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“A Little Slice of Paradise in the Indian Ocean” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chumbe Island Coral Park

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Chumbe Island Coral Park
Ranked #5 of 166 Hotels in Zanzibar Island
Certificate of Excellence
Bedford Hills, NY
Level Contributor
67 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A Little Slice of Paradise in the Indian Ocean”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Our family (including our 10-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son) spent 3 night on Chumbe Island after a week of safari. What a wonderful experience! We loved everything about Chumbe: the incredibly friendly and kind staff, the unusual and comfortable accommodations, the crystal clear waters and amazing snorkeling, the delicious food, and the overall relaxed atmosphere.

The staff was attentive and accommodating and always made us feel at home. The guiding rangers were so knowledgeable, and we really enjoyed snorkeling twice a day, going on the forest walk, climbing the lighthouse at sunset, walking around the island at low tide, and searching for coconut crabs at night. They also taught us how to play bao! The kitchen staff went out of their way to make us happy and comfortable. Hans was especially fun and friendly. He taught us a different version of bao and led the New Year's dance celebrations. The food was fresh and delicious, with a wide variety of choices at every meal and many different spices and flavors.

Since there are so few guests on the island, every activity is always available and there is a constant feeling of calm and relaxation (unlike larger resorts where guests fight for the best beach chairs and activity slots). Our favorite spot was the big swinging bed on the beach where we spent many hours reading and relaxing in between dips in the crystal clear Indian Ocean waters.

The eco bungalows were so unusual and incredibly comfortable. They are open and airy but also private. We loved the unique design of each of our bungalows. The compost toilet took a little getting used to...

Best of all is the overall mission of Chumbe: the preservation of the reef, the employment of so many locals, and the education of local schoolchildren.

We cannot recommend Chumbe highly enough! It is true paradise.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Givati8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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537 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (129)
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English first
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We stayed at Chumbe just one night in early December, and we sure wish we could have stayed much longer. Key points:

--amazing snorkeling. Because the reef is a protected area, it has been spared the damage evident in other parts of Zanzibar. Its coral is very healthy and as diverse as the marine life below.
--the staff are remarkable. they are, of course, well trained in hospitality related duties in making guests feel comfortable, welcome, and of top priority. what impressed most about the staff is there extensive knowledge of conversation issues in Zanzibar and the eco-system of the very unique coral Island of Chumbe. For anyone who has taken a spice tour or an game drive in Africa with modestly knowledge staff, this place is like 1000 times better.
--the best seafood I've had in Zanzibar, Tanzania, East Africa,...maybe anywhere! which says something, because I've spent a good deal of time in the region over the years. The spread is diverse, drawing on the best fresh and local ingredients.
--the environment itself is wonderful. the beach is gorgeous and the water--a perfect temperature and crystal blue. but after doing a nature hike around the island, you will find there are dozens of wonderful places to relax with your family, your loved one, or by yourself and experience different parts of the island.

The most important element of this place is that they do the eco-tourism thing right: from natural, low-impact bath products, solar-supported electrical infrastructure, and much more. Importantly, when you support this place, you know that you are supporting a project that protects this beautiful environment, is investing into training and skills for their staff, continually providing top-notch services which have only improved over the years and ensures that it will be there for years and years to come.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Helpful?
3 Thank VuaiBatamzinga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

I was taken to Chumbe Island as a surprise by my family and what a trip. The welcome was excellent; the food rustic but good fair, helps if you love fish of course. Lovely sundowner cocktails and fresh coconut milk followed by dinner on the beach. All spectacular but we had to break away to see the coconut crabs in the forest in the dark. (Take a torch). The activities were well organised and the snorkeling was safe. Some of the better coral and fish I've seen for a long time. The accommodation was very rustic and very hot when the breeze dropped. We stayed for one night which is too short a time to fully appreciate the island. Well worth a relaxing visit and a good investment into the local environment.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
126 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

I must admit, we do research out our trips thoroughly and therefore tend to stay in good quality places that are highly rated. Chumbe Island is no exception - in fact, it is likely the best place we have ever stayed in our many travels. We thoroughly enjoyed the island and it was my wife's favourite part of our trip to Africa.

We were very lucky with our first night as we had the entire island to ourselves. It was surreal to have such a wonderful place with only the staff around - felt like royalty. The food was sublime - we enjoyed everything and overate at every meal. We also did every activity that was offered - only the snorkeling disappointed but this was due to the rain and wind that had rolled in earlier in the day, muddying up the water.

To top off our wonderful stay, the crew did a special event for our anniversary. They organized a boat trip and also set up a wonderful personal bbq. I can't express enough how special that was for us. The crew will feel like friends at the end and we hope one day to visit again.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Helpful?
1 Thank looseendsmakeknots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

We absolutely loved our one-night stay on Chumbe. The snorkeling was the biggest highlight, with an incredible amount of marine life to see. Everything else was fantastic too - the knowledgeable and friendly staff, the delicious food, and the whole eco-tourism experience. For complete relaxation and a once in a lifetime experience, choose Chumbe.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Helpful?
1 Thank AST163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Ulm, Minnesota
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

We stayed one night and also stayed for extra snorkeling the next day (they had an opening). We came from an all inclusive resort on the east side of Zanzibar to this Eco-lodge. Totally different experience but just as fun. We love snorkeling and did Mnemba atoll and Chumbe. Both were great, the coral at Chumbe is seriously impressive. And it's right off shore-about a two minute boat ride. The food was excellent, best octopus I've ever had. The staff is fun and obviously excited about what they are doing there. The night walk to see the crabs should NOT be missed. The bungalow experience was a once-of-a-kind for us. But it was really great. And not only are you paying for your stay but for reef preservation.

Room Tip: We were in Bungalow 2. excellent view. The boat to Chumbe leaves from the Mbweni ruins hotel. Our...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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Helpful?
1 Thank Peabody69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Almere, the netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

to be than Chumbe island.
Snorkling in combination with the island experience was the finest possible.
Great reef and corals, beautiful fish and turtles.
Extremely friendly personal and fantastic food, served on the beach.
Great to sleep in eco-bungalows from which you know that they don't negatively impact the environment.
Great time.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dancript
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chumbe Island Coral Park

Property: Chumbe Island Coral Park
Address: Chumbe Island, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Zanzibar Island
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Zanzibar Island
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 
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Also Known As:
Chumbe Island Coral Park Hotel Zanzibar
Chumbe Island Coral Park Zanzibar

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