Mkame Ndume Ruins


The ruined palace of Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman, who ruled Pemba prior to the arrival of the Portuguese (late 15th to early 16th centuries), is an evocative spot. Rahman had a reputation for cruelty and was known as Mkame Ndume (Milker of Men). Today the ruins' primary feature is a large stone staircase that led from the kilometre-long channel (now dry) connecting this site to the ocean.

The ruins are 10km southeast of Chake Chake, near the village of Pujini. Dalla-dallas from Chake Chake to Pujini (Tsh1000, one hour) are infrequent and the ruins are poorly signposted. A taxi from Chake Chake costs about Tsh30,000 return. Or rent a bike; head south of Chake Chake, past the airport road then turn left (southeast) onto the dirt road by a sign that says 'Skuli Ya Chan Jaani'.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pemba attractions

1. ZSTC Clove Buying Centre

4.16 MILES

This is where the Zanzibar State Trading Corporation (ZSTC) buys cloves in bulk from local farmers (usually between July and February). To get here, go…

2. Pemba Museum

4.44 MILES

Filling an 18th-century Omani fort, which was probably built on the remains of a 16th-century Portuguese garrison, this small museum has well-organised …

3. ZSTC Clove Oil Distillery

4.64 MILES

Pemba is well known for its clove industry, and this distillery is where the clove stems are turned into essential oil. It's operated by the Zanzibar…

4. Umoja Children’s Park

5.33 MILES

This fairground was established in Pemba’s socialist days, and completely renovated (a gift from China) in recent years. The gleaming big wheels and…

5. Kidike Flying Fox Sanctuary

9.16 MILES

Kidike Sanctuary is home to a spectacular colony of Pemba flying foxes, a large bat indigenous to Pemba (called popo in Swahili). About 4000 individuals…

6. Ras Mkumbuu Ruins

12.61 MILES

Ras Mkumbuu is the headland at the end of the thin strip of land jutting into the sea northwest of Chake Chake. It's also the name given to the ruins of…

7. Misali Island

14.12 MILES

Surrounded by crystal waters and stunning coral reefs, Misali offers some of the best diving in East Africa, while snorkelling is spectacular and easily…

8. Flying Fox Colony

17.43 MILES

Hanging in trees just up from the port is a colony of Pemba flying foxes (a species of large bat usually found in forest areas). Despite their proximity…