My last full day on Zanzibar started well enough and I was able to get a few more sunrise images, although, they weren’t as nice as the day before IMHO.
Regardless, I enjoyed it anyway. I had hoped to go to an interesting restaurant called “the Rock,” but as the recreational director had not been around, I figured it wasn’t going to happen. Was kinda sad about that. Had breakfast and lunch and saw some familiar guests (from Germany and Italy). At lunch though, Raymond the recreational director showed and came over to me to chat. I reminded him that I was leaving tomorrow and I was still hoping to do a tour. He apologized for not putting it together and suggested that I do the tour I wanted to the Jozani Forest tomorrow morning. I said thanks and sure! He came back a few minutes later and said, ok, let’s do it this afternoon! I was so happy as this was the perfect time for me to do it. So a few minutes later, geared up and with my driver, off I went about 1/2 hour south from Moonshine Hotel to the Jozani Forest reserve. The drive gave me a chance to see more of Zanzibar which was very flat, tropical, and rural. I was reminded of the Delmarva Peninsula actually, and I really enjoyed the drive. Coming into the reserve we noticed a troup of the red backed Colobus monkeys up in the trees…very cool and that was also what I came for.
Got to the reserve and was handed off to a local guide / naturalist. In his sort of ok English he walked my through the Jozani Forest environs explaining how it’s the only remaining example of the natural Zanzibarian forest and how it’s built on coral with a very shallow water table (a foot or two). He said that in the wet season, this area floods very easily.
I saw this shell on this tree root and had to take this shot for fun but it was an example of the local fresh water life. This forest is about 3 miles inland from the Indian Ocean.
As we walked on the forest floor, I kept tripping over warn coral heads on the trail. Quite interesting for sure and even the occasional land crab in its hole.
A bit later we started to see more bare forest trees and then began to encounter the Red Colobus monkeys. This area is the only place these critters exist. The move through the trees going after leaves and other stuff. They are mostly harmless and you can get within a meter or so of them for images. These were a few of the better shots I got. Was wishing I had my K-1 and my 70-200 lens though as my K-3 + my DFA 24-70 while fast just wasn’t giving me the best monkey shots. [sigh] Anyway, enjoy these.
The late afternoon was apparently a good time for the monkeys as they were feeding and moving around. We past a number of monkeys and final got to a place where my driver met us. We drove about a half mile or so to a small parking place and my guide directed me to an elevated boardwalk where we toured the third attraction at this park – the mangrove forest. I may have been in one of these somewhere – either Alabama or Hawaii – I can’t recall exactly but this one was compact and very cool. Saw more crabs in the mud and the water flowing through the swamp was sooo clear, oh and no mosquitoes either as the water moves through the swamp, nice for sure.
Soon, the tour was over, and I returned with my driver happy to have seen this reserve, I had dinner and began the packing process which would return me back to Moshi and ultimately home again.