Located about 80km from Zanzibar Island, about the same distance directly east of Tanga on the Tanzanian mainland. With its hilly landscape its highest point is less than 100 metres above sea level, by size Pemba is smaller than Unguja. Arab sailors once named Pemba as ‘El Huthera’, meaning the Green, due to her dense and lush vegetation.
There are more natural forests and plantations than on Zanzibar Island, and Pemba grows more cloves than her Zanzibar. Today, earnings from the clove crop are supported by other agricultural products, cattle raising, and by fishing, which is an important source of livelihood. Pemba is also popular for its voodoo and traditional healers.