Accessible only by boat, the whole of this coral island is a nature reserve.
Until recently, Chumbe lay within a military zone, which protected it from the depredations of fisherman and tourists. As a result, the island is a pristine coral island eco-system with spectacular corals and over 350 species of fish, where marine turtles and dolphins are frequently encountered. Over 60 bird species have been recorded on the island, which is also home to the rare giant coconut crab.
The island has an old Swahili mosque, a British lighthouse built about a hundred years ago, and a visitor centre in what was the lighthouse-keepers’ cottage. Climb the stairs to the huge glass lantern and watch the sun set over Chumbe and Stone Town – a magical spot for a sundowner.
There is just one place to stay on this tiny island, Chumbe Island Lodge, an award-winning eco-lodge.