The Jozani forest is home to the red colobus monkey happens to be one of its few remaining sanctuaries. It is over 2,500 hectares in size and forms one of the major attractions of Zanzibar. Great photo safaris and sightings are abundant, and you can get a chance to view rarely seen creatures that live in the forest reserve and nature lovers will have an excellent opportunity to observe the abundant flora and fauna.
The main attraction, the monkeys are welcoming to visitors and roam freely from branch to branch with amazing dexterity. During the colonial times, the reigning British governor had launched attempts to exterminate them, but they appear to have survived and even multiplied.
The forest is situated around 36 kilometres south east of Zanzibar. The forest cover forms a narrow neck of land that straddles between the Uzi and Chwaka bays and contains close to 100 species of indigenous tree species.
The park opens at 7.30 in the morning and tickets cost $8usd per person on average. And this includes hiring the guide. While on the trail, the guide will naturally expect to be tipped extra as he considers his job a noble profession.
And human nature is such that a generously-tipped guide is more likely to lead you to the “better and exotic” sites for sightseeing and taking the best quality photos than a disgruntled and morose guide. But visitors are cautioned against any attempts by guides to extort further unwarranted tips.
This is a half day guided tour. The tour starts with a visit to the natural forest where you’re welcomed by a massive tree called Mtondoo that is reputed to be 1000 years old. Visitors are free to enjoy several nature walks as the tour guide recommends.
The monkeys live side by side with bush pigs, blue Sykes primates, aders antelopes, elephant shrews, chameleons and abundant species of birds and butterflies. The best time to catch a glimpse of these forest inhabitants is early morning when they’re probably hunting for breakfast.
Visitors are asked to keep a respectable distance between themselves and any wildlife they encounter. They are also prohibited from feeding them.
If you have a cold or flu, you are strongly advised not to interact with the monkeys as infection rates and airborne transmission of disease is possible.
About a kilometre to the west of the park is the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre. This is an enclosed multiplication centre that is home to about 12 varieties of butterflies. It opens daily from 9am to 5 pm and tickets cost $5.
Zala park is acronym for Zanzibar Land Animal park and is a reptile’s habitat. Zalas was established by Mr. Mohamed, with the objective of educating local kids about preserving endangered species. The reptiles include; Geckos, lizards, tortoises, crabs, dik dik and large pythons.
Jozani forest tour offers relief to visitors who want to see a different side of Zanzibar. A stark contrast to the white beaches, blue seas and ancient ruins. Zanzibar can be very green too. Almost all hotels and tours in Zanzibar arrange a visit to the Jozani Forest.
For those daredevil adventurous types who opt to travel there independently, you can use Dala Dalas Numbers 3240, 309, and 310. As they all commute to Jozani gate throughout the day and they depart from Darajani Terminal next to Stone Town. You can also hire a car or take a taxi.
For More Details have a look at our previous article Top things to do in Zanzibar island.