Proceeding North from Chake Chake, the country is far flatter and open than to the South. Broad open areas are put over to cultivation, especially rice, whilst on the slopes of the low hills, under the shadow of coconut palms, are fields of cassava.
Some of the agriculture in this area appears quite a large scale compared with that on the rest of the islands, with some well-irrigated and organised field systems.
Less than an hour from Chake Chake by car is the village of Mzambaraoni and a left turn back to the West coast and Pemba’s second port, Wete. Again the approach to the town is along a small dual-carriageway, to a quite attractive central area and the small art-nouveau market, probably the most interesting on the island. The people here, like those across the whole of Pemba, are very friendly and it is a great pleasure to sit down by the side of the road with the Swahili elders and drink a cup of freshly ground coffee served in the traditional Arab style.
Like Mkoani, the port lies at the bottom of a steep hill, where fish are landed and carried up to town plaited in strings and tied on yokes, or piled in the back of ox-carts. The quality of the catch here in Pemba seems to be considerably higher than in Unguja, with boats being landed filled with good size fish of the same species, as if the fisherman has only to dip his net into the water once to pull it out full of perfect specimens.
Again there is an SMZ hotel to the same specification and a small guesthouse, located at the top of the track leading to the port and again it is best to book in advance. There are often no facilities for changing money or paying with anything but local currency in town.
Opposite Wete harbour is a peninsula, connected to the main island by a causeway which is submerged at high tide. The name Mtambwe Mkuu is derived from the Swahili for ‘great peninsula’, which gives a clue to its significance in times gone by. Yakut, the Arab geographer wrote of this place, describing it as the second town of Pemba (after Ras Mkumbuu). This is backed up by archaeological evidence, which confirms that the 200 hectares of rubble and remains that occupy the flat hilltop does indeed date back to the 11th century.
A small village now occupies the lower parts of the island, the considerations for a defence being of less importance now than in earlier centuries. Wooden stakes used for fortifications were excavated from the shore-front in 1985, as was a hoard of tiny silver coins, thought to be the only coins minted in sub-Saharan Africa in the middle ages. There is now little to see on the site other than rubble, although it commands a good view of the peninsula and Wete harbour.
A couple of kilometres north on the main road from Shengejuu is Mapufa and a right turn to the little-visited villages of Wingwi, Micheweni and the peninsular of Ras Kiuyu. This North-Eastern peninsular is an untouched paradise of sandy beaches and forest. There are no roads to speak of and no accommodation. Visitors must walk in and camp or stay in the villages, buying food from local people.
Wingwi lies on the fringes of the Micheweni Forest and has an interesting mosque, with a rectangular mirhab, and a flat stone roof supported on pillars.
Back on the main road North and at the 8 km milestone, there are two sites of archaeological interest. Once again the location is difficult to find, being un-signposted and overgrown. The path leaves the road just after it crosses a culvert bridge in a shallow dip, where a single palm tree projects out towards the roadside. The path leads around the edge of the irrigated farmland and out across some fields towards the East.
The first to be seen, close by the road, are the ruins of an 18th-century town thought to be the capital of Pemba during a period when the island came under the control of the Mazrui Arabs of Mombasa. The town included a substantial mosque and fort and the remains of six tombs of members of the Mazrui family including one inscribed with the name “Mbarouk bin Khatib” and a date of 1807. The Mazrui were overthrown by Seyyid bin Said and his Busaidi Arabs during the early 19th century and the town fell into decay.
The surgery is performed by the Cardiologist you can consult them at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai. sildenafil sale But, till the moment of expiry of patent protection, we used to get tadalafil cheapest price with the cost of $ 15.00 per pill. Not only does this improve the quality of erections; the resulting oxygenation of viagra tablet the cells in the penis relax and widen the blood vessels that fetch blood to the main area. If anybody has to face a disease of erectile dysfunction that cause to the male reproductive system organ is improved as well as viagra buy no prescription your feelings.
A path around the edge of the valley, on the same side of the main road, leads to the 20-hectare site of a 15th-century town. This place is said to have been the seat of Harun bin Ali, who was either a Nabahani Arab from Paje (in modern Kenya) or was the son of the legendary Mkana Ndune of Pujini (see page 214). Tradition tells of this connection and claims that Harun was as cold-blooded as his father, being known as ‘Mvunja Pau’ or ‘the breaker of the pole’.
