Nature Walks

Forest Walk

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.

Explore:

  • the footpath leading down into a large intertidal pool overgrown with mangroves and shaded by huge baobab trees, where the seawater rises and falls with the tides and where you may observe many creatures adapted to these conditions
  • skeletal structures of corals and giant clams - a gentle reminder that Chumbe Island was once a thriving coral reef that became fossilized. Try to identify these 15,000 year old fossils in the rocky, lunar landscape on the eastern side of the island where salt sprays from the sea prevent vegetation from settling
  • birds hiding in the thicket, hermit crabs crawling over leaves and lizards resting on the ground

Coconut crab walk

After dinner, our overnight guests have the chance to encounter giant Coconut crabs in the coral rag forest. Coconut crabs can reach up to 45 cm in diameter and are the larget living land crabs in the world! During daytime they hide in caves and crevices but after sunset they roam around to look out for food. Although coconuts are their prefered diet, they are scanvengers and eat almost everything they can find.

Intertidal walk

'Intertidal' refers to a shore area that is covered by seawater at high tide and exposed during low tide. On Chumbe Island, intertidal walks are only possible during spring low tides (at new and full moon), when the tide is low enough for our guests to explore rocky pools and seagrass meadows without having to snorkel or even swim. Guided intertidal walks are led by our experienced rangers who are familiar with the shore, ensure safety and will show you fascinating marine organisms which are usually well camouflaged or hidden.

When the tide is very low it is also possible to walk all the way around the island which takes a bit over one hour. Upon reaching the north point of the island, you can then bask on the exposed sandbar providing over a kilometer of pristine beach, while at the south point you can walk to the small islets where you may be fortunate enough to see fish eagles battling for territory.