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Best time to travel to Zanzibar

Pemba Flying Fox Breeding Season

See a breathtaking sight as these huge bats take to the air, launching off en-masse as they depart for their evening hunt...for fruit

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The Zanzibar archipelago is home to the Pemba flying fox. You can see Africa’s largest bat species only here. It's a type of fruit bat, with a wing span of up to 70cm. This species is distinctive for its bright chestnut-orange fur, dog-like facial features, and can weigh in at around half a kilo.

During the daylight hours, the trees at Pemba are literally smothered by these giants bats hanging upside down. When twilight comes, they take to the air, launching off en-masse as they depart for the evening hunt. Though, the Pemba flying foxes are victims themselves. They were traditionally hunted and eaten widely throughout the island by Pembaris as a source of food. Their meat is considered a delicacy.

The Pemba flying fox's mating is between January and April. In summer, especially between June and August, they give birth to their young. The species was at risk of extinction as a result of hunting and nowadays and is listed as Critically Endangered.

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