This National Park incorporates Jozani forest, protecting the last substantial remnant of the indigenous forest that once covered much of central Zanzibar. It stands on the isthmus of low-lying land that links the northern and southern parts of the island, to the south of Chwaka Bay. The water table is very high and the area is prone to flooding in the rainy season, giving to this unique swamp-forest environment. The large moisture-loving trees, the stands of palm and fern, and the humid are give the forest a cool, ‘tropical’ feel. Jozani’s main attraction is Kirk’s red colobus, a beautiful and cryptically coloured monkey with an autrageous pale tufted crown. Unique between 1,600 and 3,000 individuals remain, whilst the IUCN has the number at under 2,000. The forest used to be the main haunt of the Zanzibar leopard, a race is found nowhere else, but which recent research suggests may well be extinct. The forest, is also a home to Ader’s duiker, a small antelope that effectively may wellnow be a Zanzibar edemimic, asit is proberly extinct and certainly very rare in Kenya’s Sokoke Forest, the only other place where it has ever been recorded. Several other mammals species live in Jozani, and the forest is one of the best birding sites on the island, Hosting a good range of coastal forest birds, including an endemic race of the lovely Fisher’s turaco. A network of nature trails has been established. The main one takes about an hour to follow at a leisurely pace, with numbered points of interest that relate to a well-written information sheet you can buy for a nominal cost at the reception desk. There are also several shorter loops. As you walk around the nature trails, it is possible to see lots of birds and probably a few colobus and Sykes monkeys, but these animals are shy, and will leap through the trees as soon as they hear people approaching. On the south side of the main road live two groups of monkeys that are more used to human viewing — the monkeys are aware of your presence but not disturbed. Some visitors have been tempted to try to stroke the monkeys or give them sweets, which is not only bad for the monkeys, but can be bad for tourists too — several people have been given a nasty nip or scratch. South of the forest, a long thin creek juts the sea, and is lined with mangrove trees. A new development in the area, based in the village of Pete, 1 km from the entrance of the forest, is a mangrove boardwalk, allowing visitors a rare view into the unique mangrove habitat.

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