The only national park in Zanzibar islands, Tanzania, Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park is UNESCO biosphere reserve, located 35km from Stone Town the capital of Zanzibar. It got its name from one of the villages known as Jozani on the southeastern tip of Zanzibar.
Jozani is actually an indigenous tropical forest while Chwaka Bay is a low-lying landscape of mangrove swamps on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The two are combined to form one park.
Wildlife in Jozani – Chwaka Bay National Park
The park covers an area of about 50 km2 and protects the only remaining indigenous Jozani tropical forest that are mixed with mangrove swamps, coral rug forests and salt water marshes along the coast of the Indian Ocean. The beautiful Jozani forest is home to the Zanzibar red colobus monkey. These primates are the main wildlife attractions of Jozani – Chwaka Bay national park because they are only found on Zanzibar and endangered.
However, the park is having rich wildlife including over 160 species of birds, 291 species of trees, variety of coral reef fish species as well as dolphins. Other monkeys found there include bush babies and Skye’s monkeys.
The Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park also serves as a crucial protective barrier for the communities who are involved in fishing and agriculture against flooding that come from the Indian Ocean. Eco-tourism also helps the local people as they get revenues
Spotting the Zanzibar red colobus monkeys is not just the only amazing reason to visit Jozani, there are more activities which you can opt to do such as nature walks, bird watching, cultural tour and primate viewing and spotting mammals that live in the park.
Activities in Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park
Spotting the Zanzibar red colobus monkeys
Guided nature walks make it possible for visitors to see the Zanzibar red colobus monkeys. The trail takes about 45 minutes to complete as you hike into Jozani forest with board walks through the flooded swamps. It’s a moderate walk that anyone can do and doesn’t require a lot of physical energy. Because the monkeys are endangered, visitors must keep a distance of at least three meters when viewing. And also remember to have your camera ready and turn of flash light while photographing the monkeys.
Besides, the red colobus monkeys, Jozani forest – Chwaka Bay National Park is also home to other species of flora and fauna. And during the nature walks, other mammals that you might spot include Syke’s monkeys, ader’s duiker, bush pigs, the swamps are home to elephant shrews, varieties of birds and chameleons.
Bird watching at Jozani – Chwaka Bay National Park
The park is home to over 168 bird species which offer opportunities for bird watching. There are trails giving access to the lush Jozani forest and around mangrove swamps where birders can encounter some of the bird species including helmeted guinea fowl, long tailed cormorant, African green pigeon, Fischer’s turaco, dideric cuckoo, Madagascar cuckoo, little swift, crab plover, Senegal plover, great crested tern and many more birds.
Take a tour of the local villages
The communities around Jozani forest are farmers involved in sustainable community tourism development projects including sea crabs and butterfly farms as well as bee keeping. Taking a village tour will compliment your wildlife tour at Jozani forest.
As you visit the local villages and participate in fishing crabs or fish at the farms while experiencing the lifestyle and culture of Zanzibar people. It will be a memorable experience.
How to get to Jozani – Chwaka Bay National Park
From the Zanzibar international airport, a drive to Jozani – Chwaka Bay National Park is about 50 minutes by car. Visitors in Stone town can make day trips to this park and return to the town.Book This Safari