Covering a total area of about 50 square kilometers, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park is located in Tanzania on the island of Zanzibar, being the only national park in Zanzibar.
The Zanzibar Red Colobus, Procolobus kirkii (its population count is about 1000) found in the park, a rain forest species (unlike the black-and-white Colobus found in other regions of Africa), is also known as Kirk’s Red Colobus, named after Sir John Kirk, the British resident of Zanzibar who had first brought it to the attention of zoological science.
It is now adopted as the flagship species for conservation in Zanzibar, from the mid-1990s. Other species of fauna found in the park are the Sykes monkey, bush babies, more than 50 species of butterfly and 40 species of birds.
The nocturnal Zanzibar tree hyrax, which has four ‘toes’ on its front feet and three on its back, is said to be the first hyrax species that has acclimatized to the forest.
As part of the tourism circuit, the park attracts 10% of the over 100,000 visitors to Zanzibar every year. Wildlife attractions of Zanzibar also include dolphins apart from deep sea fishing for tuna, marlin, and shark.
Another animal in the forests of the Unguja Island unequaled elsewhere is the Zanzibar leopard (Panthera pardus adersi). In the local legend, this reportedly extinct species, has been given a mythical status and is called ‘Chui’ and is part of the superstitious beliefs of the people.
People believe that sorcerers keep this animal as their pet and scare people by spinning stories that the animal appears like spirits and disappears into thin air.
It was last reported in 1999 and officials, and men working on the “coral rag” lands of the southern and eastern Ungula Island are assertive that the species is not extinct, though it has not been sighted since 2003. The last sighting reported in 2002-2003 was of two leopards.
Photographs of live examples of the species are not known to exist, although a stuffed example is a museum display in Zanzibar Museum, and a few skins exist in museums in London and Massachusetts.
Trail camera footage from a 2018 American documentary television series does appear to have captured proof of the leopard’s existence and will undoubtedly spark renewed interest and further protective enforcement.
A smaller leopard with spots, which is a biological product of the larger animal, is seen now in the island.
The sea grass beds of the Chwaka Bay, fringed with mangrove forests, are important breeding grounds for marine organisms, including open sea fish species. The mangroves are also good breeding grounds for birds.
An Integrated Conservation and Development (ICD) planning for the area is under consideration.
The bay is also proposed to be declared a Ramsar Site and is placed on the Tanzanian Tentative List for World Heritage Sites to recognize its unique natural and cultural assets with due consideration of proposed conservation efforts.
Menai Bay Beach Bungalows
Menai Bay Beach Bungalows is a good accommodation choice in Zanzibar. The property offers easy access to the own beach in Zanzibar. This venue comprises of 8 guestrooms with an individual safe, cable channels, a seating area, ironing facilities and hi-fi.
Menai Bay Beach Bungalows offers rooms with stunning sea view. They provide bathrooms with a bath, a roll in shower and a drier. Guests can get to Kisauni airport in 25 minutes by car.
The on-site car and bicycle rentals help to explore the area. The venue features cots, meals and board games for children. The hotel’s activities include snorkeling, diving and canoeing.