Tanzania : Pemba
Pemba is Zanzibar's forgotten island, a lush, tropical oasis with pristine beaches at the top of the Spice Island archipelago. An island of contrasts with clove plantations - its main trade - rice fields, hilly terrain and palm-fringed beaches, it is much less developed than Zanzibar and offers an authentic Swahili coast experience. It is ideal for those craving a simple barefoot break away from the main tourist areas. The Pemba Channel has excellent fishing and is becoming world-renowned for its diving, with vertiginous drop offs, untouched coral and colourful marine life. Bird watchers will enjoy Pemba, and honeymooners will find seclusion and relaxation at its luxury lodges.
Fundu Lagoon is a unique lodge set on the secluded Wambaa Peninsular on the southern side of Pemba Island. With 20 tented bungalows spread out over 18 acres and 4.5km of sandy coastline, there is plenty of space for privacy but you can also be more social in the bars and two restaurants. When staying there you meet new people, thinking they must just have arrived but find out they have been there for days and you have just not bumped into each other. There is lots to do with a fully equipped PADI dive centre with excellent diving and snorkelling around the Pemba Channel and Mesali Island, canoeing in the mangroves and relaxing by the amazing infinity pool set high up on the hill beside the spa. The lodge is ideal for couples or groups of friends looking to escape the usual holiday crowds, as well as watersports-lovers seeking a combination of activity and luxury.
"The whole experience was amazing. We absolutely loved it from start to finish. There is so much to do here, and all the staff were cheerful, happy and very attentive."
Tom and Jessica, Birmingham
“The food was unbelievable and the service always with a genuine smile. The highlights were the food, the diving and the really friendly staff who were clearly enjoying their jobs.”
Rob and Ashleigh, by Dundee
The Manta Resort is in the most spectacular setting on a small cliff overlooking a huge stretch of white sandy beach along the Kigomasha Peninsula, on the northern tip of Pemba. It's a simple, comfortable lodge, in a beautiful location and good value for money. There are six spacious seafront cottages set on stilts, which are open-fronted with lovely views of the sea, as well as 10 garden cottages, rustic and comfortable with open-plan rooms, en-suite bathrooms and a veranda. The main focus of the lodge is the lovely swimming pool and further down the beach is the very good dive centre and beach bar. With crystal clear waters, the diving and snorkelling here is some of the best on the East African Coast.
"Stunning location and peacefully remote. The room was nicely simple and the bar staff great. We loved the walk to the lighthouse and meeting the locals."
Anna and David, Cambridge