Chumbe Island Snorkeling Guide

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Chumbe Island is one of the most stunning islands of the Zanzibar archipelago. Located 6 km west of Zanzibar, and 30 km from the Tanzanian coast, this breathtaking island should be on every travel lover’s wish list. Tourists can relax in exclusive eco bungalows, snorkel among the colorful coral reefs, enjoy the scenic view of the crystalline water and lush greenery, and visit the historical monuments in the region, which include an ancient mosque and a lighthouse. For adventure seekers and fun lovers, snorkeling is one of the best experiences that a traveler can have in Chumbe Island. Here is a snorkeling guide for those who wish to partake in this exciting activity during their vacation at Chumbe!

Why go to Chumbe?

Chumbe island is an excellent snorkeling location, and is one of the best spots in East Africa. The coral reef is a protected sanctuary which is known for its unique biodiversity, as it has 90% of the types of corals found in East Africa. It is also home to 200 species of hard corals, which provide food and shelter to more than 440 species of fish, including batfish that have developed the habit of following snorkelers at close range all along the reef, Blue Spotted stingrays, groupers, lobsters, hawksbill turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and parrotfish.


What is the experience like?

Visitors can join snorkeling tours, which last around an hour. They are joined by trained guides who make sure they have an extraordinary and life changing experience. The experience is suitable for beginners as well as professionals, as the expert guides ensure that they explore the reef in a safe and responsible way. Tourists can also choose to snorkel on their own, but for that, they need to follow the internationally recognized Green fins code of conduct.


What is the Green fins code of conduct?

The code of conduct sets out internationally recognized standards which ensure the safety and well being of the protected coral reef, and allows travelers to enjoy snorkeling in an environmentally friendly way. This includes agreeing to the mission statement which focuses on promoting a sustainable snorkeling and diving tourism industry, taking part in clean up programs on beaches, refraining from selling or buying corals or shells, preventing any pollution of the ocean by toxic chemicals such as oil or cleaning products, abiding by international and regional environment laws, and establishing a strict ‘no touch policy’ for diving and snorkeling among the coral reefs. Visit for more!


Tips for snorkeling

Generally, there are some important tips that visitors should keep in mind before going on their snorkeling trip, especially if they are beginners.

  • A practice dive
    • It is a good idea to go for a practice dive first, so they can get comfortable in the water, and learn how to use the equipment.
  • Finding the right gear
    • This will also help them determine whether the gear is right for them. They must see if the style and size works for them, and must choose either to buy their own gear, or to rent it out for the day.
  • The equipment
    • This includes a diving mask, goggles, swim fins, a wet suit, booties, flotation devices, and snorkels! These should be in good condition, and should be the right size and style required by the tourist.
  • Staying relaxed
    • To stay calm and relaxed, tourists should breathe deeply, so they can enjoy the experience. The snorkeling tube may make it difficult to breathe, so one should take deep focused breaths.
  • Protecting the environment
    • To ensure that they do not harm the environment, travelers should not touch the corals and should ensure that they do not pollute the water. A good idea is to wear biodegradable sunscreen, which does not have chemicals associated with coral bleaching.


Snorkeling is an amazing experience, and the stunning coral reef at Chumbe Island is one of the most breathtaking snorkeling spots in the world. Tourists should enjoy an unforgettable snorkeling experience here, with the help of expert and competent guides, while ensuring that they are having fun in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

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