Discovering the Wildlife of Zanzibar: A Must-Do for Travellers

06 March 2023
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For the South African traveller looking for a unique and memorable experience, Zanzibar should be your next destination! Located in Tanzania off of the east coast of Africa, this breathtakingly beautiful island is becoming more and more popular as travellers flock to its shores.

With dazzling white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters teeming with life, coral reefs perfect for snorkelling or diving and myriad wildlife species that are native to the area, you can ensure that Zanzibar will be the adventure of a lifetime.  

It’s no wonder then why Zanzibar is quickly being established as one of the top destinations for eco-tourism. In this blog post we’ll explore some of these incredible features and tell you exactly why adding Zanzibar to your travel list should be at the top of your priorities. So let’s get started by taking a closer look at some of the amazing animals that you can expect to see if you visit. 

The Red Colobus Monkey

Red colobus monkeys are one of the most iconic and fascinating animals found in Zanzibar. These primates are endemic to the island and can only be found in Jozani Forest Reserve. With their vibrant red fur and fluffy white tails, they’re a sight to behold. They have a unique social structure where females lead the group, and males leave once they reach maturity to join another group. Unfortunately, these beautiful creatures are endangered due to habitat loss and poaching, making it even more important for travellers to support conservation efforts while visiting them. Guided tours through Jozani Forest Reserve offer visitors an opportunity to see these playful creatures up close, making for an unforgettable experience. 

Wildlife of Zanzibar - Red Colobus Monkey

Giant Tortoises

Giant tortoises are another must-see animal in Zanzibar. These gentle giants can live up to 150 years and weigh over 500 pounds! They can be found on Prison Island, a small island just off the coast of Zanzibar. It’s an incredible experience to be in the presence of these majestic creatures who have been around for centuries. However, it’s important to remember that they are endangered due to habitat loss and poaching. Supporting conservation efforts such as those at Mnarani Marine Turtle Conservation Pond is crucial to ensuring their survival for future generations to enjoy. 

Wildlife of Zanzibar - Giant Tortoises

Marine Life

Zanzibar’s marine life is a true wonder of the world. The warm waters surrounding the island are home to an incredible variety of sea creatures, including dolphins, whale sharks, and humpback whales. Snorkelling and diving are popular activities for visitors who want to explore the vibrant coral reefs and swim alongside colourful fish such as clownfish, angelfish, and parrotfish. There are also opportunities to go deep-sea fishing or take a boat ride to see pods of dolphins in their natural habitat. However, it’s important to remember that these ecosystems are fragile and need our protection. Supporting sustainable tourism practices such as responsible snorkelling and fishing can help preserve Zanzibar’s marine life for generations to come. 

Wildlife of Zanzibar - Marine LIfe

Bird Watching

Zanzibar is a paradise for bird lovers as it boasts over 400 species of birds, both indigenous and migratory. The island’s diverse habitats, including forests, wetlands, and beaches, provide unique opportunities to spot rare and exotic birds such as the Zanzibar Red Bishop, Pemba Sunbird and the African Fish Eagle.  

Birdwatching tours are available with experienced guides who can help visitors identify different species and learn about their behaviours. It’s an incredible way to connect with nature and appreciate the island’s biodiversity. However, it’s important to remember that bird conservation is crucial for preserving these beautiful creatures. Supporting initiatives such as bird ringing programs can help researchers better understand migration patterns and protect these amazing animals for future generations to enjoy. 

Wildlife of Zanzibar - Birdlife

Conservation Efforts

Discovering Zanzibar’s wildlife is an experience that shouldn’t be missed by any traveller visiting this beautiful island. From playful monkeys to gentle giant tortoises and colourful marine life – there’s something for the whole family to enjoy while also supporting conservation efforts. Browse our Zanzibar holiday packages now to start planning your next adventure. 

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