Jozani Forest & The Red Colubus Monkey
The only national park on the Zanzibar archipelago is the Jozani National Park. It’s a dense coastal rainforest along with mangroves and salt marsh, home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. A board walk is available to view the mangroves and provides a shady and quiet environment to enjoy this unique ecosystem. They recommend you don’t venture into the forest at night as the Zanzibar leopard hunts at night although this animal hasn’t been seen in years and is considered to be extinct. The park is most famous for the endangered red colubus monkey, an indemic species on the brink of extinction with only approximately 250 left. The park provides a sanctuary in hopes in multiplying their numbers.
red colubus monkey
On March 12, 2016, I visited the forest in hopes to see this one of a kind monkey. A guide must be acquired for visitors to enter the park. They are well versed in regards to the flora and fauna of the forest and most notably the red colubus monkey. We walked for about a half hour without seeing the endangered monkeys until our guide received a message that a pack of them had been spotted further down the trail. We crossed a road into the other side of the trail where a grouping of tall trees made for perfect shelter and where the group of monkeys had been spotted. The monkeys could be heard as we walked into the trees and they could be spotted jumping from branch to branch. I also spotted a baby clinging on to its mother as she moved from tree to tree.
black colubus monkey
I had seen their cousin on the mainland in Kenya, the black colobus monkey, so I had some idea of their appearance. The colobus monkeys are unique in appearance, an old world monkey, and it would be a shame if they become extinct. Some of the groups of monkeys have become accustomed to people so you should be assured of the opportunity to have a photograph of them.
Hopefully, the conservation effort being done here at the Jozani Forest will help increase their numbers. An important way to promote conservation is to simply spread awareness and I hope to be helping in that manner and the draw of tourism should help fund the conservation of the monkeys.
sykes monkey of Jozani Forest