The island is eight kilometres long and is surrounded by a reef, making it somewhat isolated from the rest of Zanzibar, even though its southern shore is only two kilometres from Mkokotoni on Unguja. The wedge-shaped island is approximately eight kilometres in length, but only two kilometres wide at its widest point (in the south).
Historically, the island is of interest. Islanders who belong to the Shirazi ethnic group claim descent from Persian royalty which reputedly arrived in the ninth century, and there are important ruins at Makutani in the southeast of the island which were once one of Zanzibar's main settlements.
- Finke, J. (2006) The Rough Guide to Zanzibar (2nd edition). New York: Rough Guides.