Tourism in Pemba is not like tourism in Zanzibar, nor indeed like tourism on the Tanzanian mainland. It'll help smooth your journey if you keep the following in mind:

  • Society Pemba is generally conservative, traditional and religious.
  • Sharing Rooms Unmarried (straight) couples are not allowed to share a room in most hotels in towns, and may be asked to produce a marriage certificate. It's usually no problem for couples (gay or straight) to share rooms at the places on the coast used to tourists.
  • Alcohol Once away from tourist hotels and resorts on the coast, there’s little alcohol available. (An exception may be coconut or palm-based brews supped secretly in rural areas.)