Pemba Lodge was built in 2009-2010 on the untouched Shamiani Island off Pemba, Zanzibar. Highlighted as the latest up-and-coming eco-lodge in East Africa by the respected Bradt Travel Guide to Zanzibar, it opened in September 2010. It was inspired by the owner’s enthusiasm to establish a true eco-lodge on his homeland of Pemba.
As Nassor traveled the world, he experienced a variety of tourism concepts. He used his expertise well: his first hotel, Mnarani Beach Cottages, which is on the main Zanzibar island of Unguja, matured over 15 years into one of the most successful locally owned and managed hotels in Zanzibar. So, when designing his property on Pemba Island, he decided to follow a responsible tourism philosophy that conserves the natural environment, provides opportunities to local people, and facilitates a satisfying and authentic experience for visitors.
Pemba Lodge consists of only five spacious, rustic and comfortable bungalows, set along a picture perfect Indian Ocean beach. Despite its remoteness, our guests are treated to all the essential luxuries: rainwater showers, big, comfortable beds with mosquito nets, solar powered lighting, wholesome and tasty Swahili fusion meals, a well-stocked bar, warm and personal service – and all of that amidst a stunning, unspoilt environment.
Shamiani Island is located in the South East of Pemba, reachable in 15-30 minutes on a traditional sailing boat with outboard engine. Before the arrival of Pemba Lodge, it was home only to the inhabitants of Shamiani village, along with an abundance of tropical flora and fauna, including the rare and endangered green sea turtle.
Although the main road is good from the airport to the point where visitors to Shamiani Island will embark on their boat, Pemba’s infrastructure is not well developed, and logistics can be difficult, particularly to obtain supplies. It is no coincidence that over the last fifteen years there have only been three other successfully operating tourism resorts on the island of Pemba, though many have tried.
This, however, doesn’t affect Pemba Lodge in the same way as 5- star resorts, since the concept of low impact and sustainability means that most of what we need is locally sourced. We might not be able to offer you ice cream or satellite TV, but our seafood is bought freshly from the village fishermen, our fruit and vegetables are grown organically, and in our team, you will find the natural, easy friendliness and hospitality of the Swahili people.
Nassor has employed staff for Pemba Lodge from both Unguja and Pemba, provided proper training for them and thus gives them career opportunities in the growing tourism sector. Their English may not always be perfect, but their smiles are genuine!
Ever since Pemba Lodge opened its doors for guests, we hosted specialists from the fields of marine biology, flora and fauna to stay at special rates and contribute to our local knowledge of the natural environment. If you are an expert in those fields and would like to conduct research or studies and share your knowledge with us, please send us a proposal for an extended working holiday at Pemba Lodge!
As part of our commitment to conservation on the island, Pemba Lodge has entered into a campaign in conjunction with the local community to help protect the turtle population, which is fast declining around both Unguja and Pemba.
We also cooperate with and sponsor the Uzi Island Sea Turtle sanctuary and program.
Authentic eco tourism benefits all parties including nature, the people who live on Shamiani Island, and our guests through the lifelong memories they will take home.
Pemba Lodge uses a percentage of its revenue to fund future marine and environmental projects around the Island.
Pemba Island is the sister to the more developed Zanzibar (Unguja) Island and lies 50 km off the Tanzanian Coast. It is a lush, traditionally farmed island famed for its aromatic clove plantations and beautiful rolling hills.
At the southeastern tip of Pemba Island lies Shamiani Island, home to Pemba Lodge.