Pemba and allow yourself to be transported as far back as pre-colonial Mozambique, embrace the country’s turbulent history or enjoy the tropic breeze as you sail through the unexplored which surround the remote islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago. "
Pemba International Airport has flights to Johannesburg, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Dzaoudzi. Domestic flights from Maputo may also be chartered.
Suggested Stay Details
The area is ideally a holiday destination, as such we suggest 4 to 10 nights to fully take advantage of the remote islands and its many splendid adventures that it may offer.
Type of Experience
"Pemba and its surrounding islands are steeped in history, culture and heritage. The islands of Ibo, Quisiva and Matemo hold the remains that predate Portuguese rule and have been deemed a Natural and Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Step into a forgotten time and explore the ruins of a Swahili stone village. Largely isolated during the war, these islands preserve the influences of the Arab, Indian and Portuguese.
The Slave Trade Fort at Ponte Romero Lighthouse remains as a monument during the country’s dark times when slaves were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Visit the Nacole Baobab which is a forest of ancient baobab trees and the hiding place for refugees during the civil war. The forest is now home to many species of birds as well as some eerie bats.
Pemba is a balance between old dilapidated buildings and modern world-class infrastructure. The charming colonial architecture represent the old city and the modern port, international air and newly-repaired roads form the cosmopolitan city of Pemba.
The accommodation range from award winning lodges with scenic views of the ocean to the romantic setting of Quirimbas' island lodges.
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The subtropical landscape rolls into hills, across baobab and coconut forests and savannah vistas. Mangroves, multi-colour coral reefs and floating sea grass beds surround the powder-white sanded beaches.
The town was founded by the Niassa Company in 1904 as Porto Amêlia, after a queen of Portugal, at the peninsula's south western tip and has grown around a port. The city is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture. It was renamed Pemba at the end of Portuguese rule, in 1975.