Experience Zanzibar’s World-Class Natural Coral Heritage at Chumbe Island
“One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.”
(Edith Wharton, American Novelist)
Zanzibar is a captivating island where various cultures converge, offering a blend of traditions, stunning beaches, and a rich historical backdrop. This destination, surrounded by blue water and palm-fringed shores, provides an ideal setting for exploring Africa's wonders.
Karibu (welcome) to Tanzania!
Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP) stands as a respected private nature reserve, established in 1991 with the mission to preserve and responsibly manage Chumbe Island, a tranquil island located just off the coast of Zanzibar. Here, you can immerse yourself in a fully protected Coral Reef Sanctuary and Forest Reserve, housing rare wildlife.
Chumbe Island warmly welcomes you, prioritising sustainable travel and advocating responsible tourism. Are you prepared to discover everything it has in store for you?
The Remarkable Historic Journey of Chumbe Island
In the early 1990s, Tanzania faced significant marine degradation issues, including destructive fishing, overexploitation and habitat loss. To address these challenges, Sibylle Riedmiller, a former German aid worker, introduced the concept of impact investing to establish and sustainably manage a Marine Protected Area (MPA) on the uninhabited Chumbe Island. This island was recognised for its remarkable biodiversity. Her goal was to safeguard this biodiversity for current and future generations and promote environmental education in the region.
The MPA would be overseen by the local community of Zanzibar for the benefit of its people.
After conducting thorough community consultations, raising awareness, reaching out and negotiating with seven government ministries, the Chumbe Island Coral Reef Sanctuary and Forest Reserve were legally established in 1994. This landmark decision made Chumbe Island the first MPA in Tanzania.
Delve deeper into Chumbe Island's story and uncover its remarkable and inspiring journey. As you seek inspiration, discover the eco-bungalows that will serve as your peaceful sanctuary during your stay.
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Explore the Island’s Beautiful Eco-Bungalows
Accommodations on Chumbe Island are truly exceptional in many ways. As you lay eyes on the eco-bungalows for the first time, your mind paints a picture of what your stay here might be like. Filled with anticipation and excitement, you enter your peaceful retreat. You'll stay in one of the seven impressive eco-bungalows, seamlessly integrated into the natural surroundings and positioned between the beach and the forest.
Each bungalow offers you a comfortable sleeping area with a queen-size bed beneath a palm-thatched roof; a self-contained bathroom featuring a shower, wash basin and composting toilet; and a spacious living room furnished with handcrafted pieces and adorned with African art, vibrant fabrics and a cosy hammock-style bed.
Feel free to take your time to explore the eco-bungalows and see their unique features for yourself. Once you're relaxed, step outside your room and savour the flavours of Zanzibar while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.
Taste the Authentic Flavours of Zanzibar
At Chumbe Island, you’ll be served your meals on open-air terraces with views of the Indian Ocean in the afternoon, and beneath palm trees under the starry sky in the evening. The skilled chefs craft delectable dishes for you that blend Zanzibarian, Arabic, Indian and African flavours. These mouthwatering creations feature fresh, locally sourced seafood; meat; vegetables; and fruits; catering to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
CHICOP sources fresh fish exclusively from local fishermen and adheres to a seafood purchasing policy, ensuring responsible procurement of pelagic fish species that are not endangered or caught using unsustainable methods in shallow coral reefs. Check out their Sustainable Seafood Guide, which will inspire you to eat more responsibly, too.
As the sun sets here, you can look forward to experiencing the Coconut Crab Walk.
Encounter Giant Coconut Crabs in the Coral Rag Forest
After your dinner, you, as an overnight guest, get the unique opportunity to come face-to-face with giant coconut crabs in the coral rag forest. These impressive crabs can grow up to 45 centimetres in diameter and hold the title of being the largest land crabs on planet Earth. During the day, they typically take refuge in caves and crevices, but as the sun sets, they venture out in search of their next meal.
While coconuts are their preferred delicacy, they are resourceful scavengers, feasting on almost anything they come across. It's a chance to witness these fascinating creatures up close in their natural habitat.
If the coconut crab encounter isn't your cup of tea, you can opt for an intertidal walk or a forest walk in the morning instead. Find out about other activities you can try during your stay.
Chumbe Island exemplifies top-tier eco-tourism and deserves a spot on your bucket list of mindful luxury travel.
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