We booked to visit Chumbe as a day trip, but I wish we'd stayed the night. This was one of our highlight of the entire trip. Right from leaving for the island from Mbweni Ruins (nice hotel with beach) and being greeted by staff, to our return trip to Stone Town.
This island manages five star luxury and service while also supporting local communities and conservation work. We were really impressed with the work which this project is involved in- while we were visiting there was a large group of local people having a free class on marine conservation.
The staff were really helpful and welcoming, and the 3 course meal was delicious. All drinks and trips around the island or snorkelling as well as the hire of equipment are included in the price. When we visited we also had the use of one of the bungalows. The bungalows are really nice and feel luxurious yet still environmentally sensitive. There is a 'hatch' at the front of the bungalow which can be opened for maximum views and breezes.
But the absolute highlight was the guided snorkelling trip. I have snorkelled on the barrier reef and in Fiji and I can honestly say that this snorkel location is as good as both of these. Unlike the snorkelling experiences on the north of Zanzibar island which can feel a bit like a tourist circus, this was really special. We were taken by boat to a reef with only two other people and a guide. During one afternoon snorkelling here we saw turtles, lobster and even a stingray. The coral is beautiful and pristine. Diving is not allowed here so snorkelling is the only way to see this place.
I am surprised more people don't venture out here. This was one of our highlights (on a 2 week trip) in Zanzibar.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Award-winning exclusive private island, fully managed nature reserve and marine park. Guided tours included through spectacular coral reef, forest and mangrove nature trails, historic lighthouse and visitors' centre. State-of-the-art zero-footprint eco-architecture (photovoltaic energy, rainwater harvesting, solar water heating, composting toilets). Free environmental education programs for local schools. Winner of British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow award 1999, UNEP Global500 award 2000, National Geographic Geotourism Challenge award 2008, finalist Aga Khan award for architecture. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chumbe Island Coral Park Hotel Zanzibar
- Chumbe Island Coral Park Zanzibar