Jozani Forest Reserve

If you ever find yourself within Zanzibar, stop by Jozani Forest Reserve where you will not only explore pristine Beach resorts but also see several endangered wildlife species especially the phenomenal loose-fringed monkeys and the photogenic Kirk’s red colobus, rare and beautiful primate specie whose home range is restricted to the Zanzibar Island. These Primates have been habituated and are easy to spot on top of being approachable but the Forest is not only known for the monkeys but also outstanding bird species. The Kirk’s red colobus monkeys mainly feed on leaves and live on tree branches and bushes.

Also referred as Jozani Chwaka National Park, this Forest Reserve was gazetted in the 1960s at the heart of Zanzibar Island (in the central east of the Island) with an aim of conserving the endangered Kirk’s red colobus monkeys and extends for only 50 square kilometers and is so far the only National Park on this lush Island. Found on the main Island of Zanzibar known as Unguja Island, the forest Reserve also includes a tidal water-washed area between Chwaka and Uzi island bays, characterized by mangrove trees as well as other spectacular marine vegetation.

The large size of the woodland landscape of this verdant forest cover is magical and is nestled within an ancient coral bed that creates a shallow depression with lush coral rag forests as well as dense bushlands that cover the higher ground around it. It is characterized by a wide range of woodland landscape that features tidal water-washed areas between Uzi and Chwaka Island Bays but the mangrove trees are the main marine vegetation type here.

Special attractions to see within Jozani Forest Reserve

Jozani Forest Reserve supports a stunning variety of flora that in turn host a wide range of fauna including mammals like the Suni antelopes, the rare Zanzibar leopard, bush pigs, Sykes monkeys, bushbucks, Ader’s duikers, galago and shrew, more than 100 species of butterflies and reptiles like monitor lizards and chameleons in addition to the Amphibians such as frogs.

When you visit this Forest Reserve, pay a close attention to the beautiful and brightly colored sunbirds as they flit among the nice tropical flowers as they suck nectar from them. Also, beautiful fish species such as crabs and Mollusks can be found within the area.

Tourist activities within Jozani Forest Reserve

  • Nature walks/Hiking

The main activity within Jozani Forest Reserve is the 45-minute walk and the Forest has a wonderful hiking trail as well as trained, experienced and informative guides that take tourists through the jungles to sight the different wildlife, butterflies and tree species such as Mama Mtondoo (also referred as Mother Mahogany, believed to be about 200 years old), the raffia fern trees and twin trees (sycamore and stranger fig that grow together) on the Island. Due to the thick vegetation, tourists are advised to dress comfortably because there is very little or no shade on the walk. There is a boardwalk to take you through the creek mangroves and coastal forest to see the wonders of this Reserve.

Besides the Jozani Forest Reserve, other places to visit on Zanzibar Island include the Zanzibar Butterfly Center and Paje, known for its stunning beaches and breathtaking surroundings.

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