Back in May, we visited the Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary just out side of Hartbeespoort, North West Provice with Rebecca and our nephew Jacob. Set in an enclosed forest on the side of an escarpment, the sanctuary is home to dozens of squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys, capuchins, and lemurs. Most of the residents were rescued from the illegal pet trade, or adopted from homes of owners who got tired of having a monkey around the house. They were cute, curious, endlessly entertaining, and most of all, mischievous.
One tried pick-pocketing me before realizing he was only undoing the zipper on my convertible pants. And yes, I still own a pair of convertible pants because they are great for hiking and I am a practical person. In another instance, a spider monkey laid on the elevated boardwalk, directly in our path, seemingly deep in a mid-morning monkey nap. The guide quickly explained it was just her ploy to lure us unsuspecting observers to her before she pounced on a loose cell phone or water bottle.
We managed to leave the sanctuary with all our belongings, something the guide informed us was often not the case. If you’d like to visit the sanctuary or learn more about their rehabilitation efforts, go here.