The Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park is a biodiversity hotspot and the only one of its kind on the island of Zanzibar. It was established in 2004 and is just 30 square kilometers in size. The particular landscape and cultural aspects have put this gem on the Tanzanian list for prospective World Heritage Sites. Established in 2004 as the only protected park in Zanzibar, Jozani-Chwaka Bay is home to several animal species unique to the island.
Situated south of Chwaka Bay, the Jozani Forest is the largest indigenous forest on the island. It is regularly flooded due to its low-lying position. The park is also home to the Zanzibar red colobus monkey considered to be the flagship species for conservation of the island.
Visitors to the park will be amazed by the variety of species that live among the mangroves, tropical forests and salt marshes. These include 30 bird species regarded as of global and regional importance as well as 21 plant species that are considered to be endangered. The sea grass beds furthermore act as incubators for a whole host of marine organisms.
Entrance to the park is situated just 35 kilometers southeast of Zanzibar town. Visits are usually arranged by tour operators. Those intend to go it alone, can take a bus from Paje or Zanzibar town.
There is a great variety of species in the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park - red colobus monkey, Skyes monkey, African civet, Aders’ duiker and servaline genet.
The mosaic of different landscapes in the park are home to unique species like the red colobus monkey, Skyes monkey, African civet, Aders’ duiker and servaline genet. For those visitors that have luck on their side, a rare sighting of the indigenous Zanzibar leopard may be on the cards.
More than 40 bird species flutter about in the park. These include the mangrove kingfisher and the African goshawk.
The best time to visit Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park and the surrounding areas is during the dry seasons - December to February and June to October. Humidity is high all year round with temperatures in the mid to high 20’s. The ocean and the relating patterns can however make the weather a tad unpredictable.
After visiting the park, safari-goers can engage in a number of community conservation projects including a visit to the butterfly centre and interactions with smaller-scale insects and reptiles.
There are also a network of trails ranging from a few shorter loops to longer excursions. Notice boards and information pamphlets provide information for first time visitors.
In the village of Paje one can relax on the breathtaking beaches and take in the surroundings. A delectable seafood buffet can be sampled at the famous Rock Restaurant in the Michamwi Village.
There are no overnight facilities available in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park. Visitors can choose from plenty of options in nearby Zanzibar town that cater to those on a budget as well as more luxurious lodgings.