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Bullfighting on Pemba Island 2023-2024

It is not as bloody as the Spanish version nor as cruel as the Portuguese, but quite a picturesque spectacle

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Although the spectacle is not as colourful and rich as in Spain, it should be said that Zanzibar bullfighting also has something surprising in store. This show is believed to be Portuguese by origin and is a popular, traditional, and annual event on Pemba Island. Here it looks just like a Spanish bullfight—with a bull, a matador, and an audience. Bullfighting is accompanied by music, singing, and drums. Unlike the Spanish (or the Portuguese), the bull is not executed at the end, but instead, is well praised and taken care of by his owner. Traditionally, locals organise bullfights in the hottest season, after clove harvesting or during the state ceremony such as Revolution Day. Bullfighting takes place between August and February.

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