Chake Chake, Tanzania

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Chake Chake, Tanzania

Region: Zanzibar Urban/West Region

Geographic Coordinates: -5.239500, 39.770000
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Chake Chake, Tanzania?
Population: 49959
Language: Swahili

Chake Chake is a vibrant and culturally rich town located on the eastern coast of Pemba Island in Tanzania. As the capital of the island, It serves as an administrative center and offers visitors a unique blend of history, Stunning natural beauty, And a glimpse into local Swahili culture. One of the highlights of Chake Chake is its historic architecture. Walking through its narrow streets, You’ll come across beautifully preserved buildings that showcase traditional Swahili design with intricate wooden balconies and carved doors.

The most prominent landmark is the Old Fort, A 19th-century fortress built by Omani Arabs to protect against Portuguese invasion. Today, It houses a small museum that provides insight into Pemba’s history. The town’s bustling market is another must-visit attraction. Known as Darajani, This vibrant marketplace offers an array of fresh produce, Spices, Traditional crafts, And textiles. Exploring Darajani allows visitors to immerse themselves in local life while sampling delicious street food like Zanzibari pizzas or freshly squeezed sugarcane juice. For nature enthusiasts, Chake Chake has much to offer too.

Just outside the town lies Ngezi Forest Reserve – one of East Africa’s last remaining indigenous forests. This lush sanctuary is home to diverse flora and fauna including endemic bird species like Pemba sunbirds and green pigeons. If you’re looking for relaxation by the sea nearby Mkoani Beach provides pristine white sands fringed by crystal-clear turquoise waters – perfect for swimming or simply unwinding under swaying palm trees. Chake Chake also serves as a gateway to explore Pemba Island further.

The island boasts incredible diving spots with abundant marine life including colorful coral reefs teeming with tropical fish species such as clownfish and parrotfishes. Snorkeling or scuba diving in these waters will leave you awe-inspired by their beauty. Additionally, A visit to Chake Chake wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the warm hospitality of the local people. Engaging with residents will allow you to learn about their traditional customs, Music, And dance. You may even have the opportunity to witness traditional Swahili weddings or cultural festivals that celebrate the island’s heritage.

Chake Chake is a captivating destination in Tanzania that offers an authentic experience steeped in history, Culture, And natural beauty. From its well-preserved architecture and bustling markets to its stunning beaches and vibrant marine life, This town has something for every traveler seeking an enriching adventure off the beaten path.

Important Landmarks

  1. Chake Chake Old Fort: This historic fort, built in the 19th century by Omani Arabs, is one of the main attractions in Chake Chake. It offers a glimpse into the island’s past and provides panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  2. Pemba Museum: Located near the Old Fort, this small museum showcases artifacts and exhibits related to Pemba’s history and culture. Visitors can learn about traditional crafts, local customs, and historical events.
  3. Mkama Ndume Ruins: These ancient ruins are located just outside of town and date back to the 14th century. The site includes remnants of a mosque, tombs, houses, and other structures.
  4. Misali Island: A short boat ride from Chake Chake takes you to Misali Island Marine Conservation Area—a paradise for snorkeling enthusiasts with its vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life.
  5. Ngezi Forest Reserve: Located on the outskirts of town, this forest reserve offers nature trails where visitors can spot unique bird species such as Pemba scops owl or explore lush vegetation.
  6. Traditional Dhow Building Yard: In Mnarani village near Chake-Chake, visitors can witness skilled craftsmen building traditional dhows (sailing boats). It provides an insight into local craftsmanship techniques passed down through generations.
  7. Local Markets: Exploring local markets like Mkanyageni Market or Wete Market allows tourists to experience daily life on Pemba Island firsthand while browsing through fresh produce or handicrafts made by local artisans.

