Jozani Forest

Jozani Forest

Welcome to Jozani Chwaka bay national park; the only national park and the largest conservation area in Zanzibar, a perfect gateway to Tanzania; the largest country east of the continent of Africa. It is bordered by Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Congo, and the Republic of Rwanda to mention but a few. Security, biodiversity, great infrastructure and cool weather make Tanzania so unique and an amazing tourism destination.

Jozani forest sprawls through a 50 land and situated about 32km south of stone town at Zanzibar’s capital. Zanzibar is made up of a collection of Islands lying by the shoreline of the Indian Ocean. The Rhythm of life on this island is unique and independent of any other place. Cool-weather, tasty cuisine, and a wide range of flora and fauna make a stay in Zanzibar unforgettable. Forget the slave trade activities, spice trade, or the celebrations, and think of spending your quality time exploring the lovely lush Jozani forest.

Away from tourism, this is a forest with a natural cure, every plant here heals something and the height of trees sets them apart from any other forest in the world. There are about 100 unique tree species and 290 plant species.

Mangrove is the dominating vegetation in this forest, but as well other mammals, plants, reptiles, and primates. It was once a forest reserve in 1960 but then transformed to a national park in 1984, when about 380 farmers surrendered their farms to be transformed into a protected area. This forest supports livelihood for those who live outside of it, through ecotourism as the natives get the share of their revenue from different tourist activities.


The Rare Red Colobus Monkeys.

This is the prime attraction in Jozani forest; a special monkey species unseen across different destinations in the continent of Africa. The rare Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey, scientifically Pilicolobus Kirkii is reported to be numbering about 1500 individuals, accompanied by hundreds of other monkey species. Factors such as large-scale cultivation, tree cutting, lime making, and charcoal burning are slowly pushing the rare monkeys into extinction though everything is being done to preserve them. These creatures have hairy bodies, charming appearance and lovely sound.

They feed on leaves, stems, fruits, roots and tree leaves among others. Most of the day activity is zero to feeding, and moving from one territory to another, though mainly spotted on the treetops and branches.

Primate Trekking.

This is the prime safari activity in this forest, where most of the residents are monkeys, notably the red Colobus monkeys; one of the kind in East Africa, Sykes monkeys, Ader duikers and kirk red Colobus monkeys to mention but a few.

Starting from the time of your arrival at the forest; park rangers will welcome and brief you about the entire trekking activity.  You will be briefed about the tracking rules, and then the trekking documents verified, as well as the activity fee cleared. At the forest, attention is demanded; if you will not miss out on spotting the unique characteristics of the forest inhabitants.  Trekking lasts for approximately 2 hours, inclusive of the viewing watching time, question and answer. After trekking, you will retreat to the starting point for clearance before proceeding to the next destination, notably the salt marsh forest.

Some of the rules to follow while trekking includes; no making noise, no littering of the forest, creating paths in the Jungle, no smoking, proper waste disposable, and no feeding of the monkeys.

Wildlife in Jozani-Chwaka Forest.

Those who have visited Jozani forest will argue by saying this is a hub to monkeys; yes that might be the case, yet there is more to encounter in this Jungle; talk of the butterflies, Ader duiker, African civets, dolphins, different reptiles such as the chameleons and Skye monkeys among others. A mixture with other residents, the forest is made so unique and truly amazing.

Bird watching.

Over 80 bird species can be spotted in the lush jungle of Jozani forest; this includes those endemic to the area and the migrants; making the place one of the finest birding destinations in the continent of Africa. Now no bird lover arrives on the island and departs without appreciating the sounds and sights of different avian species. With the guidance of expert guides; here are some of the birds that make up the list of birds in this jungle; andropadus, nectarine olivace, Mangrove kingfisher, African goshawk, east coast batis, somber greenbul, Turaco fisheri, olive sunbird, cercotrichas quadrivrigata greenway, black-bellied starling, crowned hornbill, nectarinia veroxii zanzibaricam and little green bull among others.

Bird watching is best done in morning hours of the day and late in the evening, as the birds gather, feedi or are resting from the scorching heat. The exercise is safe and very thrilling, with each moment offering something for the sight and ears. A designated trail, known for the presence of these birds is clear, and with several other attractions. Bird watching is one of the cheapest safari activities in Jozani forest. Though best done in the dry months of the year; a visit any time of the year stills offers a good opportunity of encountering the birds.

Guided nature walk.

A perfect chance to uncover Jozani forest on foot is while having a guided nature walk; yes.  Jozani forest is not so large; though having some of the most rewarding trail paths, and well-conserved regions. With the guide on the lead; some Unique places will be visited, notably; the mother Mahogany tree is known to have been in existence for over 200years; identify several other unique plant species; primates; butterflies; Reptiles; and forest mammals among others. The guided nature starts at the time of your arrival in the forest.

This often starts from the trailhead under the old tamarine tree, through a well-made boardwalk, with views of whilst crabs, shallow waters, and mollusks to mention but a few. The activity is also very affordable, safe, and fun, with no threat to the environment.

What to put on and pack while visiting Jozani-Chwaka forest?

As much as the Jozani forest is tiny and free from dangerous mammals; so caution must be taken to ensure safety during the tour.  What you put on helps ensure your whole body is safe. The feet must be in closed shoes, except after a piece of advice from the forest guide; a short can be put on if the weather is okay, trouser, long-sleeved shirts, gloves to protect your fingers, jumper to guard against sudden rains,  camera for photography, binoculars, insect repellants, and long stockings.

When to Visit Jozani Forest?

Except for the workers, visitors can get to this forest on any day and month of the year. The gates are open for visitors at 08:30 hours, and closes at 17:30 hours; 8 hours in which the public is allowed to get in and explore the unhampered nature and unique wildlife species. Except for a special request for an activity time extension, it can run for two non-stop hours. All activities commence at the time of your arrival; though others are very much exciting in the morning hours or late in the afternoon.

Forest entrance fees.

Entering the forest is only possible after paying park entrance fee. According to 2020 park tariff, it is 7.3USD per person per night and subject to changes. Money collected at the gates is channeled towards conservation efforts and payment of the park custodians. Accommodation, activity and transport fees are truly independent and payable on the same day of the visit.


Exotic beaches.

Some of the finest white sand beaches in the world are in Zanzibar Island, at the shoreline of the giant Indian Ocean. Spend your weekend, honeymoon and African vacation here; enjoy varied kinds of seafood and the fresh breeze among others.

Spice plantations.

What led to the popularity of this Island? A trade that attracted thousands of visitors from across the world, as well as some settlers. The plantations are now not only meant for trade, but also tourism, with visitors feeling the scent and having the taste of several species such as the nutmeg, lemon, and pineapples among others. The guides help in identifying these plants, as well as their purpose.

Stone town tour.

The dilapidated ancient buildings of Zanzibar are a must-visit place on the island. The notable places include; the wonder house, local markets, and the former slave markets to mention but a few. The streets of the stone town are marked by Arab, African, and British architecture, yet not ignoring the mosques and the local natives carrying on with their activities.

Dolphin Tours.

For the love of it; a half-day dolphin tour at Zanzibar Island is very exciting and worth doing. To the novice; this is when you swim alongside other aquatic residents such as the fish, and dolphins themselves. Dolphin tour is cheap and very exciting.

Jozani forest is one of the finest conservation areas on Zanzibar Island. It is the only national park with an unmatched range of attractions, flora, fauna and primates. Monkeys are the majority of inhabitants, accompanied by other primates and mammals.

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