Connect with us


Wild Fun in South Africa: Monkeying Around at the Bushbabies Sanctuary

Nestled just west of Hartbeesport Dam, right next to the Elephant Sanctuary, you’ll find a place where those cheeky monkeys (the kind that enjoy flinging stuff at unsuspecting tourists) finally get their shot at freedom in a setting that rivals a five-star resort. This sanctuary, cleverly tucked away in one of the Magaliesberg mountain range’s many kloofs (that’s fancy-speak for gorges), caters to monkeys from all corners of the globe. And no, they didn’t have to flash their passports at the entrance!


Welcome to the Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary, where they’re not backed by any deep-pocketed benefactors. Nope, they’re a proud, privately-owned establishment that spans roughly 7 ha, right next to those big-eared elephant neighbors. You see, they’re so hip that they’re part of a super-exclusive club, with only eight primate sanctuaries worldwide that do this whole “free-release” thing. Their funds? Well, that comes from the cash they rake in from showing curious humans around their digs and selling souvenirs. Not bad for a bunch of monkeys, right?



These primates – the squirrel, spider, and capuchin variety, to be precise – get a second chance at life here. In their past lives, they were the “in” pets or bred like tomorrow’s hot fashion, but now they get to trade that for waterfalls, lush greenery, mountain springs, and the thrill of living like a true monkey-in-the-wild. The sanctuary’s mission? Simple: give these cheeky critters a taste of the wild side, just the way they’d like it.


But the fun doesn’t stop there! They’re all about education, too. You see, when you visit, they’re not just showing you around for giggles – they’re on a mission to make you see that monkeys don’t cut it as pets. Your takeaway? Monkeys belong in the wild, and they’re here to spread the word. So, remember, folks, it’s a sanctuary, not a pet store.


And guess what? The Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary isn’t alone in this game; they’re part of a whole gang of sanctuaries, hanging out with the elephants and whatnot. So, if you’re looking for a fun-filled day, just hop on over to the sanctuary, where the monkeys have it all – waterfalls, lushness, and a wild, wild time. Oh, and don’t forget to say “hi” to their cast of characters: Squirrel Monkey, Capuchin Monkeys, Black-Handed Spider Monkeys, Ringtail Lemur, Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, and, of course, the stars of the show, the Bushbabies.

Now, let’s talk prices. From November 1, 2022, to October 31, 2023, it’s R450 for the adults, R320 for the wise senior citizens, R250 for the little ones (ages 4 to 14), and under-4s, they’re in for free! For the next year, from November 1, 2023, to October 31, 2024, the rates go up just a smidge: R495 for the adults, R395 for the seasoned seniors, R295 for the kiddos (ages 4 to 14), and, yes, under-4s, still free as a bird. Tours? They kick off on the hour, every hour, with the first one at 09:00 and the last at 16:00. No rush, folks, they’ve got a whole hour to show you around.



Don’t stress, though – you don’t have to book in advance unless you’re bringing your entire neighborhood (a group of 15+ will do it). The stroll through the sanctuary covers about 3 km and takes roughly an hour. So, toss some essentials in your backpack, slip on those comfy shoes, grab your camera, slap on some sunblock, and throw on a hat. You’ll be ready for a wild adventure.


But hold on, they’ve got a surprise! They’ve cooked up a “Full Day Guided Elephant and Monkey program” that’s like a day in the life of a sanctuary keeper. This immersive experience goes down at the Hartbeespoort Elephant & Monkey Sanctuary, and you get up close and personal with African Elephants and Exotic Monkeys. If that doesn’t sound like a wild time, what does?


The Full Day Program will set you back R2,550 per adult and R1,750 per child. Available only on weekdays, it kicks off at 07:30 and ends at 16:30. You’ll be brushing down elephants, mingling with meerkats, and getting up close and personal with monkeys – all in a day’s work.


If you’re in a hurry or just want to pick either elephants or monkeys, there’s a Half Day Program for you. It’s R1,795 for adults and R1,200 for kiddos aged 8-14. And guess what? You can get up close and personal with the monkeys bright and early at 08:30. Just make sure you check for available time slots and remember that you’ll need a group of at least four and no more than ten eager participants. Plus, they kindly ask you to leave your own transportation out of the deal – that’s on you.

So, there you have it, a day with the monkeys and elephants that’s sure to make your friends green with envy. Get ready to monkey around and create memories that’ll have everyone saying, “Remember that time we hung out with the wild bunch at the Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary?”

Continue Reading