Island of Pemba(Water sports and nature)

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  • Fifty kilometres north of Zanzibar main island and direct opposite the mainland port of Tanga , is the highly fertile Island of Pemba which is smaller than Zanzibar
    is hellier and greener and grows three times as many cloves.
    Pemba has its own distinct character with more historical monuments , particularly ruined mosques and spectacular diving and fishing. In the centre of theisland is Chaka chaka , the capital and main town where there are temains of a 200 years old Arab fort. Some 14km to the west , at Ras Mkumbuu are the ruins of a 14th century mosque and some elaborate ‘pillar’ or ‘chimney’ tombs useds to mark the burial place of prominent Muslims.

    While 10km to the south the Pujini Ruins features a fort build 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.

    Also in the far north of the Island is the Ngezi Forest Reserve a protected are containing rare trees – some 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 , hornbills , kingfishers , turacos , starlings and several varieties of owl .

    Four species the Pemba scops owl , white eye , green pegion , and violet breasted sunbird are endemic to Pemba. The much smaller Ras Kiuyu Forest Reserve joined to the north east tip of mainland by just a narrow strip of land is home to a much less impressive range of flora and fauna. Pemba offers some of the best diving in the world although because of the strong currents some is best suited to more experienced divers .

    Misali Island to the west of Chake chake is now a Marine Conservation Are , rich in Biodiversity and with more than 40 different species of coral , 350 varieties of fish and five types of turtle. It is therefore a perfect place for both snorkelling and diving. There are also some idyllic beaches where swimming is possible at both high and low tides .

    Green turtles nest on the western side of the island. 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 . Other good beaches can be found at Fundu , Varani , Vumawimbi and on the lesser islands of Funzi , Kiweni , Panza and Uvinje.

    Pemba also offers some of the best game fishing in the world with barracuda , billfish , blue marlin , dorado , kingfish , sailfish , tuna and wahoo all found in the waters around the island and especially in the Pemba Channels that runs between Zanzibar and Pemba.