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“Fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chumbe Island Coral Park

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Chumbe Island Coral Park
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3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Chumbe Island, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 142 Hotels in Zanzibar
Berkeley, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

You are in the middle of a small jungle grown on a coral island. The bungalows are fantastic. Coral garden is impressive with 400 species of corals. Relax watching the up and down tides. Excellent food.

Room Tip: It is an oasis of peace
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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409 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (98)
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English first
Gothenburg, Sweden
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

Best part of our trip! The most beautiful place with the best service, amazing bungaloows, snoorkeling and restaurant. The straff were genuinly interested and committed. Service was excellent in an very comfortable way.
A paradise on earth.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

Chumbe Island sets the standard for ecological, community-based tourism. And it is really a paradise. Stay a few days to have ample time to relax as there is so much to see and do on Chumbe it is hard to fit it all into a weekend.

Climb all the steps to the top of the lighthouse; do a guided snorkel to find Nemo; walk around after dinner to find the world's largest crab (the Coconut Crab); have your wonderful meals; take in some sun; do a little swimming; lay around in your Swiss Family Robinson, solar-powered bungalow, and eat your fill at mealtimes.

Add this to your itinerary. You won't regret it.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alameda, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2014

What a wonderful way to end our safari vacation in Tanzania with a stay at Chumbe. Snorkeling was great as were the tide pool and night walks. Also staff Vera, Jay 5 and Matata were amazing. i would definitely go back. The food was excellent.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

This island was fantastic! If you're a fan of Eco Travel you will love this place. Just a tip, bring mosquito repellant! Luckily the beds have mosquito nets which kept them away during the night, but there are lots of mosquitoes on the island. The island is also home to Coconut Crabs which are endangered, it was exciting to get to see them up close! The grounds staff were extremely helpful and try to do everything they can to suit your needs. Very knowledgeable groundsmen that take you on tours of the island by foot and explain all of the species of plant and animal life that live on the island, along with a bit of history of the island itself. They offer snorkeling tours out on the local reefs which are protected from local fisheries on the western side of the island. Dinner every night was served by candlelight out on the sand! The food was delicious and the atmosphere they create is fantastic! Bring a flashlight and go roaming the beaches and paths at night to see dozens of species of crabs, just watch your step not to injure any of them!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014

This April we made our third trip to this gorgeous island, and definitely not our last!

The food on Chumbe is fantastic and consistently has been on all three of our visits. I have gluten sensitivity and the kitchen staffs are always more than happy to cater to my needs. We were served with delicious Zanzibari influenced cuisine, which is inspired by Arabic, Indian and African dishes.

The chefs and hospitality staff are so friendly and helpful and it is evident that they are passionate about the project. I don’t understand why one could claim to go hungry at Chumbe while we have found on all three of our visits the staff are more than happy to listen and cater to any individual need at all the time. When it comes to guest’s service nothing is too much trouble for them and we were made to feel at home all the time. The private candle light dinner served at the beach was so romantic and unforgettable.

The Chumbe reef sanctuary is spectacular and we enjoy the snorkeling immensely. I have snorkeled in various places in the world but have never seen such healthy and diverse corals on Chumbe. The rangers are all very knowledgeable and very helpful.

We are looking forward to our fourth visit next year!

Room Tip: We opted bungalow number 2 as last year and we loved it
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marsaxlokk, Malta
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014 via mobile

Chumbe island is indeed beautiful. However, for the money paid, I expected much more from the accommodation. I agree with those reviewers that said that eco should not mean shoddy. The bungalows are feeling a bit tired now, and the smell from the compost toilets was VERY unpleasant and almost unbearable at times. It was Ramadan when we visited, and some of the staff were actually replacement personnel, so maybe some of the problems we encountered were because of this. Still, it's no excuse: we still paid top dollar for our stay! There was never enough food during the lunch time buffet, and once the soft-boiled eggs served at breakfast were undercooked (almost raw). The food in general was bad; very annoying considering there is nowhere else you can eat or buy food from. We ended up eating some crackers and biscuits we had brought with us. The view from the breakfast and lunch area is spectacular... Such a shame that it all feels like a missed opportunity.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kevinZanzibar, General Manager at Chumbe Island Coral Park, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Dear Marsaxlokk,

Thank you for your review. Guest feedback helps us to continually improve and strive for excellence.

