Tracking down monkeys around the world is no child’s play. These little animals are smart and clever and know how to make the best of the ir surroundings. Given below are 8 destinations around the world where these exotic animals can be found :
Simien mountains national park, Ethiopia :
The Gelada baboon are also known as the ‘bleeding heart monkey’ for its red-streaked chest. These primates are the most terrestrial monkeys and are a rare species. Due to their red chest they are easy to spot and can be found on the Giant Lobelia in the Simiens located in the north of Ethiopia. If you wish to spy on these rare Geladas , then you must take a guide and a gunmen on your hike. The journey usually takes between two to fourteen days. The best time to take up the hike is between October and March.
The forests and grasslands of Madagascar are home to many exotic animals and among them the lemurs are quite popular. They include the aye aye , golden crown sifara and ring tailed lemur. You can find many of them in the tamarind forests of the Berenty reserve. You can also spot Verreaux Sifakas in the spiny forests and at night you can find the grey mouse lemur. The endangered golden Crown sifacas dwell among the loky manambato towards the north. Although you may also get to see the aye-aye here , a better place to spot aye-aye is the Aye-Aye island located close to Mananara. The best time to visit these places are between April and December.
Mahale mountains national park & Gombe stream national park, Tanzania :
The Mahale mountains national park is a great place to spot chimps. Its white sand coves, kayaking facilities and beautiful rocks housing about 1000 chimps make for a great adventure. However, it is not the only place in Tanzania where you can spot the chimpanzees from close quarters. The Gombe stream national park covering 56 square kilometers around Lake Tanganyika is also the dwelling place of about 100 chimpanzees. It can be reached through a boat journey from Kigoma followed by trekking into the interiors to get a glimpse of the chimps. You can also spot olive baboons and red colobus and crocodiles in the national park. The best time for the trip is between June to October when the trails aren’t muddy.
Borneo-Sabah, Malaysia & Kalimanthan, Indonesia :
The Borneo forests of Malaysia is one of the best places in the world to spot orangutans. Travel on boats via the Kinabatangan river into the Sabah to check out the Orangutans, macaques and gibbons. If you prefer to travel through another route, then approach the dense Danum valley in Sabah to spot 500 orangutans. Another great place to spot orangutans are the Kalimanthan and Tanjung Puting national parks of Indonesia. These dense forests boast of around 5000 orangutans. You can reach Camp Leakey via a two and half hour boat trip on Sekonyer river from Kumai.
Jigokudani monkey park, Japan :
The Japanese macaquey , popularly known as the snow monkey, are a sight to behold when they bathe in the man made pool in the Jigokudani monkey park. The friendly red-faced monkeys are pretty used to human audiences and don’t fret the attention. Although they use the lake to sooth themselves throughout the year, the best time to capture the pictures is during December to March when it snows. Apart from the snow monkeys , you can also spot flying squirrel , Asiatic black bear, wild boar and Japanese serow in the park.
Community Baboon Sanctuary, Belize :
The black howler monkeys are the most vociferous of the primates and stretch from Belize & Mexico to Guatemala , but they aren’t that easy to spot. However, the Community Baboon Sanctuary and the forests lying beside the Belize river is the best place to find them. If you take canoe trips or walk along the forest, you can find them hanging by the trees lining the riverbanks. You can also stay at the lodge to wake up with the loud calls of thousands of baboons in the morning. The sanctuary also houses 200 species of birds, hickatree river turtle and Eyra cats.
Van Long Nature Reserve, Vietnam :
Situated in the Ninh Binh province , the Van Long Nature reserve hosts some of the rarest Delacour’s langur. Their black bodies & thick long black tails distinguish these primates. Being a tough place to reach, this area is free from poachers and makes for a good setting for these monkeys along with many birds that can be spotted here. Apart from the langurs , you can also find white-browed crake and black-faced spoonbill in this reserve.
Khao Yai National Park, Thailand :
Khao Yai National Park is one of the largest monsoon forests in Asia and boasts of white-handed gibbons whose calls during the morning are intriguing and frightening at the same time. With its waterfalls, limestone karsts and rainforests the park is a paradise for nature lovers. You can trek to the interiors via the Liana Vines to be greeted by the white-handed gibbons and macaques. You will also find 300 bird species , elephants, Gaur, and clouded leopards in this national park.