What is special about Chumbe’s coral reef?
The Chumbe coral reef is a protected sanctuary which is famous for its coral diversity, holding 90% of the coral diversity found in East Africa. About 200 species of hard corals have been recognized by coral taxonomist Prof. Veron from the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, who states that Chumbe Island has “one of the most spectacular coral gardens to be found anywhere in the world”. These corals act like trees in a forest: they provide home, shelter and food for an impressive number of over 440 identified fish species.
With negligible fishing intrusion for so many years, our marine wildlife has become unconcerned about those few humans moving around and include for example:
· batfish that have developed the habit of following snorkelers at close range all along the reef
· lobsters peeping out from under corals, trying to investigate your presence with their long white feelers
· bluespotted stingrays, almost invisible when hiding under a thin layer of sand
· Oscar, a potato grouper more than 1m in size, living in one of the caves at the drop off
· large, colourful parrotfish nibbling on algae overgrown corals with a very audible scratching sound
· hawksbill turtles resting and feeding in the reef
Many more species are waiting to be discovered and most common fish along with other reef species are now displayed in Chumbe’s unique photo-guide which was developed by a family that has been returning to Chumbe Island for over 10 years. Countless hours snorkeling in the Chumbe Reef, subsequent identification with the Chumbe Conservation Team and tireless editing back home in Germany resulted in this impressive guide which has become the most popular guidebook among our guests. A digital copy of the photo guides is now also available on our download page.
All of these treasures can be seen by snorkeling through this pristine shallow coral refuge and although SCUBA diving within the Chumbe Reef Sanctuary is not permitted (except for research and filming activities), it is still possible to enjoy diving on the nearby reefs. Please check with our reservations department for details during your booking.