Star Rating:


Chumbe Island Coral Park  Hot
Hotels 5 Green Stars
Eco Stars: 5 star
Stars: unrated
Location: Africa
Country: Tanzania

Chumbe Island Coral Park

Chumbe Island Coral Park in Zanzibar is a nature conservation project and the first privately managed Marine Park in East Africa. Chumbe is a self-sustaining initiative which is run by a not-for-profit limited company (CHICOP), where income from visitors is re-invested into conservation and education programmes.

It is a unique and memorable travel destination with spectacular hospitality. Here you can snorkel with trained rangers over the best-preserved shallow reef on the East African coast (with over 200 coral species and 400 fish species). Walk the trails through the virgin Forest reserve, where the elusive Ader's duikers hide, and observe the awesome nocturnal Coconut crabs, the largest land crabs in earth. Explore the open mangrove cave with its huge ancient baobab trees, and climb the historical lighthouse built in 1904, the only one in the region where the gas system installed in 1926 still works!

There are 7 award-winning eco-bungalows, built using pioneering eco-architecture combined with local materials. Each bungalow has a private living room and en-suite bathroom, solar-powered lights, solar heated water, unique rainwater catchment systems, composting toilets and grey water filtration systems.

Chumbe Island has won numerous renowned international awards for nature conservation and socially responsible tourism, among them, the UNEP Global500 Award, British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Award, the National Geographic Geotourism Award, and many more.

Green Star Rating Results:
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Overall Rating: ★★★★★ (5)

Energy Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - The eco-lodge on Chumbe Island has been built with an open design that is oriented towards the predominant wind directions, to avoid need for any air conditioning, and uses 100% solar power – for lights, water heating, phone & camera chargers, freezers etc. The company policy states that only sustainable energy should be used and the island has a specially designated and trained maintenance team working with the extensive solar energy system.

All visitors on the island are informed about the source of energy and asked to use it wisely. Instead of lighting of pathways in the night, we even use solar torches with batteries that are recharged in the sun This is to avoid disturbance of feeding and breeding of nocturnal animals.

Water Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - Chumbe Island is a nature reserve and the island has no fresh water resources. Therefore, the lodge is built using advanced rainwater catchment systems on all roofs (hotel, Visitor's Centre and staff accommodation) with large water storage tanks under all buildings. The water consumption is kept low by providing all visitors with information and also by using smart shower heads etc. The used shower water (grey water) directly irrigates plant beds that have a high demand for water and nutrients (vegetative filtration).

The more nutrient-rich kitchen waste water is filtered through sand and gravel filters before entering a specially designed artificial wetland. All cleaning is done with bio-degradable soaps and detergents only. Chumbe also uses dry composting toilets to avoid the use of water for toilet flushing and the production of any sewage (black water). The drinking water provided for both staff and guests if specially filtered tap water served in recycled glass bottles. All this is explained in information folders for guests in the eco-bungalows.

Disposal Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - The Chumbe Island Management Plan clearly states that all waste should be reduced and the waste that we can not avoid producing is always disposed of in the proper way through the municipality of Zanzibar.

We avoid buying tinned or pre-packaged food, in favour of fresh organic food in reusable baskets (not plastic bags). All organic waste is composted (both in the Chumbe office in Zanzibar and on the island). The compost is reused in the composting toilets. Both staff and guests are informed about the waste management policy.

Eco-Active Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - The company purpose according to the registration document and mission statement is “To manage, for conservation and educational purposes, the Chumbe Island Reef Sanctuary and the Forest Reserve. This is also supported by eco-tourism activities which are directly related to the non-consumptive use of the natural resources.”

Chumbe has an extensive environmental education programme which over the years has taken more than 3500 school children and 600 teachers from Zanzibar to the island to learn more about marine ecology, waste management, ecotourism, how to snorkel etc. All guests receive environmental education through guided snorkelling, forest walks, intertidal walks and much information material displayed in the Visitors' Centre on the island.

Protection Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Staff Comment - The company, Chumbe Island Coral Park, has created and manages the marine park and the forest reserve on behalf of the government without receiving any financial compensation for doing so. Instead, all operations are fully taxed. All guests and staff are educated about the importance of conservation, and all marketing emphasizes Chumbe as a "nature reserve with an eco-lodge". Invasive species, such as rats and the Indian house-crow have been eliminated, or are continuously controlled. The company also operates a comprehensive environmental education programme for local schools and international students as well. Researchers are invited for research that supports conservation management.

Furthermore, the company has a policy, which encourages employment of people from the local communities (of 43 staff, 41 are Tanzanian), even though this requires many years of on-the-job training. Chumbe employs 200% more staff than the average staff-room ratio of 129 eco-lodges worldwide. We also only use local food suppliers and source out our guest transfers (taxi and boat) to local suppliers. In the boutique on the island we sell locally produced fair trade and quality goods. We discourage guests to buy shells and corals on local markets.

For all this, Chumbe Island has won numerous renowned international awards for nature conservation and socially responsible tourism, among them, the UNEP Global500 Award, British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Award, the National Geographic Geotourism Award, and many more. We have learned that participation in Certification schemes is too expensive for small companies like ours, and has only limited marketing value, when compared to international awards.

Contact Details

Chumbe Island Coral Park
P.O. Box 3203,
+255-24-2231040 or
Click Here


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