Pemba Island, Zanzibar

A beautiful island with beautiful empty beaches


Many would say that Pemba is far, far more beautiful than Zanzibar.

It's true that its seas are some of the loveliest in the world, and the network of islands that hangs like jewels in a necklace down its eastern coast create an exciting and exotic coastline that looks like something from a child's storybook, a place to dream of pirates and treasure, and castaways.  Zanzibar is not just one island, it is an archipelago of many islands, large and small. Pemba is the second largest island in this group, and very much a partner to Zanzibar politically. The difference between Pemba and Zanzibar however, is enormous.

Pemba has experienced nothing of the surge in tourist development that Zanzibar has in the last decade, and this isn't because it's not nice enough. Hoteliers that have tried to set up there - and many have - know that Pemba is very challenging, with huge resistance, even suspicion, at a high governmental level. There have been many failed attempts. None but the most determined, and perhaps passionate, have survived, and at the moment that means there are just two international hotels on the whole island.

This of course makes Pemba all the more special - as long as you're not in search of nightlife and lots of hotels. Much of the main island, which unlike Zanzibar is patterned with steep hills and valleys, is still covered with natural forest; where Zanzibar is mostly coconut plantation on the coastline, here wild woodland trails right down onto the beach. The beaches are glorious and empty, and most of the many tiny offshore islands are uninhabited. Even the roads are practically empty of traffic apart from the odd moped, or the ancient timber Pemba buses which wind indomitably around the island.  Pemba wouldn't be for everybody, it can hardly be accused of vibrancy, but it is a fantastic retreat for the world weary, and one of the most beautiful islands on the African coast.





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Our experienced travellers include:

Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion
Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Catherine Ronan
Catherine Ronan

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.


Outstanding customer service well above the call of duty.

"Natural High arranged a trip to remember ...accommodation first class, transportation on very long road trips was excellent. Spotless . air conditioning .. food and water. Rhino and Tiger sightings to die for.. local agents left nothing to chance ... we felt in the safest hands ... then when we off grid the virus struck... Natural High and their local Agent Banyan took total control and got us from the back of beyond to UK in very worrying and uncertain times. All without us being able to do anything at our end ...outstanding attention to detail. Worth every penny."


Personal service and excellent organisation

"This was our first holiday to be organised by Natural High. We made the enquiry on New Year’s Eve for a departure in February and within a few days they had produced a wonderful-sounding itinerary in Costa Rica. There were helpful notes for packing as they seem to have someone there who has been to any chosen destination. We did do some groundwork for flights but left it to Dial-a-Flight who were also most efficient. We visited the office as it is very local to home and everyone there was cheerful and interested in our upcoming trip. We were presented with a leather file which turned out to be the most useful item en-route for all our paperwork ..... and it smelled lovely!
The holiday was one of our best ever. Not just because we saw a plethora of wildlife, but because there was always someone waiting to whisk us to another destination, be it to the airport, from the airport or a boat to a lodge etc. And they did it with great charm and humour and were always very knowledgeable about any queries we had.
For the last 8 days we had a driver/guide who was just outstanding. He was very familiar with the 3 remaining lodges where we stayed and his rapport with the other staff and guides helped to ensure that we were really well looked after. He was a skilled naturalist, had a great sense of humour and was always putting our welfare first - he made a wonderful companion for the trip.
All of the above meant that it was a really relaxing holiday so that we could maximise our time looking at the flora and fauna of Costa Rica.
We would highly recommend Natural High ...... where next?!"

Ken and Caroline

Natural High

"Brilliant, everything is so well organised. We have had two trips of a lifetime organised by Rod Tether who is also a guide extraordinaire!"

Antony & Jane Braithwaite RT

Fantastic Natural High

"Perfectly organised trip to two great Nomad camps in Tanzania!"


Natural High nailed it again

"Sledding in Sweden was our second wonderful holiday with Natural High. From the moment you speak to them to when you get home the service and attention to detail is wonderful.
Everything is so well planned and organised that you can just sit back and really enjoy your holiday. We couldn’t recommend husky sledding in the north of Sweden more. We all agreed it was one of the best family holidays ever."