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Rift Safari
Travelling along the Rift Valley: Beaches of Pemba Island

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PEMBA ISLAND BEACHES

The east coast of the island does not offer interesting beaches except for the very northern tip nearby Ras Kiuyu forest forest. This side of Pemba in fact is mainly characterized by deep depths where the coastline tends to drop down quite dramatically.
The northwestern tip of the island boasts the broadest, longest and conventionally talking most beautiful beaches whereas the central and southwestern shores tend to be covered by pristine mangrove forests interrupted here and there by smaller beaches and coves.
Apart from the above, the maze of islets just off the whole western coast from north to south creates inner lagoons and beautiful secret sandy beaches varying in colour from blinding white to warm pinkish hues which can be discovered on a tailored daily boat excursion or when going out to snorkel and dive.

Tides:
While Zanzibar is a low laying coral atoll, Pemba is a real island severed from the continent by deep waters and sheer coral walls dropping down to over 300 metres as a result the island is still subject to tides but compared to most [not all] beaches in Zanzibar and Mafia water is not retreating for long distances. At Fundu lagoon, at low tide, water is retreating for about 150 meter [except at spring tide] so at the end of the jetty there is enough water to allow swimming. At Manta Resort, at low tide, you can easily swim from the beach to the house-reef and that is the best time to snorkel around. Both facilities anyway have got a swimming pool as well.

• The beach at Fundu Lagoon is a typical example of southern beach where the mangroves forest is interrupted by a stretch of sandy beach. Due to mangroves the sand here is more whitish than blinding white and the seabed tends to be gloppy in some areas, however it can no doubt deliver the sense of remote and private tropical hideaway that travellers getting here are looking for. Kayaking into natural silence of the mangrove forest is another experience not to be missed:

The beach at Fundu Lagoon
The beach at Fundu Lagoon seen from the end of the jetty;
Barbaque on the beach at Fundu lagoon The jetty at low tide
The BBQ on the beach and the jetty at low tide.

• The powdery white sandy beach at Misali island just 20 minutes by boat from Fundu Lagoon:

Misali Island beach
The eastern beach at Misali island.


Pemba Lodge set on Shamiani island, just off the very southeast coast end of Pemba Island offers a beautiful, virtually private, silky white sand beach and shallow waters turquoise lagoon. The reef is quite close and this beach is subject to tides but in turtle beach, located about about 20 minutes walk from the lodge, it is possible to swim all day long:

The beach at Pemba lodge
The beach at Pemba Lodge, Shamiani island


• Set on the northwestern tip of Pemba, the approx. 2 km long beach at Manta Resort with its silky soft white sand is a very good example of northern beach on Pemba island:

The beach at Manta Resort
The beach of Manta Resort [courtesy of our safari guests Pinuccio e Doni]


• Another beautiful and picturesque beach always set on the northern part of the island at Vumbavimbi village where everyday rhythm is still given by tides. That's a nice excursion from Manta Resort:

Vumbawimbi Beach, Pemba Island

Vumbawimbi beach The beach of Vumbawimbi [courtesy of our safari guests Pinuccio e Doni]

• The beach at Ras Kiuyu on the northeastern tip of Pemba island, another beautiful excursion in Pemba:

Ras Kiuyu beach at low tide by Leander Smit