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Approximately 50km north of Zanzibar lies the island of Pemba - the 2nd largest island in the archipelago. the capital of Pemba is Chake Chake which sits about half way up the island on the west coast. The other main towns are Mkoani and Wete.

Pemba differs in geography to Zanzibar being hillier and more fertile. As such the landscape is dominated by farm land, with small scale farming producing crops such as rice, coconut, cassava and red beans. Meanwhile the larger farms tend to focus their attention on the big cash crops such as cloves.

Pemba has a reputation for excellent beaches and the opportunity to experience some spectacular diving, snorkelling and deep sea fishing.

There are a number of popular dive sites including Misali Island, Emerald Reef, Fundu Reef, Kokota Reef, Njao and Uvinje Gap. It is worth noting that Pemba experiences strong currents so diving is more suited to the experienced diver.

For those looking for activities on dry land, Pemba has a number of attractions, including nature reserves, ruins and temples.

Pemba is home to the Pemba Flying Fox. This large fruit bat is endemic to Pemba and can be seen at the Kidike Root Site and other nature reserves on the island. The Flying Fox is one of the largest species of Fruit Bat in the world, with a wing span of up to 70cm. It has dog like facial features and chestnut red fur.

The Ngezi Nature Reserve is another popular tourist attraction. It covers an area of just under 15 Square Kilometres and is a reminder of what the geography of Pemba once was before the forests were flattened to make way for the farms that were to grow cloves.

The Reserve is home to a wide range of tree species, the most common of which is the Mjoho which can be as high as 35 metres. Even bigger are the Mgulele and Mvule which can grow to an impressive 45 metres and 50 metres respectively. The Forest is also home to a number of animals, including the Pemba Flying Fox, the Pemba Vervet Monkey and the Zanzibar Colobus Monkey. Other mammals include hydraxes, feral pigs and the marsh mongoose. There is also a wide variety of bird life.

For those looking for bricks and mortar, or what is left of them, there are a couple of places on Pemba that might be of interest.

The Ndagoni ruins at Ras Mkunbuu are to the north west of Chake Chake and are considered to be one of the oldest Muslim towns in Africa. The ruins consist of a large mosque, tombs and houses dating back to around the 14th Century. Alternatively there are the Mkama Ndume Ruins which are believed to be either a palace of fort of Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman who ruled Pemba before the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 15th Century. The ruins are near the village of Pujini, about 10km from Chake Chake.

For something completely different, take a trip to the Kigomasha Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1904 by a company based in Birmingham and is made completely from cast iron. The lighthouse is located on the north western tip of Pemba and is still operational. Visitors are able to climb the 95 stairs to the top where they can enjoy great views across the whole island.
Mafia Island