Historical Places to Visit in Pemba Island

Ndagoni, Chwaka & Pujini, Pemba Island, Zanzibar - Tanzania

Offered in: English and French

Tour Duration

7 hours (Approximately)

Minimum Group Size

1 Person

Maximum Group Size

50 People

Tour Type

Adventures Tour



Minimum Age

Children with 2 years & above

Meeting & Pickup

Pick-up/Drop-off at any place

Cut-off Time

4 hours before start time

Cancellation Policy

May cancel up to 24 hours

Children Need to be Accompanied By at Least One Adult

Our advice:

  • It is a full day activity and although it ends at around 4 pm, we don't suggest combining it with other activities
  • Wear decent (conservative/appropriate) clothes when walking around town
  • Bring your Sun lotion/cream, Sun hat and sun glasses
  • Vegetarian lunch option available on request
  • Comfortable closed walking or hiking shoes


Our first stop will be the Ras Mkumbuu Ruins, which located on the west coast of the Tanzanian Island of Pemba, part of the Zanzibar Archipelago. They lie close to the village of Ndagoni at the end of a long narrow peninsula known as Ras Mkumbuu, which lies to the northwest of the town of Chake-Chake. The ruins mainly date from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, though there are indications that they were built over older foundations. Notable among these ruins are those of a large mosque which was for some time the largest structure of its type in sub-Saharan Africa. James Kirkman, the first archeologist to excavate here in the 1950s, proposed to connect his findings with the “Qanbalu” mentioned by the Arab explorer Al-Masudi around 900 but could not identify remnants earlier than the 13th century. A possible identification of Pemba Island as a whole and especially Ras Mkumbuu with Qanbalu is still discussed.

Then, we will heading to Chwaka Ruins which are located 6 km from Konde, at the end of a track of about 900 meters towards Tumbe on the road to Myumoni. The archaeological site is indicated from the road and is free to access. These ruins are among the best preserved on the whole island of Pemba. Inscriptions from the early 13th century have been found here. But this Swahili Afro-Shirazian village dates back to the 15th century, built by Harun Bin Ali, son of Mkama Ndume (Mkama comes from the Persian Makam, the king) of Pujini (located in the central-eastern part of Pemba). The town was quite large, spread over 20 hectares, with an impressive palace-fortress, reception halls, two mosques, an iron workshop and a harbour in the creek. The walls of the great mosque and the arches of the gates are still standing today. Legend has it that the small mosque called Msikiti Chooko, “The Mosque of Green Grains”, was built for Harun's wife who is said to have asked for seeds to be mixed with the mortar to hold the structure together. Many tombs have been discovered behind the mosque, including that of Harun himself, decorated with ceramic tiles. On the way to Chwaka near the road, you will see the ruins of an 18th century Arab fort, which was the seat of Governor Mazuri during the reign of the Arabs who settled in Mombasa on Pemba, before the final arrival of the Omani Sultans on the island in the 19th century. One of the six tombs bears the name of “Mbarouk bin Khatib al Mazrui” and dates from 1807.

The last stop is Pujini Ruins, It’s just 10 kilometres south-east of Chake Chake, close to the Village of Chambani, are important ruins, the remains of the Afro-Shirazi Town of Mkame Ndume, which included a fortified citadel in the 15th century. All that remains of this architectural complex are the 5m high moated ramparts over 15ha, with an underground chamber and a two-storey reception hall 46m by 8m. 300m to the southwest is a mosque, built on the remains of a very old building. The site is worth a visit with a guide who can tell you more about it. You will indulge in a Delicious Swahili Lunch before going back to your hotel.

What's Included

  • Service of Informative, friendly and Experienced Professional Tour guide
  • Pick up and drop off from your hotel in private car with air condition
  • Freshly-prepared Delicious seafood lunch on the Island
  • Waiting Charge, Fuel Surcharges & Service Fees
  • VAT (18% charged by the Government)
  • Contribution to the local community
  • Different seasonal fruits available
  • Mineral Water During the Tour
  • Entrances Fees

What's Excluded

  • Medical Insurance if needed
  • Gratuities for Tour Guide or Driver
  • International & Domestic Flights
  • Expenses of a personal Nature
  • Airport/Departure Tax
  • Visa Fee

COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms

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