Reviews of Chumbe Island Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Eco-haven on Chumbe Island
This was the first time that I had stayed at an eco resort and I found the design and functionality of the bungalows fascinating. The work being undertaken to protect the Chumbe Island Coral Park and to educate the local people about the importance of protecting the reef is fantastic - I wish I could have sat in on some of the environmental education sessions with the local schoolchildren.
The service and food on the island were excellent. The staff made you feel like you were part of one big family and would come and find you if you didn't turn up for a meal! The rangers who took us on the daily forest walk were hugely knowledgeable and they were experts on locating the biggest coconut crabs after dark for our tourist photo opportunities! Unfortunately we were unable to go on the inter-tidal walk for the whole time that I was on the island, due to the fact that it was neap tide. This meant that the daily programme of activities was very limited.
The only slightly negative comments I would make about Chumbe would be that, as a complete snorkelling novice, the pre-snorkelling tuition could have been much better - it was non-existent! Also, the island was a little bit too quiet for me. In hindsight, I think that 2 nights would have been long enough as the daily programme becomes rather tedious after 2 days. Perhaps I would have appreciated the tranquility more if I had visited Chumbe at the start of my holiday.....
Chumbe Island Lodge review
Paradise. This was the highlight to our trip.
The location, the lodges, the sealife, the staff and the food were all exceptional. I would recommend a stay here for anyone visting Zanzibar.
Chumbe Island Lodge review
After the eco-shock (why didn't we pick a 5* sybaritic beachside boutique) the whole point came across and one felt part of something a bit more than the usuual offer.
Lucky with the spring tides to enjoy two inter-tidal walks. Worth three days, fewer would lose the effect of relaxing in a different way.
Chumbe Island Lodge review
Very, very friendly staff and the food was just terrific.
We stayed two nights and that was just perfect when it comes to the activities. But It would have been perfect with another extra day to just relax on the quiet and beautiful beach, where you are almost alone.
Chumbe Island review
Just as we remembered it. Friendly staff. Totally relaxing. Can't wait to returnRead more about the whole beach holiday
Back to Mother Earth at Chumbe
Our overall experience on Chumbe Island was good with friendly staff and a homely feel. A very relaxing time. The accommodation was as expected with housekeeping doing an excellent job. We did, however, feel that the stairs would be a lot safer with a handrail, especially since one side is open to the ground level. Each accommodation has a lockable chest which was much appreciated as the huts of course are open.
The food on the whole was good. However, as there is no choice, we did have difficulty one lunchtime in particular. Neither of us can eat octopus or calamari. The salad course was seafood - octopus, calamari & tuna. The main course was octopus curry. The chef, however was able to provide us with chicken.
As one of us does not snorkel, we felt that 3 nights was a little long as there is little else to do. The tides were high during our time there otherwise our experience may have been different. When the tides are low you can make intertidal forays and I believe also walk around the island. We would have welcomed this. The beach area at Chumbe is well set out with areas where you can feel very private and cushioned shelters which are very welcome as a respite from the heat of the sun where you can snooze, read or perhaps just daydream.
For us, insect bites were a problem despite protection. We think, however, that most of the bites resulted from the forest walk which took part just before sundown and therfore before we had put on any protection. Perhaps it would be advisable if the guide could warn guests before the walk.
Chumbe also has an excellent library especially of reference books - sealife, birds etc which we browsed several times.
Chumbe Island review
My personal favourite place of the whole trip. Felt like Robinson Cruso in the huts, and the way the wall dropped down was so cool - we were lucky to be there at full moon too, walking back with our solar torces at night: with full bellies and mellowed with some wine & conservation - stopping to say hello to our hut number 4 crab at the bottom step: bliss.
Swimming with sea turtles - watching the local kids come for thier school day out - sunset at hte special sunset hut: where the staff come with beers if you want. Without doubht my favourite piece of the whole trip. Could wax lyrical about the food all day - so much so we even bought the receipe book to try recreate at home! could happily live at Chumbe!!
One of us in not a strong swimmer, but the guide ensured we both felt comfortable, and the inflatable ring on each snokling trip gave a welcome feeling of security. Even the most nervous can avail of all the reef has to offer.
My Castaway Island Chumbe
Everything about this island was wonderful.
I am not the best person in water particularly big expanse like the sea, so for me to snorkel is amazing, Juma my guide and diver was brilliant. He was so kind, patient and so encouraging that i felt really safe in the water with him. the coral reef is so beautiful and the fish!!
The whole team of staff are friendly, helpful and willing to do anything you ask. The eco-lodges are very comfortable and well designed, even though some people would think they are very basic being made out of wood etc. Having the flap down in the bedroom (natural air conditioning) and watching the sun rise is a moment not to be missed. To lie in bed and watch all the birds flying about so close and the morning chorus!! All now very special memories.
The food was very simple, very tasty and a lot more variety than I thought would be possible, (the chocolate cake is delicious).
The hermit crabs are very amusing, just all over the place, the coconut crabs are well Big!! Starfish colorful the list goes on and on.
We have got a couple of suggestions that they might want to consider. At night the stars are breathtaking, as there is no light pollution (not like at home) and are of course closer to the equator, under the milky way. This is a very different aspect of the sky most people from Europe would see and I am sure like me, they would like to know which is the great bear etc or any other information about the stars above Chumbe.
The other suggestion, is it possible to make another forest walk as we enjoyed the forest walk we did (but a little short for us) with our guide and also we walked around the island when the tide was out (This was great fun). We had noticed there use to be an old path through to the other side of the island and thought it could make another alternative activity.
We wish the whole team at Chumbe well and congratulate them on what they have achieved over the last ten years it is a beautiful and enjoyable place to stay.
This is an eco-tourism project that really seems to work. Protection of the coral reef, research and education are part of every day on Chumbe, and at the same time they are providing a wonderful holiday destination. Being able to snorkel with a turtle is a magical experience! We loved every minute of it.
The staff at the lodge were very friendly and helpful, and made sure everyone was looked after.
As far as the "rooms" were concerned, we especially appreciated having a solar torch, reading lamp and fan - these things can make the difference between being comfortable or not! Things got a bit interesting when we had a day of heavy rain, and it was a little difficult to stop our clothes from getting damp, but that was not a serious problem.
We would love to go back there one day.
A fantastic unique experience
Chunbe islands was one of the highlights of our trip. It was a real experience which started with wading out from the beach to the boat. The staff were all friendly and knowledgable and couldn't do enough for you. It was a real bonus having the same guide the whole time we were there. We enjoyed all the activities but the snorkelling was fabulous. One of our family is a poor swimmer and every effort was made to enable him to participate in and enjoy this activity.
It was an idyllic place with a beatiful beach which we shared with only 8 pther people. We found it interesting and satisfying to stay in an eco-friendly resort and the huts were really comfortable and fun and interesting to stay in. The central banda was a fabulous place with all sorts of places to relax outside and in and at night it was magically all lit with candles. The food was superb and meal times were a real treat.
An extraordinary unique experience.