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Chumbe IslandChumbe Island is a coral rag off the main Zanzibar Island (Ugunja). To get to it, you take a boat from the jetty at the Mbweni Ruins hotel, about ten minutes' drive out of Stone Town. The surrounding coral reef is said to be one of the best in the world, and it was Tanzania's first Marine National Park. The island itself is a Forest Reserve. You can either go on a day trip or stay in the 'barefoot luxury' cottages, which seem very simple but which are very comfortable. On the island, you can go round the nature trails, with a guide or on your own, and you can go snorkelling above the reef - a total delight - they will provide you with all equipment, and even a beginner can learn in a surprisingly short time. If you are staying and want to snorkel more than once, you will have to ask - they seem just to take you out when you arrive otherwise, and 'heavy hints' have no effect!
|The Education Centre was built around the old lighthouse-keeper's cottage. On the left of the picture is the very old mosque, of an Indian style unique in Tanzania, which is still used daily by the Muslims on the island's staff.|
|The lighthouse built in 1904, which you can climb up to get a view of the island or the sunset.|
|View of the guest cottages from the lighthouse|
|A view of the island mosque. It is a very simple building, which non-Muslims may not enter. (I stuck my head round the door before I knew that!)|
|A guest cottage.
You sleep upstairs and shower etc downstairs,
where there is also a large sitting area.
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|Images & text © Liz Leyden 2006.
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