While Chake Chake may not have as many famous landmarks as other cities in Tanzania, its historical sites, natural beauty, and cultural experiences make it an interesting destination for tourists seeking a more off-the-beaten-path experience.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Like much of Tanzania, agriculture plays a crucial role in Chake Chake’s economy. The region is known for growing crops such as cloves, coconuts, bananas, rice, cassava, and vegetables.
  2. Fishing: Being located on the coast of Pemba Island, fishing is an important industry in Chake Chake. Local fishermen engage in traditional fishing practices as well as commercial fishing activities.
  3. Tourism: Although not as developed as other tourist destinations in Tanzania such as Zanzibar or Serengeti National Park, tourism is gaining momentum in Pemba Island and specifically in Chake Chake. The town offers historical sites like the Old Fort (Mazrui Ruins), beautiful beaches, and opportunities for snorkeling and diving.
  4. Retail and Trade: As the capital city of Pemba North Region, there are various retail shops and markets catering to local residents’ needs for daily commodities.
  5. Education: With several schools including primary schools and secondary schools located within or near the town center of Chake Chake along with a university campus (Ardhi University – Pemba Campus), education has emerged as an important sector.
  6. Government Services: Being the regional administrative center for Pemba North Region means that various government offices are situated here offering services related to administration; health care facilities like hospitals/clinics are also present.
  7. Transportation Services: Due to its central location on Pemba Island’s east coast along with being its capital city; transportation services such as public buses/taxis operate from here connecting different parts of the island while also serving as a transit point for inter-island transportation.

It is important to note that Chake Chake’s economy is not as diverse or developed compared to major cities in Tanzania, but these industries and businesses contribute to the local economy and livelihoods of its residents.

Noteable History

  1. Arab Traders: The coastal areas of Tanzania, including Pemba Island, were important trading posts for Arab traders from the 8th century onwards. These traders established trade routes along the East African coast and brought Islam to the region.
  2. Omani Rule: In 1698, Pemba Island became part of Oman’s overseas territories under Sultan Said bin Sultan Al-Said. The Omani influence continued until Zanzibar’s independence in 1963.
  3. Slave Trade: Like other parts of East Africa, Pemba Island was involved in the slave trade during the 18th and 19th centuries when slaves were captured inland and then transported through coastal towns like Chake Chake.
  4. Sayyid Said bin Sultan Al-Busaidi: Sayyid Said was an influential Omani ruler who moved his capital to Zanzibar City (Stone Town) from Muscat in Oman in 1832. He played a significant role in shaping Zanzibar’s history and promoting trade across East Africa.
  5. Abolitionist Movement: During the late-19th century, abolitionists campaigned against slavery on Pemba Island and throughout East Africa.
  6. German Colonial Rule: In 1886, Germany declared Tanganyika (mainland Tanzania) as its colony under German East Africa rule but did not extend its control over Pemba or other islands within Zanzibar’s jurisdiction.
  7. British Protectorate: After World War I, Britain took control of Tanganyika under a League of Nations mandate, and Pemba Island became a British protectorate.
  8. Zanzibar Revolution: On January 12, 1964, the Zanzibar Revolution took place in Stone Town, leading to the overthrow of the Sultanate and the establishment of an independent government. This event marked a significant turning point in Tanzanian history.

While Chake Chake itself may not have many notable figures associated with it specifically, these historical events and influential people have shaped the broader region’s history and development.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Pujini Ruins: Located just outside of Chake Chake, these ancient ruins date back to the 15th century and offer a glimpse into the island’s history.
  2. Mkama Ndume Ruins: Another set of ruins near Chake Chake, Mkama Ndume provides insight into the Swahili culture and architecture.
  3. Pemba Museum: Although small, this museum showcases artifacts and exhibits related to the history, culture, and traditions of Pemba Island.
  4. Old Dispensary Building: A historic building in downtown Chake Chake that now serves as a cultural center hosting various events and exhibitions.
  5. Friday Mosque: This mosque is one of the oldest on Pemba Island and features beautiful Swahili architecture with intricate carvings.
  6. Local Markets: Exploring local markets like Gombani Market can be an interesting experience where you can find fresh produce, spices, handicrafts, and immerse yourself in local daily life.
  7. Beaches: While not specific attractions themselves, Pemba Island is known for its pristine beaches with crystal-clear waters perfect for relaxation or water activities like snorkeling or diving.

