Zanzibar Hotels

Chumbe Island Coral Park

Chumbe Island is a 16 acre private island and ecological haven located 8 miles off the south-west coast of Zanzibar. The island is home to the Coral Park Resort; exclusive and secluded accommodation in the heart of a stunning natural wilderness and conservation area. The landscape is covered in natural forest, and though the beach is small the size of the resort means over-crowding is never an issue. The coast boasts beautifully preserved coral reefs.

Accommodation on Chumbe Island

Accommodation is in eco-bungalows, and with only seven on the island, Chumbe Island Coral Park is an ideal choice for those wishing to completely escape (though there are some day-trips organised to the island and occasionally educational trips for school children). The luxury offered by Chumbe Island Coral Park is not for those expecting the pampered high-life of the stereotypical beach resort. The accommodation is partially exposed to the elements and bungalows nearer to the sea can get slippery as the mist creeps in. It is simple but clean. The real lure of this resort is the unique opportunity to break away from western expectations and ‘touristy’ holiday packages—no phones, no TV’s, no loud music. Chumbe Island is not a recommended choice for young singles and families with young children or teenagers.

The Bungalows are all located near to the coast and comprise of a double or twin room under a palm thatched canopy, private bathrooms with showers and a living room area. The décor is traditional African. The Chumbe Island Coral Park experience is all-inclusive (excluding alcoholic drinks) with all food, soft drinks, excursions, boat transfers and snorkelling paid for in the package.

One of the major attractions of Chumbe Island Coral Park to the conscientious Zanzibar tourist is its eco-friendly infrastructure. Each bungalow collects it’ own rain water supply which is hand pumped by members of the Chumbe team through solar powered heating systems. Drinking water is filtered through a highly developed system. The lighting system is entirely solar, and the bungalows are designed to self-air-condition. One slight discomfort are the composting toilets. Though the experience is billed as “just the same as using a regular toilet” this is not quite the case. But the ethical argument for this sewage system (or lack thereof) is undeniably strong. Overall the toilets are also effective - there are no hygiene risks and the composting method works to prevent unpleasant smells etc.

Chumbe organically and locally sources its goods and supplies (where possible). Animals’ natural feeding patterns are closely guarded.

Staff are friendly and informal. As they are very much part of the entire Chumbe project they are invested in the services offered by the resort. The food offered at Chumbe is a mix of traditional Swahili and European and is of excellent standard. Alcoholic drinks are very reasonably priced.

Activities on Chumbe Island

Though Chumbe is primarily a place to go to relax there are a number of activities on offer at the resort which former guests highly recommend. These include:

How to get to Chumbe

There is only one boat to and from Chumbe a day from the Zanzibar mainland. This means guests usually have to leave early on their last day at the resort. It is advisable to wear shorts and flip-flops when arriving as you may have to wade up to the island from the boat drop off point.

The boat departs from the beach of the Mbweni Ruins Hotel (10 minutes drive south of Stone Town). Later boats to depart to the island can be arranged for and extra charge, as can transfers from the airport or Stone Town.

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