Ras Mkumbuu Ruins


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 an ancient settlement, once called Qanbalu, dating from the 8th century, which by the early 10th century had become one of the major cities along the East African coast. The main ruins, consisting of a large mosque, some tombs and houses, date from around the 14th century, and several walls are still standing.

Ras Mkumbuu is about 10km from Chake Chake. Dalla-dallas run as far Wesha but after that transport is erratic, and you may have to walk. Other options are taxi or rented bike, or a boat from Wesha.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pemba attractions

1. Misali Island

4.51 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…

2. Umoja Children’s Park

7.88 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…

3. Pemba Channel Conservation Area

8.47 MILES

The waters and islets along the entire west coast of Pemba are officially protected as the Pemba Channel Conservation Area (PECCA). The aim is to benefit…

4. Pemba Museum

8.61 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 …

5. ZSTC Clove Buying Centre

9.03 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…

6. ZSTC Clove Oil Distillery

9.32 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…

7. Flying Fox Colony

10.18 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…

8. Mkame Ndume Ruins

12.61 MILES

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…