Monkeyland is a large primate sanctuary and rehabilitation reserve located just east of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. Located right beside Monkeyland is another sanctuary called Birds Of Eden. You can visit both places without even moving your car. The majority of the monkeys at this property have come from unfortunate situations. Many were lab test animals that lived in cages or were rescued from careers of performing. Others are dropped off at the reserve when ignorant people realize a monkey does not make an appropriate pet.
When the monkeys arrive at the reserve they start to learn how to be a proper primate for the first time. The center tries its best to rehabilitate and release them into the wild. It’s a difficult task since the monkeys were never in their natural environment. They have not learned how to climb trees or find food for themselves. The ones that have suffered severe mental trauma and suffering will never be released, they would not have the ability to survive.
As a precaution you have to go through the trails of the reserve with a guide. You are provided an opportunity to see several primate species that you would not likely get a chance to see in a natural environment. As you spot monkeys scurrying about and swinging in the trees the guides provide educational information about them. Although you will see many different types of monkeys, as well as lemurs and gibbons (a type of ape) there is no guarantee that you will see everything. The primates are free to wander the large forested reserve as they wish. High electric fences keep them from leaving the property.
Our favorites were the tiny white ear marmosets. We had a pair of them great us shortly after entering the reserve. They immediately took a liking to Jack, and particularly his shoes. They were enjoying playing with the laces, or perhaps they were attracted to smelly feet! After we sat at a picnic table the two of them climbed on top of it and stared at us with curiosity.
A squirrel monkey snacks on some fruit.
The brown howler resembles a bear and is suitably named for the horrible noise it makes.
The Cappuccino monkeys are the ones commonly used to perform as organ grinders and dressed in clothing.