Karibu, Chumbe Island! We welcome you to take a virtual tour of all there is to explore on and around Chumbe Island, the world’s first privately managed Marine Protected Area.

Island impressions

A sampling of views around Chumbe Island. Karibu!


Tour the insides of our 7 eco-bungalows constructed with state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly architecture that have near zero impact on the environment. The award-winning technology includes rainwater catchment, photovoltaic energy, solar water heating, composting toilets and vegetative greywater filtration. During your stay you can rest assured that you are keeping the island pristine.


With a maximum number of guests allowed on the island at any time, the beach is blissfully empty (except for some resident harmless crabs). Select a beach lounger, swinging beach bed, or go straight for the sand as you enjoy the views of the Indian Ocean.


Chumbe Island is home to several crab species, including the nocturnal Coconut Crabs, the largest land crab in the world. They're one great reason to stay overnight! If you're only coming for the day, you'll meet several other crabs on the beach and along the forest trails.


All buildings on the island include rainwater catchment, vegetative grey water filtration, composting toilets, solar water heating and photovoltaic power generation.

Education program

Our Environmental Education (EE) program is a vital component of our mission and provides free of charge environmental education for school children, teachers, fishers, community groups and government officials through sponsored field excursions to the island, prepared through in-service teacher training workshops and the development of teaching aids. The revenue from our visitors makes our EE program possible – thank you! Here you can meet some students who benefited from your visit to Chumbe Island.

Forest reserve

A trail circles the southern part of the dense coral rag forest on Chumbe Island. Venture this trail on your own or join our one hour guided forest walk where you learn more about the geology of the island, plant adaptations to survive without groundwater, medicinal uses of local trees and shrubs and hidden fauna that is difficult to spot. Photos in this gallery are from various guests who have spotted many varieties of birds, butterflies, insects, crabs and more.

Jane Goodall visits Chumbe Island

Chumbe Island was fortunate to have hosted Dr. Jane Goodall to the island for a 2 day stay.


A historic lighthouse, built by the Sultan of Zanzibar and the British in 1904, provides spectacular views of the turquoise seas between Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, still plied by dhows unchanged for a thousand years. There are 132 steps to the top, and since 1926 it has been powered by an AGA gas mechanism which was replaced by a solar system in 2013. The lighthouse falls under the jurisdiction of the Zanzibar Ports Corporation (ZPC) which ensures that it continues to function as an important and essential signal of shallow water to maritime users.

Reef sanctuary

Due to its protection the reef has remained in a pristine state and represents one of the most beautiful and diverse shallow reefs in the region.

Visitor centre

The former lighthouse keepers’ house has been carefully restored and converted into our Visitors’ centre that harbours the restaurant and exhibits environmental information about the Chumbe nature reserve for all our visitors. A special classroom for our environmental education program was added in 2001. We also have a small gift shop that features locally made Zanzibar products that support women's collectives and small businesses in our region.