Chumbe Island Coral Park

Sustainable balance of tourism and nature since more than 25 years

Why visit Chumbe Island Coral Park

Chumbe Island is an internationally acclaimed conservation area, hosting a fully protected coral reef sanctuary and closed forest reserve. As a not-for-profit enterprise, the revenue generated by eco-tourism on the island, funds all conservation management and Chumbe’s extensive environmental education programmes with local schools and communities. Operational for more than 25 years, Chumbe is the world’s first financially self-sustaining marine protected area. Chumbe’s seven bungalows have been designed in a unique eco architecture design, ensuring close to zero impact on the environment. Snorkel around the 55.1ha marine protected area that is 100 % no-take and encounter rare wildlife including the giant coconut crab, Ader’s duiker (antelope), turtles and dolphins!

Culture & Local Life

The Chumbe team is the beating heart of the island. Of the 43 employees, 93% are Tanzanians from local communities and many of them have been with the project since it first began. You will feel the genuine hospitality and their love for the island, the second you step off the boat. The chefs prepare locally inspired meals from fresh and sustainable, locally sourced seafood, meat, vegetables, and fruits. Besides local food supply, Chumbe holds close ties with the communities for the traditional building material used on the island and locally produced artisanal products for the boutique and bungalow amenities.

Sustainability

All operations on the island are conducted in a way to protect the pristine and fragile island ecosystem, following strict visitor guidelines, a maximum carrying capacity of 18 visitors on the island at one given time, 24/7 ranger patrols to protect the marine park. All Chumbe’s eco bungalows include photovoltaic energy; rainwater collection systems; solar water heating for showers; vegetative greywater filtration and composting toilets to avoid reef-polluting sewage.

Getting there

You will reach Chumbe island from Zanzibar with one of our daily boat connections that leave from Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins for registered guests. The boat ride takes about 45 minutes according to the weather and is done in partnership with a local boat operator.

Getting around

Once you reach the island, you will feel like Robinson Crusoe, barefoot in the sand, exploring the forest and going for a swim whenever you feel like it.

Nature Experience

Chumbe is the place to be for nature lovers. Snorkeling the coral gardens is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Chumbe. The marine reserve is host to more than 50 genera of corals, over 500 species of reef fish, sponges, starfish, clams, and – if you’re lucky – you may even encounter Chumbe’s hawksbill sea turtles and resident blacktip reef sharks. Other activities on the island include guided walks through the forest (home to 80 species of birds), a visit up to the historic lighthouse of the island and nightly crab walks to discover our coconut crabs, the largest land-living crab in the world!

Travel tips from our editors

Beach Cleanup

There is a wide range of ways to support our beautiful island. You will be welcomed to help the ranger team by doing your own Beach Cleanup.

Pack for a Purpose

You can participate in Chumbe’s Environmental Education Programme through Pack for a Purpose, whereby you can bring along in your luggage school supplies, books, snorkel equipment for the school children or you can also leave a donation.

Be Inspired

You can take photos of turtles or other species for Chumbe’s records and you can be inspired by Chumbe’s concept and setup your own financially self-sustainable park!
Omari Nyange
Head ranger of Chumbe Island
Omari is taking care of the destination.
He has been with Chumbe Island since it first started, he knows it like no one else.

Sustainability Recognitions

Chumbe Island Coral Park is included in the 2018 Global Top 100 Sustainable Destinations
In 2019 received the prestigious “Best of Africa” Award at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel event