Pemba Island, known as "The Green Island" in Arabic, is an island forming part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, lying within the Swahili Coast in the Indian Ocean.
For much of its history, Pemba has been overshadowed by Zanzibar, its larger neighbor to the south. Although the islands are separated by only 50km of water, relatively few tourists cross the channel. Those who do, however, are seldom disappointed.
Unlike flat, sandy Zanzibar, Pemba's terrain is hilly, fertile and lushly vegetated. In the days of the Arab traders, it was even referred to as Jazirat al Khuthera (the Green Island). Much of Pemba's coast is lined with mangroves and lagoons, interspersed with a few good stretches of sand and some idyllic islets. Offshore, coral reefs, the steeply dropping walls of the Pemba Channel and an abundance of fish offer some of East Africa's best diving.
Throughout, Pemba remains largely 'undiscovered', and you'll still have most things to yourself, which is a big part of the island's appeal.