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.
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.
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.
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.
A mangrove boardwalk gives tourists the possibility to have a view into the special mangrove habitat which was really enjoyable.
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.
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.
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.
Does this post make you want to visit Jozani forest on Zanzibar? Or if you’ve been before, share your experience in the comments!
So cool! how exciting!
Mangroves are crazy, so it is neat to get a view of them from the inside via the boardwalk! Also, love the photo you took of the mangroves on either side. Nice perspective
Mangroves are beautiful and after I learnt their role in environment i really gained respect for these amazing plants. Saving planet.
I’ve kind of always wanted to go to The Rock, even though I know it’s probably super expensive and more for the experience than the food. Maybe like you, I’ll just make it a photo opp 🙂
I am sure dinning in The Rock is amazing experience, i will probably do it too next time on Zanzibar with more time. You have to make a reservation, obviously very limited space:)
I love seeing monkeys in their natural habitat. I will have to add Jozani Forest to my grand Zanzibar itinerary. Of course, I will need to make time for a selfie in front of the rock restaurant as well.
I love that photo of the monkey! I would love to go Zanzibar in general, so this sounds really exciting to me.
If you go, you know where to read more about Zanzibar:)
Oh I’d love to visit Zanzibar, definitely to see the monkeys, not sure on the over priced meal, but that selfie is a must!
Agree, selfie in front of rock restaurant is a must!:)
This very much made me want to visit! I didn’t know Zanzibar had anything like this national park and I love the rock restaurant!
as long as you are willing to go beyond the beaches there is a lot to see on Zanzibar
The annoying thing with guides is that you feel you’ll miss out on things if you don’t take them but hen when you have a grumpy one like the one you had you’re like “I am never going on tours anymore”. Anyways, grumpy or not they can’t take away the beauty of the place.
You are right! But in Jozani you get a guide, like it or not. Its protected area so, they have to make sure tourists dont touch anything.
Your pictures are stunning!
This is a-mazing!! Your photos blow me away. Another place to add to my bucket list!
Thanks, well its not hard to take beautiful photos on Zanzibar:)
Such a beautiful place! Zanzibar has always been on my bucket list!
Maybe its time you tick it off from the list?:)
This is somewhere I have always wanted to go. It’s a major bummer the guide was so lackluster. I think that could have turned the entire experience around. I wonder if they’re all like that, or it was just him. Either way, looks like a nice escape and a way to enjoy the local nature.
Despite the guide, the tour was pleasant.
Lovely pictures. I’ve always wanted to go to Zanzibar. It’s a pity about your guide 🙁