Chumbe Island Coral Park

Chumbe Island Coral Park is a financially self-sustaining private nature reserve. It is run by a limited company where income from visitors is re-invested into park management and education programs operating in the park.

Chumbe Island is also a unique nature travel destination on a private island in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Situated 8 km Southwest of Zanzibar town, it is covered by an undisturbed forest and surrounded by a virgin coral reef. The island can be reached in a 30-45 minute boat ride from the Mbweni beach departure point south of Stonetown.

The Chumbe Island nature reserve includes:

The Chumbe Reef Sanctuary: the first declared Marine Protected Area of Tanzania, one of the world’s most beautiful coral gardens and the best preserved shallow reef on the East African Coast. The sanctuary has more than 200 species of pristine stone corals, more than 400 species of fish and regularly visiting turtles and dolphins. This spectacular reef can be observed by snorkelling under the guidance of trained Park Rangers. Snorkelling equipment is available on the island. Please note that scuba diving on the Chumbe Reef is prohibited, unless for research purposes; however scuba excursions are available on neighboring reefs (see ACTIVITIES information below);

The Chumbe Forest Reserve: a coral rag forest with a unique flora and wildlife including numerous reptiles, birds, crabs and the rare nocturnal Coconut Crab. The island is formed from fossilised coral and throughout the trail it is possible to see the patterns of the coral and the remains of giant clams thousands of years old. The Forest Nature Trails are also visited under the guidance of trained Park Rangers;

Historic buildings: built by the British in 1904; these include the lighthouse, which offers breath-taking views of the Island and of Zanzibar, and the mosque that was built with an elaborate design and is still in use by the Chumbe team.

Accommodation: In eco-bandas perfectly blended with the surrounding nature and situated between the beach and the forest. Chumbe has seven stunning eco-buildings each incorporating state-of-the-art eco-architecture and using local materials with coconut palm thatch. They are especially pioneering because they are all ecologically self-sustaining with zero impact on the environment.

Each has solar-powered lighting, private bathroom, cold & (solar-heated) hot water showers fed from a unique rainwater catchment system, compost toilets and greywater filtration through specialised garden areas. On Chumbe you can live in simple luxury on this paradise island in the knowledge that you are in no way damaging the environment of this spectacular nature reserve.

Other facilities: the historic lighthouse keeper’s house built by the British in 1904 has been adapted to be the Park HQ with a restaurant for visitors and a classroom for local schoolchildren. This magnificently designed building is also equipped with eco-technology. The restaurant has dining terraces overlooking the sea, and serves delicious local Zanzibari cuisine, which combines influences of Arabic, Indian and African dishes using fresh fish, octopus and seafood, beef and chicken, tropical vegetables, fruits and spices.

Chumbe Island has received a number of prestigious accolades and awards, including:

British Airways TOURISM FOR TOMORROW Award 1999

Winner 2004, Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. (Institute for
Tourism and Development), Germany, 2004

Winner 2004 – Best Marine & Beach Destination with The Times, UK

Finalist, 2004, National Geographic Traveler & Conservation International


Contact us:
Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd.
P.O.Box 3203, Zanzibar/Tanzania
Tel & Fax +255-(0)24-2231040
Fax (UK) +44-(0)870-1341284
Project Manager: +255-747-413582
Bookings & Enquiries:

Photographs by: Manolo Yllera, Peter Lange, Hal Thompson, Joonas Sandholm, & Guido Cozzi