A private island off the west coast of Zanzibar
One of the most off-the-grid places to visit, ideal for seeing native wildlife in the forest and sea
Chumbe Island is around 30km off the coast of Tanzania, East Africa, and 6km west of Zanzibar Island. The island is home to the Chumbe Reef Sanctuary, the Chumbe Forest Reserve, an ancient mosque and historic lighthouse. Ecotourism began on the island in 1998 and Chumbe Island Coral Park has since become the first financially self-sustaining Marine Protected Area in the world. Their award-winning conservation and education efforts have been internationally recognised.
Far from ‘typical’ hotel accommodation, Chumbe Lodge provides seven beautiful palm thatch bungalows that blend seamlessly with the forest, overlooking the sea. Each bungalow is equipped to catch, filter and heat its own water supply, and contains a private bathroom, bedroom, solar lights, hammocks, and a front wall that you can open at night so that you can look out at the stars. Chumbe Lodge has all the charms of a true island haven: tall palm trees, stunning coral reefs and cuisine that is a mixture of Zanzibarian, Arabic, Indian and African.
Guests can be involved in the protection and exploration of the coral reef and forest. The guided snorkelling tour takes guests to the edge of the coral reef sanctuary where they can explore the breath-taking sights of over 440 fish species and 200 species of corals. On land, nature walks take guests through the forest to observe the fascinating animal and plant life and, when the tide is out, the beach comes alive with exposed coral reef. You may even bump into the endangered Coconut Crab – the largest living land crab in the world. This small island even provides historic attractions in the form of a lighthouse built in 1904 and an Indian-style mosque built at the turn of the century. The carefully restored former lighthouse keepers’ house has been transformed into a visitors’ centre that is a hub of information on island ecology, as well as containing the lodge's restaurant.
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