The island of Pemba known as 'Al Jazeera Al Khadra' - which in Arabic means the green island - is an island forming part of the Zanzibar archipelago. It is situated about 50 kilometres to the north of Zanzibar. Together with Mafia Island (south of Zanzibar), these three islands form the Spice Islands.
Most of Pemba, which is hillier and more fertile than Zanzibar, is dominated by small scale farming. Beside clove trees (some 3 million of them), the locals grow mainly rice, coconut, bananas¸ cassava and red beans.
In previous years the island was seldom visited due to inaccessibility. It had a reputation as a centre for traditional medicine and witchcraft. The population is a mix of Arab and original Waswahili inhabitants of the island.
Chake-Chake is the capital and is perched on a hill with a view to the west on a bay and the tiny Misali island where the tides determine when a dhow can enter the local harbour. Pemba is also becoming well-known for its dive sites, with steep drop-offs, untouched coral and very abundant marine life.
West of Pemba's capital Chake-Chake, on a long stretched peninsula called Ras Mkumbuu, there some of the oldest and best preserved series of early ruins on the islands, Ndagoni ruins. East of Chake-Chake are the Mkama Ndume ruins at Pujini village, the only known early fortification on the whole coast of East Africa, dating back to the 15th century.