Almost all of Zanzibars native forests have been lost to agriculture or construction, but the Jozani Forest in the middle of Zanzibar Island has been declared a protected reserve. The forest covers 44 sq km, approximately 3% of the entire island. The Jozani Forest is 24 km southeast of Stone Town making it an easy stop-off en route to the east coast beaches.
The wooded area contains a huge mangrove swamp and a region of natural forest that is home to a few unique species including the red colobus monkey, Sykes monkey, bush babies, duikers, hyraxes, over 50 species of butterfly and 40 species of birds. It’s also rumoured to be the stomping ground of the rare Zanzibar leopard - so rare in fact that few people have claimed to have seen it, and the last sighting was several years ago.
The Jozani Forest reserve is managed by the locals that run tree nurseries and act as guides and rangers. There is a 45-minute nature trail that starts at the visitors centre. There are a few knowledgeable guides that will show the local fauna.
The red colobus monkey is a highly endangered species, many of which live in the trees in the Jozani Forest.
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