Until the Oman Arabs gave order to cut all the rain forests so as to plant 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.
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. A little further, there are Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys swinging through the branches of trees, grooming each other or eating. They are good friends with the Black Monkeys – because they do not compete for the same food! Again a few meters ahead we enter an 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.