Monkeys, Mangrove and Medicine Jungle

Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park or shorter – Jozani Forest is the only national park on Zanzibar. Very small, only 50 km2 (19 sq mi) but a beautiful and tranquil place to visit! If you have never been to Zanzibar, Jozani Forest tour is one of must see tours on Zanzibar.

chwaka bay jozani forest zanzibar

Jozani forest is a natural pharmacy, an amazing source of natural remedies! Every plant or tree cures something. What is so beautiful about Jozani forest tour, that height of  the trees and  the palms are just outstanding! Jozani is also famous for rare red Colobus monkeys and even harder to spot – Zanzibar Sykes’ monkey, a very rare monkey species unique to Zanzibar. Along with Red Colubus Monkeys you can expect to see Bushbaby, 50 different species of butterflies and 40 species of birds.

jozani forest tour on zanzibar

 To protect the wildlife it is not permitted to walk off the paths without an official guide. A network of various nature trails leads visitors through the forest. The main trail begins at the park entrance and takes about an hour at a leisurely stroll.

red colobus monkey zanzibar jozani forest tour

When I visited, a resident Jozani forest guide was assigned to us after paying the entrance fee.  With a little bit grumpy and tired attitude he  lead us through the paths in the  forest and  later in mangrove area on the other side of the park. With broken english he introduced briefly  various plants and tress and their medical use as natural remedies. On mangrove swamp boardwalk you actually don’t need a guide, as you can’t get lost on the boardwalk leading to  only one direction.

jozani forest tour zanzibar mangrove swamp

A mangrove boardwalk gives tourists the possibility to have a view into the special mangrove habitat which was really enjoyable.

jozani forest tour zanzibar mangrove boarwalk

I cant say I was utterly impressed with Jozani forest tour on Zanzibar, but it was well worth a visit.  I saw red colobus monkey, didn’t notice any butterflies, as for birds am not such an enthusiast and wasn’t paying attention to them. I also recommend visiting Jozani as a family trip on Zanzibar. Kids will love it!

Apart from other attractions on Zanzibar, Jozani forest is good place to recharge and is the closest as you can get to the nature.

To save on time and money, Jozani Forest Tour can be done en route to Paje and south eastern places on Zanzibar. If coming from northern or North Eastern villages, the ride will be longer and more expensive.

 

Jozani forest tour Zanzibar things to do guide

How to Book Jozani Forest Tour

Well, independent travellers can do it on their own easily. All you have to do is hire a taxi driver to  take you to Jozani. Even more adventurous and easy going people can hop on dalla dalla, but it will take you much longer to get there. Dalla dallas cost around 2000, 3000 TSH.

And some of you want to just enjoy vacations. In this case book it online or at hotel, just make sure what is included in the price.

Many hotels and tour operators that sell Jozani Forest tour on Zanzibar forget to tell you what is actually included in the price you pay. In my case, advertised “Jozani tour ” included only transport to the national park without entrance fees and guiding.

zanzibar popular tours jozani forest from stone town

If I knew this beforehand would save some money on a cost of transport as  I could find it  for cheaper price rather than paying for Jozani tour from Stone Town without entrance fees.  But we travel and we learn on our own mistakes.

As I mentioned, my guide to Jozani park was a little bit grumpy, very bored with life. Of course  tips are expected no matter the quality of service. He was even more grumpier when  my tip didn’t meet his expectations. (Relationship between service quality an tipping is something  some locals still dont understand, not only on Zanzibar)

What to Do After Jozani  Forest Tour

Since the tour takes  only about 2 hours in total, you  can continue to South Eastern part of Zanzibar. Lively Paje is the closest village with wonderful beaches, then a little bit further quiet and remote Bwejuu. If you are dying to see famous Rock Restaurant, spare additional hour and half and head to Michamwi Village, either for amazing sunsets or an overpriced meal in Rock Restaurant. Or at least a selfie in front of the Rock!

Since this post was published I got several emails from readers asking me what to wear on Jozani Forest Tour. 

Nothing special really. Its relatively short tour. Make sure you are dressed appropriately as local guides are Muslims, so no too revealing clothes for females. Flip flops and any other  summer shoes are ok, as paths in Jozani forest are nice and the boardwalk is made of wood.

rock restaurant zanzibar tour

Does this post make you want to visit Jozani forest on Zanzibar? Or if you’ve been before, share your experience in the comments!

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