Tradition also claims that in this town there was a fort, reception halls, mosques and an ironworks, with a harbour in the small creek nearby. All that remains today are the lower walls of the large Friday mosque, with some interesting architectural features, including a fine mirhab and a long central area, originally supported on square columns. Amongst the ten tombs to be found is a single pillared structure, claimed to be the tomb of Haroun himself and with glazed tiles and plaster reliefs. A second smaller mosque is known as the ‘Msikiti Chooko’ or ‘mosque of the green grain’, a name that relates to stories of it having been built by Harun’s wife Mwana wa Chwaka with mortar mixed with green grain, to make the mortar harder.
The large village of Tumbe has one of the largest fish markets on the island. People come from all round to buy fish here and the place can get quite lively in the mornings. There is no accommodation.
Further on is the town of Konde, the Northernmost point for dala-dala and the drop off point for travellers planning on visiting the Ngesi Forest and the North-Western peninsular. There is a market in town selling local produce, but no accommodation or facilities.
A couple of kilometres to the South of Kombe on the direct route to Wete is the Agricultural Research Station, where work is carried out to determine suitable crop strains, methods of cultivation and testing on pest and disease control. Many of Pemba’s crops, such as cloves, pineapple, sugar cane, cassava and maize can be seen here.
Three kilometres past Konde, the tar road quite suddenly comes to an end at the Ngesi Park Ranger Post and a dirt track enters a tunnel of dense forest. Immediately the air cools and the sounds of the jungle echo and reverberate around about. The forest is a true double canopy, with an upper layer of majestic mgulele (antiarus), mwavi (erythrophloem), mtondoo (Alexandrian laurel) and mvule (milicia) trees towering up to 30 and 40 metres.
From the junctions on their huge trunks grow tropical lianas and parasitical plants, whilst high up in the canopy, troupes of the Pemba vervet monkey bark and play. Below this is the second level of vegetation, mainly consisting of smaller immature trees and large shrubs. Everywhere there is the tangle of a true tropical forest.
Ngesi is the last significant area of moist forest surviving on Pemba and although the reserve covers 1440 hectares, only 550 hectares are actually a forest, the remainder being evergreen thicket. Nevertheless, it constitutes an invaluable resource, for it contains a number of unique and endangered species. Mammals of interest include the Pemba vervet monkey, the Pemba blue duiker and the Pemba flying fox. The latter is actually a large fruit-eating bat and a roost of over 200 is known to exist deep within the forest. Also present is a large troupe of Kirk’s colobus monkey, which were settled here from Josani in the sixties in an attempt to increase their range. The most interesting trees are the three globally rare species of mjoho (odyendea zimmermanni), chrystalido pembanus and ensete proboscoideum. It is also thought that there are likely to exist a number of unique small plant and insect species, which have not yet been recorded. Ngesi will hopefully be soon upgraded to the status of National Park in order that this pool of unique genes will be saved for future generations. In the meantime, the forest seems quite well protected, although there are reports of limited raiding by local people in search of firewood and other forest products. The staff at the ranger post run a nature trail, but it’s the sandy road that passes through the best sections of the forest.
Moving north the track leaves the forest as suddenly as it entered and passes into an area of light cultivation, of cassava fields planted under shady trees. Immediately a right turn leads to the village of Tondooni, so named after the mtondoo or Alexandrian laurel tree, which is common in the area. From here a small track leads cross-country to the site of Mkia wa Ng’ombe, where there are the remains of a mosque, thirteen tombs and a number of houses, dating from the 12th to 15th centuries. The site is more easily reached by boat from Wete.
The track continues to the North, running along the edge of the forest, past small farms and up to an area given over to rubber plantation. This venture, which was begun by the Chinese, has been leased to various overseas companies over the years, all of whom have defaulted on the terms of their leases and the plantations are presently untapped.
The fabulous beach at Vumba Wimbi is earmarked for tourist development, but at present, there is nothing to compromise its stunning natural beauty. The only accommodation in the area is Manta Reef Lodge, located at the tip of the peninsula.