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PEMBA ISLAND

PEMBA ISLAND


Pemba Island is the northernmost Island of the archipelago. Pemba Island is still the world's major clove producer, but has now slipped into its more traditional role of being an Island Paradise with small inter-island trade. Chake wharf is now mainly used for swimming & fishing.

Pemba was seized by the Sultan of Muscat (now Oman) in the 17th century. He was so enchanted by the Spice Islands that he installed himself in Zanzibar and ruled Muscat from there. 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. All the while, the Arab dhows would ply the trade winds down from the Arabian Peninsula to East Africa. With the winds they would take cloves to India, textiles back to the Arab lands and silver and wood to the Spice Islands of Unguja and Pemba.

Pemba is a magical island. Unlike Unguja, Pemba is hilly. Gentle, undulating hills and deep verdant valleys are all covered with a dense cover of clove, coconut and mango plantations. A more fertile land it is difficult to imagine than Pemba. But it is not just the landscape that gives Pemba its magical reputation. For centuries Pemba has held a reputation as a centre for the juju traditions of medicine and magic.