What is Jozani Forest and why you shouldn't miss it?


jozani forest baby monkey


Hundreds of years ago, a tropical forest covered the entire island of Zanzibar. The human action and needs gradually reduced the frontiers of that forest, until deforestation was banned. The remaining part was declared protected nature reserve in 1960 it, known today as the forest of Jozani.

This wonderful, natural and wild space extends from the land of the interior to the coast of Zanzibar, giving the visitor an unforgettable experience framed by the tropical thicket and starring some of the most curious animal species in the world.


jozani forest monkeys


What animals do we find in the Jozani forest?

There is a remarkable animal biodiversity hidden amongst the red mahoganies, sycamores, palms, mangroves and ferns. More than 40 species of birds make their nests there, sharing groves with 100 species of butterflies (some of them as big as your hand!), all types of reptiles (geckos, chameleons, snakes) and mammals ranging from small and slippery squirrels to beautiful antelopes or sociable red colobus.

This species of monkey is native, and a local symbol: the barely 2300 specimens that remain in the world are concentrated here, in the forest of Jozani. They are very sociable creatures, which live in large groups that can reach 50 members, and who are very accustomed to human presence. For safety reasons for both species, it is forbidden to approach them less than three meters, but red colobus do not panic at human presence, and you can calmly observe their behaviour and physiology, with their white crowns, their beautiful red and black fur and their curious hands without thumbs.


jozani forest trees


Visit the forest of Jozani

The forest is perfectly set up for visits, with a whole trail network that crosses the interior of the woods and turns in exotic wooden walkways when arriving at the coastal zone, which is a flooded mangrove. However, abandoning the trails to enter the thicket is also prohibited for safety reasons, unless accompanied by an authorised guide. Choosing the guided visit to Jozani forest, therefore, is a highly recommended option, which will allow you to discover the plant and animal wealth of Zanzibar in its full glory.


jozani forest turtle


If you include a visit to the forest of Jozani during your trip to Zanzibar (and you should!), at Dhow Inn we can help you organise the excursion with or without guide. And of course, we will also help you relax on the return, with our charming and cosy rooms, our comfortable hammocks, or enjoying the best local gastronomy in our restaurant.

The best way to end a day of exploration by the wild thicknesses of the Jozani!

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