March 10, 2014

I was so excited to go here. Whenever I go to a new country one of my main objectives is to see as much local wildlife as possible. In Boabeng Fiema the monkeys are considered to be sacred and are not allowed to be harmed as what happens to them, will also happen to you and you will suffer. They are considered to be equals and there is even a monkey graveyard where they are buried. As they are not allowed to be harmed monkeys pretty much have the run of the villages, with so little fear of humans they will happily steal the locals food.


As we bumped along the dirt road to the sanctuary I was staring at the trees trying to spot the first monkey when we turned a corner and they were all playing in the road ahead. The first of the many, many monkeys I saw that day! As we drove through the village there were the extremely friendly Mona monkeys on one side and the shyer Colobus monkeys on the other. We stopped to quietly watch them, and then realising how curious they were about us, we threw them some of the bananas we’d bought en route.


Mona monkeys nomming on our bananas




Colobus monkey hiding in the trees

We drove up to the sanctuary, which you can actually stay the night at –it’s where I’d been hoping to get to the previous day before fate intervened. I paid my 10C fee and 2 guides took us on a walk through the forest where I saw the cutest baby monkeys as well as the monkey graveyard. Priests and priestesses are also buried alongside the monkeys with one who apparently lived until they were 120 years old. Somewhat disbelieving I asked how this could be possible and they told me it’s because people used to live a healthier, more natural life when they just lived off the land. An interesting thought.


Boabeng Fiema Monkey Graveyard

 A long, healthy life


Unfortunately it was a pretty short walk as we had to head back so I could travel on to Kintampo but I did practically shake hands with a monkey :).


Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary


It was amazing to see wild monkeys up close like this. The traditionally beliefs of the local people have had a huge impact on the conservation of these animals in Ghana. Elsewhere it would be extremely rare to see even 1 monkey hiding in a tree, let alone taking a banana out your hand. The villages have stumbled across an impressive conservation method –if only we could convince more people of the value of wildlife.



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