Chapwani private island

There is a little island surrounded by a beautiful coral reef and immersed in crystal blue waters, filled with starfish and multi-coloured corals; an amazing beach touched by the tepid monsoon; the horizon lit up by a tropical sunset: its name is Chapwani.

A natural background for those who want a romantic getaway, pure relax and an unspoilt environment, Chapwani island offers a complete break away from timetables and daily life. In the rooms you won’t find either telephones or televisions: just enjoy the natural sounds in peace of this rare tropical scenery.


Chapwani is a private island of 5 hectares situated north-west of Zanzibar town, reachable by a comfortable 25 minutes boat ride.


Accommodation in Chapwani is in ten cozy rooms furnished in local style, with the bungalows being located right on the beach, just few meters away from the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean, allowing our guests to share this exclusive resort with only a few other guests and to take advantage of an exclusive, personalized service in a real oasis of peace and tranquility.

Each room in Chapwani evokes the Zanzibari elegant but casual style: high pointed roofs with wood beams, ceiling fan and brightly coloured materials. Our ten rooms are laid out in 5 bandas overlooking the sea; each one has a canopy bed with mosquito net and a terrace overlooking the beach.

Plus now the Sunset Villa, adding value to Chapwani, bringing a different concept of accommodation: also be located on the beach front but secluded, on a private area, and it will either work as a suite for a couple with a spacious bedroom and sitting room, and an open terrace, or as a family room. The guests in the villa are offered the possibility of having room service, or they may choose indeed to use the restaurant and bar with the other guests.

The owners of Chapwani are committed to supporting and developing the island respecting the basic principles of eco-tourism: we are proud to be an example of how support and conservation of environmental integrity can be upheld when running a resort. Our rooms are equipped with a solar system which provides hot water, which together with the sea water swimming pool and the photovoltaic system in the future will make our splendid island even more eco-compatible. To be loyal to Chapwani´s celebrated eco-style, we have collected from the natural surroundings some pieces of wood, shells and coral stones which will be part of the decoration.

The restaurant has a cozy environment overlooking the sea, situated in the centre of the resort and it is built in typical local architecture in wood and makuti.

The cooking specialties are based on fish with a selection of recipes depending on the catch of the day, which propose a mix of flavours and aromas, tainted by ethnic and Zanzibar influences: a cuisine respectful with the territory, knowingly revised by the cooks of the island who have a professional background, overseen by an Italian chef. The meals, on special occasions, can also be personalised and served exclusively at the edge of the pool or on the terrace of the bungalows, where the panorama and flavours harmoniously combine to make an unforgettable experience.

The bar zone is situated in the area adjacent to the restaurant, and is divided into various corners, all strategically placed and offer comfortable sofas with brightly coloured cushions and areas to relax by.

During the day you can taste thirst-quenching tropical cocktails made with fresh fruit and at sunset it is pleasant to try aperitifs along with the warm light coming from the lanterns which create a relaxing atmosphere, creating some very unforgettable charming moments.

The swimming pool is filled with sea salt water so as to not disturb the ecosystem of the island. Situated in a splendid palm grove overlooking the sea, the pool gives you the possibility to dive in even during low tide and to relax whilst enjoying a sea breeze.

25 minutes by boat from Zanzibar Town, Chapwani is a small private paradise, where the flexibility and politeness of the staff means that guests will have an unforgettable stay.

During their stay, guests are able to explore the island, appreciating the flora and fauna. Following the nature trail one passes through open spaces and places rich in vegetation; along the banks of the inland lake, guests are able to spot white herons and hidden in the bush there is a community of duikers (dik dik). With a bit of luck, our gardeners are able to show guests the impressive coconut crabs, that may weight up to 4 kgs each, a protected species close to extinction. A couple of eagles have chosen Chapwani as their dwelling and numerous hermit crabs roam along the beach. At low tide there is a lovely show of starfish immersed in the coral reef which surrounds the island and various little natural pools rich in marine life.

Combining the best of beach, bush and culture, there is a small cemetery in Chapwani, which the Sultan Barghash reserved in 1879 for officials and marines of the English Royal Navy. The site of historical interest is very charming and also hosts the remains of some men killed in action in 1914 in the shortest war in History between HMS Pegasus and the German Cruiser Konigsberg.

Located north-west off Zanzibar´s mythical Stone Town, Chapwani Private Island is the closest beach resort to the city, and it is possible to take a boat ride to town along the whole day and evening, with the waters here being pretty calm. Early morning and late evening transfers are done without any problem and guests at Chapwani may go for dinner and entertainment to Stone Town and come back to the island afterwards. On a frequent basis guests need to catch an early morning flight and transfers can be done as well without any problem.

For any travelling, guests may use the island´s free service – there is a boat every morning at 10.00 which leaves the island for Zanzibar Town and comes back at 13.30. If guests prefer to be more free and autonomous, Chapwani can organise transport at other times during the day, at a small fee.

Chapwani has at its disposal a typical local boat, built by the local Zanzibar shipwrights, which will take the guests out on fantastic excursions to discover the wonderful deep seas, the sandbanks with their packed sea bird colonies and little islands adjacent to Chapwani, like Prison Island. In olden days, the forced dwelling for slaves, to then be a quarantine zone and today a tourist destination and home to some giant tortoises which come from the colony of Aldabra in the Seychelles.

Spending a wonderful day with our fishermen very rarely disappoints and is within the reach of anyone, since it is not very difficult technically and regular catches by fishing line, in true tradition of over centuries, is almost guaranteed.

Snorkelling is like deciding to enter another world; the coral reef, a natural wonder to be protected and preserved, forms an eco-system that must be explored even with just a mask, flippers and tube, which are provided by the staff free of charge.

The underwater world is within the reach of everyone, whether beginners or experts. The unique marine species, the bright colours of the reef, the total silence of the deep seas are among the fascinating attractions of the immersion places in Zanzibar.

For the more expert, Chapwani Island proposes an arrangement with special fees, with a local diving school which will take you to discover the crystal blue waters of Zanzibar.

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