||This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2011)|
|Native name: Al Jazeera Al Khadra (the green island)|
The main islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago: Unguja (left) and Pemba (right)
|Area||984 km2 (379.9 sq mi)|
|Population||406,808 (as of census 2012)|
|Density||428 /km2 (1,109 /sq mi)|
Pemba Island, known as "The Green Island" in Arabic (الجزيرة الخضراء), is an island forming part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, lying off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. It is situated about 50 kilometres to the north of the Unguja (the island proper of Zanzibar). In 1964 Zanzibar was united with the former colony of Tanganyika to form Tanzania. It lies 50 kilometres east of mainland Tanzania, across the Pemba Channel. Together with Mafia Island (south of Zanzibar), these three islands form the Spice Islands (not to be confused with the Maluku Islands of Indonesia). In 1988, the estimated population was 265,000, with an area of 980 km².
Most of the island, which is hillier and more fertile than Zanzibar, is dominated by small scale farming. There is also large scale farming of cash crops such as cloves — there are over 3 million clove trees.
In previous years the island was seldom visited due to inaccessibility and a reputation for political violence, with the notable exception of those drawn by its reputation as a center for traditional medicine and witchcraft. There is a quite large Arab community on the island who immigrated from Oman. The population is a mix of Arab and original Waswahili inhabitants of the island. A significant portion of the population also identifies as Shirazi people.
The most important towns in Pemba are Chake-Chake (the capital), Mkoani, and Wete, the largest city. The centrally located Chake-Chake is perched on a mound 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, with the exception of a strip of land along its east coast, a very fertile place: besides clove trees, the locals grow mainly rice, coconut, bananas, cassava and red beans, called maharagwe in Swahili.
West of Pemba's capital Chake-Chake, on a long stretched peninsula called Ras Mkumbuu, one can find some of the oldest and best preserved series of early ruins on the islands (Ndagoni ruins, probably 14th century).
East of Chake-Chake one can find the Mkama Ndume ruins at Pujini village (south of the airport) within easy reach by road from Chake-Chake. This fortification is the only known early fortification on the whole coast of East Africa; it is dated to the fifteenth century.
Pemba is also famous for its rich fishing grounds. Between the island and the mainland there is the deep 50 kilometre wide Pemba channel, which is one of the most profitable fishing grounds for game fishing on the East African coast. 
A large proportion of the Zanzibar export earnings comes from cloves. The greatest concentration of clove trees is found on Pemba (3.5 million trees) as growing conditions here are superior to those on Unguja island. Clove trees grow to the height of around 10 to 15 metres and can produce crops for over 50 years.
More recently with the booming tourism industry in neighbouring Zanzibar, more adventurous travellers are seeking out the less-crowded Pemba, led by dive tourists seeking the uncrowded and un-spoiled reefs the island offers the experienced diver. 
See also↑Jump back a section
- "Africa: Dive of a lifetime on Pemba Island". web page. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Divernet: Fun at Fundu". web page. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- Marina Tolmacheva, The Pate Chronicle (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1993) p. 6
- "The Pemba Channel Fishing Club". web page. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- "Spice and easy: Rory Bremner visits Zanzibar and Pemba". web page. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- (English) Watch a short documentary about Pemba Island on YouTube
- (English) Audio interview with Pemba Island resident about life on Pemba Island
- Fundu Lagoon, a resort and dive site on Pemba Island.