While visiting these places in Chake Chake, it’s also worth exploring other parts of Pemba Island to discover its natural beauty including lush forests and traditional fishing villages along with opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking or boat trips around the island’s coastlines.

Sports Teams

  1. Chake Chake is the capital town of Pemba Island, which is part of the Zanzibar Archipelago in Tanzania.
  2. As a small town, it does not have any professional or well-known sports teams with extensive histories.
  3. However, like many other places in Tanzania, Chake Chake may have local amateur sports teams and community-based clubs that participate in various sports activities.
  4. These teams are usually formed for recreational purposes and to promote physical fitness among the locals.
  5. It’s important to note that information about specific local sports teams in Chake Chake might be limited or not readily available online.
  6. Therefore, if you are interested in learning more about local sports teams and their histories in Chake Chake, it would be best to reach out to local residents or organizations within the town who may have more knowledge on this subject.

Cultural Events

  1. Mwaka Kogwa: This is a unique festival celebrated by the Shirazi people on Pemba Island. It usually takes place in July and involves various traditional activities such as mock fights, drumming, dancing, and singing.
  2. Maulid Festival: Celebrated during the month of Rabi’ al-awwal (the third month of the Islamic calendar), this festival commemorates the birth of Prophet Muhammad. It includes processions, recitations from the Quran, religious discourses, and communal meals.
  3. Lamu Cultural Festival: Although not directly in Chake Chake but nearby Lamu Island (accessible by boat), this annual event celebrates Swahili culture and heritage through music performances, traditional dances like Taarab and Ngoma dances, donkey races, dhow sailing competitions, henna painting demonstrations, and local cuisine.
  4. Pemba Food Festival: Held annually at different locations across Pemba Island including Chake Chake town market area or Wete town market area (both towns are on Pemba Island), this festival showcases local cuisine with a focus on seafood dishes such as octopus curry and pilau rice.
  5. Makunduchi Cultural Festival: Located on Zanzibar Island (reachable from mainland Tanzania via ferry), but still accessible from Chake Chake via boat or ferry ride to Unguja island where Makunduchi village is located; this event celebrates Swahili culture through music performances like Taarab music concerts along with traditional dances like Ngoma dance forms.

These are just a few examples of cultural events and festivals that occur in or near Chake Chake. The exact dates may vary each year so it’s recommended to check the local tourism board or event organizers for specific details.


  1. Swahili Cuisine: The local cuisine in Chake Chake is heavily influenced by Swahili flavors. Some popular dishes include:
    • pilau (spiced rice)
    • biryani (rice dish with meat or vegetables)
    • maharage ya nazi (coconut beans)
    • samaki wa kupaka (grilled fish in coconut sauce)
  2. Mkunazini Market: Located in the heart of Chake Chake, Mkunazini Market is a bustling place where you can find various street food stalls offering traditional Tanzanian snacks like:
    • vitumbua (rice cakes)
    • viazi karai (fried potatoes)
    • mishkaki (grilled meat skewers)
  3. Al-Amira Restaurant: This restaurant is known for its authentic Swahili cuisine, including seafood specialties like:
    • octopus curry
    • grilled lobster
    • prawn pilau
  4. Misoni Restaurant: Situated near the seafront, Misoni Restaurant offers an array of seafood dishes such as:
    • grilled fish with coconut rice
    • calamari curry
  5. Tafathali Garden Cafe & Restaurant: This charming garden cafe serves both Tanzanian and international dishes but specializes in traditional Zanzibari delicacies like:
    • urojo soup (a tangy mix of lentils, potatoes, and spices)
    • Zanzibar pizza
  6. Kijiji Restaurant: Known for its friendly atmosphere and delicious local food, Kijiji Restaurant serves a variety of Swahili dishes including:
    • biryani rice with chicken or fish curry
  7. Pemba Paradise Hotel’s Rooftop Terrace: Offering stunning views over the Indian Ocean, this rooftop terrace restaurant at Pemba Paradise Hotel serves a range of fresh seafood options along with other continental cuisines.
  8. Chake Chake Hotel Restaurant: Located within the Chake Chake Hotel, this restaurant offers a mix of local and international dishes with a focus on seafood.