As this review was posted over 10 months after your stay, I cannot help but wonder what prompted it? We have gone through our guest feedback forms from last August and do not see any comments that correspond with your review. We have held a meeting with the Island Manager and Hospitality team and unfortunately we do not recollect any feedback that correlates with the review about your stay with us last year.

I am surprised about your feedback regarding the food. Our chefs are extremely flexible to cater to dietary preferences or restrictions and if you look at the overwhelming majority of other reviews, the food served on Chumbe receives excellent feedback. We do not serve pizza, hamburgers etc. but rather take inspiration from fresh seafood, locally grown produce and the spices that Zanzibar is famous for. The menu for the day is shown to guests in advance and our chefs are more than happy to make changes according to guest preferences. We cater to vegetarians, vegans and guests with gluten intolerance, food allergies or any individual needs.

We do regularly host researchers and students(both local and international) who are very happy to talk with guests about the work they are doing on the island. You noted that you stayed with us during Ramadan. There are no changes with staff during Ramadan but we do host Ramadan Rangers for the month. As our guiding rangers are Zanzibari and Muslim, they are fasting during Ramadan - which means amongst other things no food or water during the day. As they could ingest water during snorkeling and physical activity is obviously more difficult when fasting, out of respect and understanding, we host Ramadan Rangers every year to guide our guests snorkeling. Our guiding rangers are still active with all of the other activities and all of them are more than happy to talk at length about he diversity on the island among other things. They are a very knowledgeable and energetic group of people and I am sorry you did not have the opportunity to interact with them.

I noted that there are no comments regarding snorkeling or any other activities on the island. Chumbe is not a hotel in a typical sense. Our rates do not reflect the accommodation alone. Chumbe Island Coral Park is the first private marine protected area in the world and we aim at as close to zero impact as possible in protecting and managing this sanctuary. We are a not for profit organization that funds not only the conservation and management of the marine and forest reserve but also educational visits for Zanzibari and international students of all ages.

We do not receive donor funding for this and the protection of this diverse and important sanctuary is made possible from eco tourism - to ensure impact is minimized we have only 7 bungalows and a maximum of 16 guests on the island at any time (including day trippers).

A stay at Chumbe is not simply about the room and the amenities - although most of our guests love the open concept and innovative design of the eco bungalows and we try to make it as comfortable as possible. When you come to Chumbe, you are visiting a marine reserve, a protected area. Much the same as when you visit a lodge or campsite at a National Park or private reserve on land - the fee structure also includes park fees. Low volume, low impact eco tourism is what allows the reef sanctuary and forest reserve on Chumbe to be protected.

We are not alone in thinking Chumbe is spectacular both above and below water. We host 90% of the coral diversity in East Africa and provide protection to endangered species such as the coconut crab-the largest terrestrial crab on Earth - and the critically endangered Aders Duiker not to mention a host of marine species. It is a shame there is no mention in your review about the the natural wonders above and below water on this small, beautiful island.

If you are looking for a true eco experience on a beautiful, protected island with spectacular coral and marine diversity, extremely dedicated and friendly staff, fresh food made with love and an innovative and comfortable (not luxury but charming) open concept eco bungalow, you will likely love Chumbe Island and not quickly forget it. You may even become one of our many returning guests that make up our extended family.

Wishing you happiness in your future travels,

Kevin MacDonald,

Project Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chumbe Island Coral Park

Address: Chumbe Island, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Zanzibar
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Chumbe Island Coral Park 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award-winning exclusive private island, fully managed nature reserve and marine park. Guided tours included through spectacular coral reef, forest and mangrove nature trails, historic lighthouse and visitors' centre. State-of-the-art zero-footprint eco-architecture (photovoltaic energy, rainwater harvesting, solar water heating, composting toilets). Free environmental education programs for local schools. Winner of British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow award 1999, UNEP Global500 award 2000, National Geographic Geotourism Challenge award 2008, finalist Aga Khan award for architecture. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chumbe Island Coral Park Hotel Zanzibar
Chumbe Island Coral Park Zanzibar

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