Month: February 2015

Tanzania’s Best Kept Secret

The Other Pemba Tamlin Wightman discovers there’s more to this tiny Indian Ocean island off Tanzania than diving. It started with a touch. The touch of a child’s soft, plump hand in mine. So timid that it didn’t linger long and was quickly retrieved by its owner. All around kids were screaming at me like banshees. ‘Mzungu! Mzungu!’ White person! The crowd of about 20 little mites had chased after me as I passed through their village, Kijijini, on Pemba Island, named Jazirat al- Khadhra, the Green Island, by an Arab geographer. Some kiddies were naked, some just pulling on their dresses or shorts after enjoying the beginning of the monsoon rains. Once one of them had felt the strange pale skin, all wanted a turn. If you let it, Pemba Island will touch you in many ways. It’s hillier and more lush than neighbouring Unguja (known incorrectly as Zanzibar), with which it makes up the Zanzibar Archipelago within the union of Tanzania. Some say it’s Tanzania’s best-kept secret. Tourists of the more usual sort …