This post is about monkeys, tortoises and butterflies in Zanzibar.
The Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park is a 50 km2 national park located on Zanzibar island. It is the only national park in Zanzibar. This forest is inhabited by the Zanzibar Red Colobus, an endemic monkey species that exists only in Zanzibar.
So if you go to Zanzibar, Jozani Forest is a must-visit place. It is neither very big, nor tiring, you can do Jozani Forest visit even with small kids.
The price of the excursion varies in different travel offices. We got it a bit pricy, I would say. As there is not many tourists that are willing to visit this place, some offices organize private tours. So we paid 50$ for the transportation from Stone Town + entrance fees (8$ p/p in the Forest National Park, some change to visit tortoises and 5$ p/p to visit Zanzibar Butterfly Center). Another disappointing moment was that our "private" driver refused waiting us in Butterfly center, so that we were to pay him 10$ more. At the end we had nothing to do but pay him and enjoy our stay at the center. Some time later we have found an office with cheaper prices for this particular excursion with a group (38$ p/p where all the entrance fees are included).
Although we were not lucky with the weather, it rained the whole day, our memories and impressions were not ruined at all. First of all, we were lucky to see Colobus monkeys just at the entrance of the forest. Then, inside the forest, it is harder to spot them (they stay very high) and take good pictures due to bad lightening. Red Colobus monkeys are very friendly and not aggressive, as baboons for example. But they tried to hit me from the high trees with something heavy while I was filming them staying under the tree. Anyway, that was very funny.
By the way, we had the opportunity to catch the intimate moment of snail couple. I had never thought that they do it with their antennaes. Even our guide took some pictures on his phone and looked very excited about this touching sight, which can be another proof of its rarity.
When we saw some parts of the forest, watched monkeys and waited till the rain stopped, we proceeded to see tortoises. The place is really small, but the good thing is that the keepers encourage you to feed tortoises, hold them and you are free to spend as much time as you wish.
Zanzibar Butterfly Center is located near the entrance of Jozani Forest. So it is very convenient to plan your visit at both site during one trip. Butterfly center is a very informative and enriching experience. Here you will know about the butterfly's life circle that consists of four parts: eggs, larva, pupa and adult.
Here are amazing facts about butterflies, that you will know in the center:
- Butterflies don't eat, they drink only;
- Butterflies live only 2 to 3 weeks;
- Butterflies need a body temperature of at least 30C to be able to fly;
- Butterflies are able to see a spectrum of ultraviolet colors invisible to the human eye;
- Female butterflies lay an average of 100 eggs.
For more interesting information and unforgettable memories, visit Zanzibar Butterfly Center;)