Archive - October 2015

Hawkeye October 2015 October 10, 2015

Few places call up a greater sense of the exotic than Zanzibar. And it doesn't disappoint. Governmentally, the Tanzanian archipelago is semi-autonomous. Its main industries are spices, raffia and tourism. 99% of the population is Muslim and the architecture of Stone Town, a World Heritage site, is distinctly Arabic. Hearing the call to prayer five times a day and being surrounded by women in colorful attire add to the sense of intrigue in the narrow passageways.

Another attraction is the presence of the endangered Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, found only on the archipelago. Visitors to Jozani National Park, which has about 10 square miles of protected habitat, have the rare opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures. One oddity is their lack of an opposable thumb, relative to other primates. To compensate, their four fingers are long and can form a strong hook so that they can climb easily. Another unusual feature is their inability to eat ripe fruit. They eat young leaves, seeds, flowers and unripe fruit but their stomachs can't digest the sugar in mature fruit. It is believed that only 1600 to 3000 of these monkeys still exist.