Before the Omani Arabs gave order to cut all the rain forests for purpose of planting spices, the islands were covered with swamp forests, evergreen thicket and mangroves. The last leftover of this original vegetation on Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, is Jozani Forest, located between the bays of Chwaka and Uzi. The forest is 2,512 hectares (6,207 acres) in size and was declared a nature reserve in the 1960′s. This forest is one of the last remaining sanctuaries in the world of the red colubus monkey. They were an endangered species, but numbers have increased in recent years thanks to conservation work by the nature reserve working closely with the local people. It is estimated that there are now between 2,000-2,500 monkeys. The monkeys are wild, but it is possible to get close to them and they carry on their normal activities as though human visitors do not exist.
Inside the lush forest with its warm humidity, its thicket below and its tall rare trees, you may well encounter a giant snail, a black monkey, a coconut crab or even a python.
As you enjoy this adventure ahead there amazing mangrove forest with roots that hold the trees like stilts in the water and branches of the sea entering the forest like rivers. On the way to Jozani Forest, we will pass by the nearby Butterfly Farm which, in cooperation with the WWF, is trying to preserve all species of indigenous butterflies. The villagers raise them at their homes and in this way can make some extra income, and the butterflies are released into nature. Only few are kept in a big garden, protected by a net, so as to guarantee their continuing existence.