Jozani Forest: Home to the Red Colobus Monkey
Jozani Forest a perfect half day out in Zanzibar. The forest is the largest home to the Zanzibar Red Colobus monkeys that are on the endangered species list.
Over an hours drive from Stone Town, passing several villages, and avoiding to run over any cows deciding last minute to cross the roads, passing a food market, and little stalls on the streets we arrived to Jozani Forest. The journey was something out of a movie!
Jozani’s Natural Medicine
We walked through Jozani forest with Shabani the local guide that greeted me at the entrance and asked me to join a group of tourists. We had made plenty of stops to identify the herbs, trees, bushes while also giving us an explanation of their benefits. Some are used for urine infections, some as natural Viagra, some skin care. It was quite interesting seeing how much natural medicine can be made from Zanzibar’s forests. How rich its soil and weather is to produce all this natural medicine.
Shabani The Local Tour Guide
Shabani and I got along perfectly. He was an Arabic teacher at a school near Jozani. We spoke in Arabic for a while and discussed the Zanzibar economy and he was surprised to meet an Arab, female, and travelling alone. I said times have changed and I hope there’s more Arab girls out there that want to make a difference and a good example to this tiny world of ours. He smiled.
The Red Colobus Monkeys
Just above our heads the Zanzibar red Colobus Monkeys were chilling, some sleeping, some stretched out on their backs and some just being playful. They were so zen, one can sit and watch them for hours.
These red Colobus monkeys have adjusted to human visitors. They always are found in a higher ratio of females to males and stick together in groups of more than 10, and could be in a group of 30. Even when I was right in front of them, it's as if they didn't see me. Quite opposite to the monkeys found in Myanmar, Bali or even Thailand!
The Jozani Mangroves
The mangroves at the time I visited were pretty visible as it was low tide. It was easy to spot tiny fish feeding in the water as well as crabs popping out.
I loved the Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys and being in nature. It was something new, and different. No matter how many types of monkeys you come across, or how many nature paths you walk on, a new experience is always beautiful and soul enriching.
Here are a few other things you may want to add to your experiences in Zanzibar:
Changuu Island- home of the Aldabra Tortoises
Makunduchi Village a great eye opener to the life of the villagers
Cheetah's Rock - Zanzibar's hidden gem
Changuu Island - formerly known as prison island is a piece of heaven