Fifty kilometres north of Zanzibar main island and directly opposite the mainland port of Tanga, is the highly fertile Pemba Island which, although smaller than Zanzibar, is hillier, greener and grows three times as many cloves.

Pemba has its own distinct character with more historical monuments, particularly ruined mosques and tombs, than on the main island.

In the centre of the island is Chaka Chaka, the capital and main town where the remains of a 200 year old Arab fort can be found. Some 14 km to the west, at Ras Mkumbuu, are the ruins of a 14th century mosque and some elaborate ‘pillar’ or ‘chimney’ tombs used to mark the burial place of prominent Muslims. While 10 km to the south the Pujini Ruins feature a fort built around the 15th century and known locally as Mkame Ndume.

Other interesting sites may be seen near Kangagani, Mkamandume Chakalakati and Mtangani Island, on the east coast, and near Wete to the north.

Furthermore,in the far north of the island is the Ngezi Forest Reserve, a protected area containing rare trees, exclusive to this forest- not found anywhere else in the world. These include the Pemba Palm known locally as the Mapapindi Palm.

The wildlife features the indigenous Pemba Flying Fox – really a large bat blue duiker, civet, vervet monkey marsh mongoose and tree hyrax.

Bird species include flycatchers, hormbils kingfishers, turacos, starlings and varieties of owls.

There are four amazing species that are endemic to Pemba these include: The Pemba scops owl, The white-eye, green pigeon and violet-breasted sunbird.

The much smaller Ras Kiuyu Forest Reserve, joined to the north east tip mainland by just a narrow strip of land,is home to a much less impressive range of flora and fauna.

Misali Island, to the west of Chake Chake, is now a Marine Conservation area, rich in biodiversity and with more than 40 different species of coral, 350 varieties of fish, and five types of turtle. It leaves no question that this is a perfect place for snorkelling diving as well as fishing. The Island offers some of the best diving in the world although, because of the strong currents, some are best suited to more experienced divers. Popular dive sites are Emerald Reef and Wreck Dive, off Panza Island in the south, and Fundu Reef, Kokota Reef, Njao Gap, and Uvinje Gap in the north-west.

Fantastic game fishing with barracuda, billfish, blue marlin, dorado, kingfish, sailfish, tuna, wahoo, and hammerhead and tiger sharks all found in the waters around the island and especially, in the Pemba Channel that runs between the main Unguja island and Pemba

There are some excellent idyllic beaches where swimming is possible at both high and low tide. Other good beaches can be found at Fundu, Varani, Vumawimbi and on the lesser islands of Funzi, Kiweni, Panza and Uvinje.

Green and hawksbill turtles nest on the western side of the island.

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