Pemba Island

Pemba Island has been separated from the mainland of Tanzania and  Zanzibar for decades, leaving an untouched and pristine island of great  beauty and fertility. The mosaic of forests, swamps, mangroves, hidden  beaches and lagoons is scattered with the ruins of mosques and tombs  mostly reclaimed by the forest – sites that date back to Arab domination when Pemba Island was seized by the Sultan of Muscat (Oman) in the 17th century. He loved the Spice Islands and established his court in  Zanzibar and ruled Muscat from there.

The Clove island
Pemba is still the predominant global producer of cloves yielding around 70% of all the world’s cloves, but now plays its more traditional role  of being an island paradise with small inter-island trade. Pemba Island  also has a strong reputation as a magic island, a centre for ju-ju  traditions of medicine and wizardry.

Where is everyone?
How can such a beautiful place be so devoid of visitors? On an island  with a population of 300,000 there are rarely more than a couple of  dozen foreigners. It is as though the people of Pemba have a secret that they refuse to share. Traveling in Pemba is discovering untouched  territory. Villagers are eager to talk to anyone who passes and small  children will give you their biggest and whites smiles as the yell  bye-bye! as you pass them by. You will be called over in markets by  the stallholders to sit you down to try their fruits, waiting paitiently for your reaction.

Chake Chake harbour
Chake Chake harbour is mainly used for swimming & fishing. When the  Western Colonial powers came to East Africa the British forced the  Sultanates of Muscat and Zanzibar to separate and then administered the  Spice Islands in the name of the Sultan.

The monsoons set the pace
Historically the huge traditional trading vessels, or dhows, followed  the monsoons down from the Arabian Peninsula to East Africa. Following  the winds they transported cloves to India, textiles to the Arab  countries and silver and wood back to the Spice Islands of Unguja and  Pemba.
The dhows have remained a constant emblem throughout the history of  Pemba. To this day the dhows sail from Wete to Shimoni in Kenya and then plough through to northern Mozambique when the winds become favourable.Image magic
Pemba is a magical island. Unlike Unguja (Zanzibar), Pemba is hilly.  Gentle, undulating hills and deep verdant valleys are all covered with a dense cover of clove, coconut, mango and other fruit and crop  plantations. A more fertile land is difficult to imagine

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