Nothing says summer more than a beautiful island getaway. While researching places to go in Zanzibar after my Tanzania safari, I discovered an incredible place called Pemba to the north of Unguja, the largest and most populated island of Zanzibar. Home to less than 400,000 people, the island is comprised of turquoise waters, white sand beaches and lush vegetation. Made up of mostly fishermen and farmers that depend on the fertile land for their livelihood, the island feels a million miles from modern civilization. It was the perfect place to relax after an intense week of searching for animals and long safari drives.
Where to stay
With only a handful of hotels on the island, I wanted to experience different parts of the lifestyle and culture on this quiet island paradise.
The first part of my stay was in the northern point at a beautifully designed Constance hotel called Aiyana. I’ve heard great things about this luxury hotel brand with destinations across the Indian Ocean, and my experience lived up to the expectations.
The second half of my time at Pemba was spent in the southern part of the island at Fundu Lagoon, a secluded rustic chic getaway with only 16 villas offering beachfront or jungle views.
What to pack
For any real summer getaway I always pack lightly. Even more so when the baggage allowance is 20kg combined, which is the case for many of the small propeller planes to get between the islands and on safari.
Layering and bringing clothing in a similar color palette are key. Some must haves include bathing suits, sunnies, bug repellant, sandals, a scarf for layering and my Carmex lip balm. My mom used to buy me these as a kid (they’re bright yellow so I wouldn’t lose them) and I recently discovered their 100% natural line that uses colloidal oatmeal and cold-pressed fruit oils. My current favorite is their watermelon flavor that’s become a necessity for all my summer travels.
The temperature changes quite drastically from day to night so it’s best to always have a scarf or coat to layer on. We had a few short rain showers, but they passed quickly so rain gear wasn’t necessary.
When to go
There are two wet seasons in Pemba–from March to May when many resorts close their doors and then shorter rains in November and December. Like most tropical locations, the rains don’t last for too long and generally will clear up before getting cloudy again.
The best times to go are the cool-dry season from July to October (winter) with mild temperatures and the humid-hot dry months of January and February. The island is busiest during the European summers and the last two weeks of December during the holidays.
How to get there
The most popular way to get to Pemba is via a scheduled charter flight from Zanzibar. The trip takes about half an hour and is serviced by Coastal Air, ZanAir or Auric Air. Upon arrival, it’s best to arrange a taxi transfer through your hotel since there’s only one main road and the others are dirt roads through jungles or village communities. Being so remote, it’s best to arrange all excursions through your hotel.
This sponsored post is part of Carmex’s Summer Travel Campaign. As always, all photos and opinions are my own.