These are just a few examples of the popular local cuisine and restaurants in Chake Chake, Tanzania. Exploring the local markets and dining establishments will provide you with even more options to experience the rich flavors of Pemba Island.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Chake Chake Park: Located in the heart of the town, this park offers a green space for relaxation and socializing. It is a popular spot for locals to gather and enjoy picnics.
  2. Pemba Channel Conservation Area: This protected marine area offers opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, and boat tours to explore the vibrant coral reefs and marine life.
  3. Misali Island Marine Conservation Area: Situated off the coast of Chake Chake, Misali Island is known for its pristine beaches, clear waters, and diverse marine ecosystem. Visitors can enjoy snorkeling, swimming, beachcombing or take guided nature walks on the island.
  4. Ngezi Forest Reserve: Located a short distance from Chake Chake town center, this forest reserve is home to various endemic bird species and wildlife such as vervet monkeys and bushbabies. Visitors can go hiking through the forest trails or birdwatching.
  5. Maziwe Island Marine Reserve: Although not directly in Chake Chake but nearby on the coast of Pemba Island lies Maziwe Island Marine Reserve which offers excellent snorkeling opportunities with colorful corals teeming with tropical fish species.
  6. Local Sports Activities: Football (soccer) is widely played in Tanzania including in towns like Chake chale where you may find local teams playing matches at various fields around town.

Please note that it’s always recommended to check current conditions and availability before planning any activities or visiting these places as they may be subject to change or certain restrictions due to weather conditions or other factors.


Adventure Awaits!

Explore more:

Al Qurnah, Iraq

Reading Time: 4 minutes Al Qurnah, Iraq Region: Basra Governorate Geographic Coordinates: 31.015800, 47.430600 Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 45.0°C (68°F to 113°F) Climate: Hot and dry summers, mild winters with occasional rainfall. Population: 286073 Language: Arabic Al Qurnah is a city located in southern

Read More »

Derby, United Kingdom

Reading Time: 6 minutes Derby, United Kingdom Region: Derby is located in the county of Derbyshire Geographic Coordinates: 52.921700, -1.476700 Temperature Range: -10.0°C to 30.0°C (14°F to 86°F) Climate: Derby experiences a temperate maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers. Population: 255394 Language:

Read More »

Koumassi, Côte d’Ivoire

Reading Time: 4 minutes Koumassi, Côte d’Ivoire Region: Koumassi Geographic Coordinates: 5.300000, -3.950000 Temperature Range: 23.0°C to 33.0°C (73°F to 91°F) Climate: Tropical climate with high humidity and rainfall throughout the year, with two rainy seasons from May to July and September to November.

Read More »

Mangalore, India

Reading Time: 6 minutes Mangalore, India Region: Karnataka Geographic Coordinates: 12.902000, 74.825300 Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 35.0°C (68°F to 95°F) Climate: Mangalore has a tropical monsoon climate with heavy rainfall in the monsoon season and hot and humid weather throughout the year. Population: 623841

Read More »

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Reading Time: 6 minutes Siem Reap, Cambodia Region: Siem Reap is located in the Siem Reap province Geographic Coordinates: 13.362200, 103.860000 Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 35.0°C (68°F to 95°F) Climate: Seasonal climate patterns in Siem Reap, Cambodia include a dry season from November to

Read More »

Pudukkottai, India

Reading Time: 5 minutes Pudukkottai, India Region: Tamil Nadu Geographic Coordinates: 10.383300, 78.800100 Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 35.0°C (68°F to 95°F) Climate: Seasonal. Population: 117745 Language: Tamil Pudukkottai is a quaint town located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Around 400 kilometers

Read More »