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Hugging the south shore of Pemba Bay is the bustling, lively town of Pemba – the capital of Cabo Delgado Province, and a city renowned for its beaches and old world charm. Pemba’s unspoilt coastline boasts some of the finest beaches in the world, and adventurers from across the globe delight in the adrenaline-boosting water sports on offer. Pemba’s diving, snorkelling and water-based opportunities are legendary, as are its vibrant markets, its fascinating architecture and its proximity to the islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago.
Pemba is considered to be the gateway to the Quirimbas Archipelago, a cluster of 32 untouched coral islands stretching 100 kilometres along the coast of Mozambique. The islands are comprised of marine-rich coral reefs which support an abundance of exotic aquatic life. Undeveloped and pristine, the Quirimbas Archipelago forms the highlight of many a Mozambique holiday, and Pemba provides the ultimate point of departure to this slice of paradise in the Indian Ocean.
Pemba highlights and holiday attractions
With its world-class beaches, nearness to the Quirimbas Archipelago and rich, vibrant culture, Pemba has secured its reputation as a top African holiday destination. And it’s not only water babies who fall in love with the idyllic region! Certainly, thrill-seekers delight in the array of water-based activities provided on the island, which include scuba diving, traditional dhow sailing trips, windsurfing and canoeing.
However, travellers who prefer to take in the culture and traditions of a new city are equally enthralled by the region, captivated by its eclectic mix of restaurants, local markets, luxurious hotels and beach lodges. It seems that all who grace the shores of this ultimate island getaway fall in love with its tropical charms, enchanted by its diversity and unspoilt beauty.
Be sure to check out the local arts and crafts market, known as the Mercado do Mbanguia, which extends nearly 2 kilometres through the city of Pemba. Here, travellers will discover a treasure trove of trinkets, foods, spices and knickknacks, and those with a penchant for bargaining can use their negotiating skills to get good deals on clothes, curios and silverware. Visiting the market provides fascinating insight into the daily lives of the Pemba people.
Travel slightly southwards of Pemba to visit Wimbi Beach, the region’s most popular seaside hangout. Refresh your body in the cooling, shallow waters, or grab your snorkel gear to get an eyeful of the colourful fish and marine species languishing beneath the surface. Wimbi Beach is the ideal spot for family fun or a romantic rendezvous – and it even offers great fishing opportunities for avid anglers.
Finally, be sure to visit the restaurants and bars situated in Pemba’s lively centre, which serve a variety of local delicacies, as well as an assortment of international dishes. Seaside bars are a great attraction in Pemba, and travellers bask in a holiday glow as they sip on cocktails and take in the scarlet sunset.