Since the park was gazetted, having been recognised for its immense beauty and bio-diversity, there has been almost no fishing or un-authorised anchoring in the Chumbe Reef Sanctuary. The reef remains in a pristine state (which nowadays is sadly rare in the world).

The reef crest, encompassing a spectacular array of hard corals, is shallow (between 1-3m according to tides). Therefore snorkelers can see all those wonders of the underwater world normally only accessible to divers. If you swim up to the reef ridge the view opens up a world of breathtaking sights. Shoals of barracuda taking advantage of the abundant prey living on the reef glide by and if you are lucky you may get a chance to see the playful dolphins cruising in and out of the abyss. Each snorkeling excursion provides new discoveries for guests and with each visit you are unlikely to be disappointed!

With negligiblefishing intrusion for so many years, the marine wildlife has become very unconcerned about those few humans moving around. The diversity of fishes is unbelievable and their tameness very natural. To watch out for:

  • batfishes who have developed the habit of following snorkelers at close range all along the reef (out of curiosity?).
  • our resident hawksbill turtles regularly spotted feeding on the reef. If you imitate the slow flapping movements of her front flippers with your arms while keeping your legs still, she may allow you to accompany her for a long time without showing signs of disturbance.
  • lobsters peeping out from under corals, trying to investigate your presence with their long white feelers.
  • large bluespotted stingrays, apparently believing they are invisible when hiding under a thin layer of sand.
  • Oscar, the 1m potato grouper living in one of the caves, about 5m deep. He is too old to trust humans, so be patient if you'd like to spot him.
  • large, colourful parrotfish wandering about the reef and nibbling on the algae covering the corals with a very audible scratching sound.
  • many more fishes, nearly than 400 species in total; groupers, angel fish, butterfly fish, trigger fish, box fish, sweetlips, unicorn fish, trumpet fish, lion fish, moorish idols ... to name but a few.

All of these sites can be seen by snorkelling 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).

How to contact us:

Bookings and enquiries:
+255 (0) 242 231 040


+255 (0) 777 413 232

+255 (0) 777 413 582

+255 (0) 063 413 582

Reservations Email: 

General Inquiries:


Fax for tour operators:
+44 (0) 870 134 1284

Or click here to e-mail us directly 


Sunday 07.02.2010 - 00:00

The Long Run

Chumbeisland is a Long Run Destination. This means that we strive for the highest standards in sustainability through th... read more

Thursday 01.04.2004 - 00:00

Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2001 and 2004

Finalist of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2001 & 2004 read more

Saturday 05.06.2004 - 00:00

Best Institution in the Protection and Conservation of Marine Natural Environment

Recognised as the best institution in the protection and conservation of marine natural environment, 2004, Zanzibar read more

Monday 01.01.2001 - 00:00

Green Hotelier & Restaurateur Environmental Award 2001

Winner of the Green Hotelier & Restaurateur Environmental Award 2001

Thursday 18.08.2005 - 00:00

Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Sustainable Tourism Awards

Uninhabited Chumbe Island, off the coast of Tanzania, has been named one of three finalists within the Conservation c... read more

Sunday 13.03.2005 - 00:00

TODO Award 2004 for Socially Responsible Tourism

Winner of the TODO Award 2004 for Socially Responsible Tourism! 10 Years TO DO! - Contest for Socially Responsible Tou... read more

Saturday 01.01.2000 - 00:00

Award for Environmental Achievement

Winner of the 2000 UNEP Global 500 Award for Environmental Achievement

Tuesday 02.06.2009 - 00:00

Marine Conservation Agreements.

The Practitioner's Toolkit for Marine Conservation Agreements represents a consolidation and synthesis of information an... read more

Monday 01.06.2009 - 00:00

Visit Zanzibar initiative

Chumbe proudly supports the Visit Zanzibar initiative of the Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors: read more

Tuesday 15.05.2012 - 09:38

Newsletter 2012

Friday 01.07.2005 - 00:00

Best Website 2005 for Sustainable Tourism Products

Winner of the Best Website 2005 for Sustainable Tourism Products! At the Tourism Forum International ... read more

Friday 01.01.1999 - 00:00

British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow 1999

Winner of the 1999 British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow - Southern Regional and Global Awards

Saturday 01.01.2000 - 00:00

EXPO 2000

Selected as Worldwide Project for the EXPO 2000 World Exhibition in Hannover

Friday 12.11.2004 - 00:00

Responsible Tourism Award 2004

Chumbe has won an award again, the Responsible Tourism Award 2004 in the ... read more

Friday 01.10.2010 - 00:00

BBC Worldchallenge

Chumbe Island finalist!

Wednesday 26.05.2004 - 00:00

World Legacy Award 2004

Finalist of the World Legacy Award 2004 in the category Nature Travel – for positive contributions to the conservation o... read more