The Zanzibar National Park is also called the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park and is the only national park on the island of Zanzibar. It’s 50 km2 or 19 square miles and located right against the beach.
Take a walk through the park, especially in the cooler morning or evening, and you may be greeted with troops of the rare Red Colobus monkies running across the treetops, which can only be found in abundance in this part of Tanzania. The animals are Africa’s rarest monkey with only 2,000 left in existence. The park is also home to many of other species, such as the Sykes monkey, bush babies, duikers, hyraxes, over 50 species of butterfly and 40 species of birds.
Just north of the park are the sea grass beds of the Chwaka Bay. Together with the nearby mangrove forests, this represents an important breeding ground sea fish and birds. It’s considered one of the most important breeding grounds in the world and as of 2016, was being considered for a World Heritage Site due to its unique natural and cultural assets and because of Tanzania’s efforts to improve conservation.
Historically, cities near the park were known to Europeans in the 1800s as one of the most important areas to gather slaves. Now, the park provides income through revenue sharing programs with neighboring cities. Nearly residents, in turn, protect wildlife and assure the parks status as one of the last natural forests on Zanzibar island.
- Established 1959 (Tanzania’s first (1st) national park).
- 50 Sq. Km (19 Sq. Miles).
- At sea level.
- The only natural forest on Zanzibar.
- Dry season from late May to October/November; Wet season from October/November to May.