Getty Images/Flickr RF


Pemba's terrain is hilly and lushly vegetated, while much of the coast is lined with mangroves and lagoons, interspersed with idyllic beaches and islets. Offshore, coral reefs offer some of East Africa's best diving.

Throughout, Pemba remains largely beneath the radar, and you'll still have most things to yourself, which is a big part of the island's appeal.

For much of its history, Pemba has been overshadowed by Zanzibar Island, its larger neighbor to the south. Although the islands are separated by only 50km of sea, relatively few tourists cross the channel. Those who do, however, are seldom disappointed.