Zanzibar Island (Unguja) is the main island of Zanzibar. It’s well-known for historical Stone Town, beautiful beaches and nature, both on-land and the surrounding coral reefs. There is also a variety of different beach destinations, where everyone can find their own preferred choice. The main choice is between Zanzibar City area (including Stone Town), northern beaches (Nungwi and Kendwa), North East (Matemwe, Kiwengwa, Pwani Mchangani) and East Coast (Michamvi, Bwejuu, Paje and Jambiani).
There are also several less well-known beaches, like Fumba and Makunduchi areas in Ungja island. On the coast, especially on the western coast of Zanzibar, there are some smaller islands with hotels as well. Zanzibar Island is the home for most of Zanzibar’s population. Nowadays Stone Town is the main port and commercial centre of the whole Zanzibar. It also hosts many cultural events and festivals.
Unguja is very easy to reach. Many international flight companies fly to Zanzibar Airport close to Stone Town. There are also local flights from Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Nairobi and Mombasa. Many travellers coming from mainland Tanzania prefer to take a passenger ferry it takes less than 2 hours. Please ask for more advice. The other main island of Zanzibar is Pemba Island, which is much less visited by tourists but equally beautiful, on its own, unique way
Unguja is a hilly island, about 85 kilometres (53 miles) long (north-south) and 30 kilometres (19 miles) wide (east-west) at its widest, with an overall area of about 1,666 square kilometres (643 square miles). It is located in the southern half of the Zanzibar Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean, about 59 kilometres (37 mi) south of the second-largest island of the archipelago, Pemba. Unguja and mainland Tanzania are separated by the Zanzibar Channel.
Unguja is surrounded by a number of smaller islands and islets, with only two of them, Tumbatu and Uzi, being inhabited. Other minor islands around Unguja include Bawe, Chapwani, Changuu, Chumbe, Kizingo, Kwale, Latham, Mautani, Miwi, Mnemba, Mwana wa Mwana, Nianembe, Popo, Pungume, and Ukanga
Unguja and the surrounding islands are divided into three regions: Zanzibar Central/South (capital: Koani), Zanzibar North (capital: Mkokotoni), Zanzibar Urban/West (capital: Zanzibar City). Unguja belongs to Zanzibar, which is defined by the Tanzanian Constitution as “a part” of Tanzania with a high degree of autonomy. The local Zanzibari government is based in Stone Town, on the west coast of Unguja
As of the 2012 census, the total population of Unguja was 896,721, mostly concentrated in the Zanzibar urban region. The main settlement on the island is Zanzibar City, which serves as a capital for Zanzibar and which includes the renowned historical city of Stone and Nungwi. People of Unguja mostly speak Kiunguja (“the language of Unguja”), which is the dialect of the Swahili language that was used as the main model for the definition of standard Swahili. A town as well as other populated areas such as Michenzani. Other major settlements on Unguja include Mbweni, Mangapwani, Chwaka,
Unguja is the island of the Zanzibar Archipelago that has the most developed tourism industry. This accounts for a substantial part of Unguja’s economy. Agriculture (including the production of spices such as cloves) and fishing are other relevant activities. All along the east coast, most villages also rely on seaweed farming.
Part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, Pemba lies between Unguja Island (known informally around the world as Zanzibar) and the Tanzania-Kenya border. Its Arabic name translates as the Green Island an apt moniker considering its lush landscape of thickly vegetated hills. Interspersed with clove plantations, these hills are separated from Pemba’s secret coves and white sand beaches by a belt of dense mangrove forest; while the ocean itself is home to some of East Africa’s most pristine coral reefs.
With far fewer crowds and less tourist infrastructure than neighbouring Zanzibar, it’s an off-the-beaten-track getaway for those that want to experience authentic island life in addition to world-class scuba diving and fishing.
Most of Pemba Island, which is hillier and more fertile than Unguja, is dominated by small scale farming. There is also large scale farming of cash crops such as cloves.
In previous years, the island was seldom visited due to inaccessibility and a reputation for political violence, with the notable exception of those drawn by its reputation as a centre for traditional medicine and witchcraft. There is a quite large Arab community on Pemba island, who emigrated from Oman. The population is a mix of Arab and original Waswahili inhabitants of the island. A significant portion of the population also identifies as Shirazi people.
The most important towns in Pemba are Chake-Chake (the capital), Mkoani, and Wete, which is the largest city in Pemba. The centrally located Chake-Chake is perched on a mound with a view to the west on a bay and the tiny Misali Island, where the tides determine when a dhow can enter the local harbour. Pemba is, with the exception of a strip of land along its eastern coast, a very fertile place: besides clove trees, the locals grow mainly rice, coconut, bananas, cassava and red beans (called maharaja in the Swahili language).
Fishing, Pemba is also famous for its rich fishing grounds. Between Zanzibar and the mainland, there are the deep 50 kilometres wide Pemba Channel, which is one of the most profitable fishing grounds for game fishing on the Swahili Coast.
Farming and Agriculture, Pemba is, with the exception of a strip of land along its eastern coast, a very fertile place to keep it within the global farming industry.
Cash Crops, A large segment of Zanzibar export earnings comes from cloves. The greatest concentration of clove trees in Zanzibar is found on Pemba (3.5 million trees), as growing conditions on the island are superior to those on Unguja island. Clove trees grow to a height of approximately 10 to 15 metros and can be harvested for sometimes over 50 years. Most of the island, which is hillier and more fertile than Unguja, is dominated by small scale farming. There is also large-scale farming of other crops, primarily rice, coconuts, and red beans (called maharaja in Swahili), as well as cassava and bananas.
Tourism, As tourism has boomed in neighbouring Zanzibar, adventurous travellers are seeking out the less-crowded Pemba, primarily led by dive tourists seeking the pristine, untouched reefs that the island offers for experienced divers.
Land Surveying For the promotion of tourism, the Department of Surveys and Mapping at Chake-Chake has been publishing maps with tourist guides since
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