Flight access to Pemba is available on
Mozambique Airlines (LAM) from Johannesburg, Maputo and Dar Es Salaam. Often this flight goes to Nairobi first.
Precision Air also flies from Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi into Pemba.
It is easier to fly to Pemba from Dar es Salaam as it is closer than Maputo.
Once you are in Pemba, if you want to go to one of the remote resorts such as Quilalea, Vamizi, Guludo or Londo they will generally arrange transport for you but you need to book ahead.
You can get to Ibo Island by light aircraft in 25 minutes from Pemba flying over the Quirimbas Archipelago which is stunning.
Boat and helicopter transfers also link Ibo Island Lodge with neighbouring resorts.
Luggage restrictions for light aircrafts or helicopters are 15 kg of soft luggage including hand luggage. However, nobody weighed ours. Pemba domestic terminal is tiny and very low-key. I was able to leave a bag there to collect on the way back.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- National/State Park
Pemba What to Pack
Luggage and bags: Soft, waterproof bags are best as you will be travelling in boats, helicopters and light aircraft if you want to see the more remote areas. Also don't pack too heavy.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Beach and snorkelling gear for the islands, good walking shoes for inland.
Keep flip flops handy for boat transfers - you will get wet and it can be sharp underfoot getting to and from the boat!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: If you are going to the remote islands or lodges do not rely on them to have medical supplies. They will have some but it is best to take antibiotics and antihistamines plus anything you may need, because if you need them and can't get them it is an expensive helicopter flight to Pemba to get them!
Photo Equipment: Underwater camera if you snorkel. Definitely protective plasic bags for cameras for boat trips!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: All beach gear is useful plus walking shoes. In the rainy season a waterproof is a good idea.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
Pemba Off The Beaten Path
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Ibo Island history dates back earlier than the 16th century to the time of the Arab occupation but it was during the Portugese occupation Ibo became important. You can wander around this small island, exploring what remains of the church and warehouses and the customs house. There are 2 forts, one from 1791 and Fort of the Bairro de Rituto built in 1847.
The slave trade brought great prosperity and buildings were erected around the plaza - some of the ruins are still there and are being restored.
By 1902 Ibo had declined and been largely forgotten, with the local population relying on fishing for their living.
What is so unique about Ibo Island is that until 2006 when the lodge was built there were no amenities - no running water, electricity or cars. This really is a place where time stood still.
Many of the old buildings need renovating, but you can still see the old books in the customs house and the interior of the church which is still used by a few people. Ibo Island Lodge is funding the renovation of an old building into a school, and there are local jewellery workshops to visit.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Historical Travel
- Luxury Travel