It is the island of Zanzibar, to the North-East of Dar-es-salaam and 30 kilometres from the coast with the example of Chumbe island Coral Park, a project which marries tourism with sustainable development, that acts as an exemplary leader. Here, just seven bungalows for accommodation and all around a forest reserve and spectacular marine life. A short review of this Tanzanian ecotourism model.
Building an environmental awareness in Zanzibar, such is the ambition of the Chumbe project, to bring it to the schools on the island and educate the children, train the teachers in ecology who can then pass on the word, develop teachers aids or integrate the local population with ecological awareness.
Marine biology, forest ecology, protection of the reef, these are some of the topics destined for children, that are covered in the small, open classroom near the pier and which are part of the development program that manages the complex.
The local fishermen, who were trained to be ecoguards and rangers, impart their knowledge to visitors themselves.
The ecolodge, built in close relation with the local population who ensured that the building retained a traditional appearance but at the same time the architecture portrayed a pretty, modern touch in the landscape, runs on solar electricity, recycled rain water, waste water filtration using plants, offers compost toilets and has banished plastic.
The bungalows, seven in all, are built using native plants from the island and are perfectly protected from the rain and wind. Wood and leaves form the walls and floors.
In the matter of sustainable and community tourism, from an environmental perspective but also in terms of research and education, the Chumbe Island Coral Park is thus the epitome of excellence in Tanzania which has more than one admiring specialist.