Chumbe Island Coral Park
PO Box 3203
“One of the most spectacular coral gardens to be found anywhere in the world.” J.E.N Veron
Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP) is an award-winning private nature reserve that was developed in 1991 for the conservation and sustainable management of uninhabited Chumbe Island off Zanzibar, one of the last pristine coral islands in the region.
Many of Chumbe clients find these bungalows exceptionally romantic (honeymooners love them), but any individual with a passion for natural beauty will find these bungalows captivating beyond measure. All bungalows overlook the sea and it takes just 30 seconds to stroll from the comforts of the bungalow hammock to feeling the warm tropical ocean lapping at your feet.
- Unwinding in a peaceful and relaxing location away from traffic, phones, faxes, loud music
- Only seven bungalows guarantee the island is never crowded and the guest are being attended individually
- Enjoy romantic dinners that are either overlooking the ocean or on a sandy beach area with special candles
- Experience paradise
“The Chumbe Project aims at building environmental awareness in Zanzibar.”
being local - authentic experiences
Rooms & Amentities
- 7 bungalows and pure Nature
- King sized orthopdedic beds or twin beds in the sleeping area under the palm thatched roof, self-contained bathrooms with hot & cold shower
- Large living rooms, equipped with handmade furniture and decorated with African art and colourful fabrics – and very comfortable hammocks
- Dining takes place under the impressive roof of the visitor’s centre, overlooking the sea between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania depending on the weather under the stars
- The dishes are a mixture of Zanzibarian, Arabic, Indian and African tastes and satisfy both vegetarians and non-vegetarians
The Story of Chumbe Island
After the discovery of Chumbe’s incredibly bio-diverse reef Eco-system and several years of campaigning, CHICOP finally succeeded in officially closing the fringing reef west of Chumbe Island in October 1992.
With Chumbe being located upstream of the most important fishing grounds opposite Zanzibar’s capital, Stone town, the Chumbe reef provides a protected breeding ground for fish, corals and other species which can then spread out to recolonize nearby overfished and degraded areas.
Chumbe Island Coral Park and its Green Initiatives
- ECO Operations
- Green initiatives
- Eco Bungalows
The aim of Chumbe Island is to create an exemplary prototype of financially and ecologically sustainable park management, where ecotourism supports conservation, research, and environmental education programs for local schools and other benefits for the local community.
- Organic soaps produced by a local women’s co-operative in Zanzibar are provided for guests.
- In the process of purchasing supplies, non-organic products are avoided (i.e., plastic bags) and any unavoidable non-organic waste produced by the island is removed and incinerated in a specialized incinerator constructed by the project on the main island Unguja.
- Drinking water is provided by advanced filters (made in Switzerland) located on the island. These effectively clean readily available tap water from Unguja, avoiding the need for mineral water in plastic bottles (which are still available for purchase, but are not readily encouraged, as plastic bottles are a problematic environmental hazard recently introduced into Zanzibar).
- The walkways, nature trails and beach areas are not artificially illuminated at night. This protects feeding and breeding patters of nocturnal animals, and also helps preserve and view one of the most stunning attractions of Chumbe Island: the rare giant Coconut Crabs (Birgus latro). Instead, individual solar powered torches are provided for all guests that recharge each day for use each night.
These are some of the features that make Chumbe Island the globally recognized leading example of true Eco-tourism to be found anywhere in the World.
- As there is no ground water source in the rocky substrate of the island, each bungalow collects its own freshwater supply from rainwater (captured from the specially designed expanse of roof) during the rainy season. This rainwater passes through a complex filtration system and is stored in spacious underground cisterns (under each living room). The water is then hand-pumped (by either Ali, Juma or Yussuf on the Chumbe Team) through a solar-powered heating system into hot & cold-water containers for the shower and hand basin in the bathroom.
- The used water from showers and basins is filtered through particulate filters, ending in specially sealed plant beds so that no polluted water will seep into the Reef Sanctuary. These beds are planted with species that are demanding in water and nutrients, and therefore easily absorb any remaining nitrates and phosphates. See the grey water report on Chumbe May 2009
- To deal with sewage we have also installed composting toilets. These Eco-toilets prevent sewage (from septic tanks) seeping through the porous ground into the Reef Sanctuary, (as this would lead to pollution of the fragile reef ecosystem, encourage algae growth and finally kill coral communities and organisms depending on them). Instead, human waste is quickly decomposed to natural fertilizer when mixed with compost (aerobic composting) in the compost chamber. To ensure the experience for the client is the same as with any regular toilet, specialized designs have been implemented with wind powered vent pipes and gradient storage so that it feels no different to using a regular toilet; except that composting toilets need no flush water at all, thus they also effectively economize on water.
- Lights are powered by photovoltaic panels on the roof that provide ample environmentally friendly 12 V energy for normal usage. The open design of the bungalows, with minimal barriers to the open air, allows for maximum through-draft for cooling of the bungalows; a form of natural air-conditioning. To enhance this louvres are in place that can be lowered or closed depending on the desired temperature.