I tried really hard to get out and about with Jessica as much as possible over my December vacation period, and one of the trips we managed to go out on was to Monkey Town, literally down the (National) road from us, and a place that neither Chantelle nor I had been to in at least three years!
Pleasingly, despite the fact that it doesn’t seem like anything has changed at all in those three years gone by, Monkey Town remains an awesome experience for the little ones (and to an extent the adults), and Jessica for one certainly enjoyed it!
For a change, Chantelle was available to join us for our little excursion, and so late morning after all the naps and feeds were dispensed with, we drove out to Monkey Town where Chantelle twisted my arm that first order of the day should be a light lunch at the pub/restaurant situated adjacent to the Monkey Town facility, overlooking the cool family braai, swim and play area that sprawls out in front of it.
After enjoying our food, next stop for the pram was Monkey Town reception, where we handed over our money, convinced the cashier that Jessica still made the cutoff for free entrance (instead of the R10 required for children over a year), grabbed a map and listened to the helpful instructions from the girl welcoming everyone in.
As luck would have it, feeding of the small monkeys had just recently taken place, meaning that all the food troughs in the massive enclosures with full of fruits and whatnot, meaning that the legion of squirrel monkeys, capuchins and lemur had been drawn out of the shade and into full view of the multitude of spectators that had braved the scorching heat in order to come monkey watching!
Jessica love being up so close and personal with the playful little monkeys, and eventually we managed to drag her away (there was no way she was going to stay stuck in the pram to watch all of this!), past the rutting tortoises, and just in time to see the handlers lure the chimpanzees out of their shady enclosure and into the outside play area island for some yummy snacks and drinks (which come in normal Energade bottles which the chimps open themselves and drink out of!).
After this it was pretty much straight into dawdle mode whilst trying to get Jessica to make monkey noises, and after a quick return to the start point to give Jessica her bottle and for us to grab something to drink, it was back along the walkways, taking in the various monkeys and lemurs that were on display in the variety of enclosures that make up Monkey Town.
To be frank, the selection of monkeys isn’t particularly huge at Monkey Town, but there are enough to be interesting and like I said before, the kids absolutely love the furry critters, meaning that even if there are a 1000 squirrel monkeys to take in, they’re certainly not going to complain!
One of the sights which I did in particular like was the up and close with the emus which Monkey Town has acquired (I think I counted about five). The male makes the most peculiar of noises when a human man (i.e. me) walks past, sounding almost like the beat of a drum! Guess I was a little bit too threatening or close to him? He certainly didn’t mind the ladies walking by, that’s for sure!
We spend a good hour and a half to two hours ambling around with Jessie and her pram, before Chantelle’s time was finally up and she needed to return to work, marking the end of our enjoyable little excursion with the carpet crawler/finger nibbler!
And based on that, I’ve got a good feeling that Monkey Town might be seeing a little more of the Lotter Clan from now on… ;)
(For more photos, visit the gallery here)
Related Link: http://www.monkeys.co.za/