Chumbe Island

If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you know how I feel about islands. Our friend Lori who we met in Lalibela a few years ago told me that if we were going to Zanzibar we absolutely had to see Chumbe island if possible. I looked it up and knew I had to go.

Our Z tour travel buddies are not quite at my level of island obsession, so we left Kim and Andre to explore more of Zanzibar’s main island of Unguja while Andreas and I set off for a two-night stay on Chumbe.

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Chumbe is essentially uninhabited.

Except by crabs. Here’s our greeter.

In the past, there was a lighthouse keeper’s family, and there have been a few fisherman off and on.

The lighthouse keeper’s mosque

Now Chumbe Island Coral Park is a privately managed nature reserve with seven eco-lodge bungalows and an indoor/outdoor common structure for visitors.

A stay on Chumbe includes nature walks and snorkeling excursions.

We could borrow snorkels and fins at any time, but guides were available to motor us to the reef once in the morning and again in the afternoon. I don’t own a Go-Pro (yet) so I am sorry I have no photos to share with you of the gorgeous fish, eels, crabs, turtles, clams, urchins, coral, anemones, and other exotic creatures. But I do have LOTS of pictures of hermit crabs.

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We took an evening walk to see the nocturnal coconut crabs, the largest species of land crabs in the world.

You can’t really tell how huge this baby is from the picture. Google it if you want to be amazed.

There were only about 12 people staying at the lodge, but the cooks fixed us some elaborate tropical meals.

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Our bungalow was like something the Professor would have designed for Gilligan’s Island.

Bungalow plan, from the Chumbe Island website


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Here are some more pictures from Chumbe Island.

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And the trip back to Unguja.

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About lornaofarabia

I am a teacher from Medford, Oregon. I currently live and work in Bangkok, Thailand.
This entry was posted in Around Africa, Flora and fauna, Islands and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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