The Chumbe Island Coral Park is a unique privately managed nature reserve developed and managed by the Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. It is a rare example of a still pristine coral island ecosystem.The reserve includes a reef sanctuary, which has become the first gazetted marine park in Tanzania, and a forest reserve.
The reefs around Chumbe were gazetted as a Marine National Park in 1994 and the island itself is a Forest Reserve. There is truly excellent snorkelling and a small eco-lodge, which also caters for day visitors, including school children. The island is home to the rare giant coconut crab, able to climb palm trees and eat young coconuts. Chumbe has a lighthouse, built in 1904.
Divers are always telling us they want to swim the un-swum where they are not surrounded by dozens of other people all fighting for the same ‘water’ space and where they can experience something different. This is why we decided to include the very unusual destination of Chumbe Island.
Although Chumbe is not a scuba dive destination its reefs have been acclaimed by a leading coral reef expert as “one of the most spectacular coral gardens to be found anywhere in the world”. In 2000 Chumbe Island Marine Park was awarded the Global 500 Roll of Honour by the United Nations Environment Programme for outstanding achievements in environmental conservation and protection.
The chance to snorkel in such a well preserved and pristine marine environment is a must for anyone who has a love of the ocean and all its exotic life. This marine park contains over 400 species of fish, lobster, turtle and dolphin and over 200 species of pristine coral in an area the size of only 24 football pitches.
Chumbe Island is the first private marine park in the world! Scuba diving is not allowed on the reefs directly adjacent to the island, but diving can be done on other reefs around Zanzibar, all within easy reach by boat.