Wish You Were Here: Chumbe Island, Tanzania

by Owen James Burke

25 miles off East Africa, the coral park reserve surrounding Chumbe Island Coral Park houses some 400 species of fish native to the Zanzibar Island chain. Up until recently the island was uninhabited, but since becoming a wildlife refuge in the 1990’s, it now holds 7 seaside “eco-bungalows”, providing perfect accommodations for the more elusive traveler.

Just off the beach in water no deeper than 10 feet, the reef is full of triggerfish, parrotfish, batfish, hawksbill turtles, grouper, spotted rays, and the occasional passing humpback whale just beyond the reef’s drop-off. Sorry fellow fishermen, one of the reasons this island provides such a mesmerizing supply of underwater life is that since 1992, angling near the island has been prohibited.

History buffs can make their way up the 131 steps to the Chumbe Lighthouse, which was constructed in 1904 by the Sultan of Zanzibar and the British. In 1926 a gas light was installed atop the lighthouse, which still burns today.

For what it is, this all-inclusive retreat is unbelievably affordable at $250 a night.

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*via privateislandsmag, googlemaps and chumbeisland*

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