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Wildlife

Zanzibar's Wildlife

Wildlife in Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s big appeal is its rich marine life found in the coral reefs. The Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park incorporates the largest remaining indigenous forest on the island, home to several rare species.


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There are no large wild mammals on Zanzibar, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see. Zanzibar has a variety of land and marine habitats including coastal forest, mangroves and coral reef, supporting a range of wildlife. More than 700 species of fish, 53 mammals and 200 types of birds species have been recorded here.

From nesting green turtles to bottlenose dolphins, Zanzibar’s marine life is the main draw. Snorkellers and divers can see a diverse range of colourful reef fish, including anthias, powder blue tangs, lionfish, and bannerfish. Mnemba Atoll and Chumbe Island have the best-preserved reefs and in recent years community-led conservation initiatives have encouraged sustainable fishing and responsible tourism.

The Jozani Forest Reserve’s unique swamp forest offers the best chance of spotting rare endemic mammals and birds. The red-colobus monkey is probably the most famous resident, but look out also for the tree hyraxes and elephant shrews.

Great wildlife safaris to Zanzibar

Here are some of our ideas for great holidays focussed on wildlife in Zanzibar.


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Masala Beach Holiday

9 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Two luxuriously elegant hotels offer relaxation on Zanzibar’s beach-front and exploration of Stone Town. Combine peaceful tranquility with fine dining, indulgent comforts and vibrant culture.

US$5,390 - US$7,360 per person

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Turmeric Beach Holiday

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Relax on powdery white beaches and snorkel over colourful reefs on Zanzibar’s picturesque east coast before heading on to Stone Town to explore the labyrinth of cobbled streets.

US$1,940 - US$2,890 per person

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Papaya Beach Holiday

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

A relaxing holiday with a range of activities, where Chumbe Island Lodge and Matemwe offer tranquil atmospheres, considerable exclusivity and the chance to learn about worthwhile local conservation efforts.

US$2,390 - US$3,370 per person

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Ginger Beach Holiday

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Combine historic Stone Town with the palm fringed beaches of Zanzibar’s beautiful east coast, staying in two lively hotels with plenty of facilities and activities on offer.

US$1,100 - US$2,020 per person

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Cinnamon Beach Holiday

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Explore Zanzibar’s east coast beaches and historic Stone Town, with this good value, family friendly beach holiday.

US$1,220 - US$1,400 per person

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Red Colobus Monkey Safari

11 days • 3 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

This luxury holiday suggestion combines a wildlife safari in Ruaha National Park with a week on Zanzibar, exploring Stone Town’s narrow streets and relaxing on a palm-shaded beach.

US$5,260 - US$6,510 per person

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Turaco Safari

12 days • 4 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

This top-value holiday idea combines two safari areas with a week on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. Photograph lions and elephants, then relax under the palms on a powder sand beach.

US$4,550 - US$5,030 per person

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Coconut Beach Holiday

6 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

A luxurious island getaway split between a small boutique hotel in Stone Town and your own sumptuous private villa on a spectacular swath of white sandy beach.

US$2,190 - US$4,300 per person

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Clove Beach Holiday

5 days • 1 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

An idyllic beach retreat tucked away at an isolated, sandy cove, this great-value beach holiday is a great place to rest up after an active safari and reflect on your wildlife experiences.

US$1,090 - US$1,290 per person

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Regal Sunbird Fly-in Safari

12 days • 5 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Experience the highlights of Tanzania with a safari in the country’s famous northern parks followed by historic Stone Town and the palm-fringed beaches of Zanzibar, staying in high-quality accommodation throughout.

US$7,780 - US$12,040 per person

View all holidays in Zanzibar


Looking for Zanzibar’s smaller wildlife yourself

From the bush to the beach, Zanzibar’s smallscale wildlife is captivating: you can explore the Jozani Forest’s mangrove in the morning and snorkel over coral reefs in the afternoon.

Zanzibar’s fringing lagoon is very shallow, and this is particularly evident along the east coast, where the tide can go out for more than 1km in places, exposing ancient coral reefs. Explore the lagoon on foot, wearing reef shoes, to find red knobbed starfish, sea urchins and octopus hiding in the shallows.

The moisture-loving palms and red mahogany of Jozani Forest are home to one of the world’s rarest antelopes, the shy Aders’s duiker. However, you’re much more likely to see endangered Zanzibar red colobus monkeys. These playful primates are surprisingly habituated and often forage peacefully with groups of blue Sykes monkeys. Birders will lookout for local specialities such as mangrove kingfisher, crowned hornbill and Fischer's turaco.

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Wildlife

Other top destinations for wildlife

To understand more about the the wildlife in our other key destinations in Africa, click on the countries below.


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