Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary

Trip Start Jun 21, 2012
Trip End Jul 21, 2012

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Flag of Ghana  , Volta Region,
Thursday, July 5, 2012

Visitin' Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary wuz one of plans in our schedule dat we visited. When I learned about it, I asked if we gotta interact w/ the monkeys without cages.  Yes!  I wuz lookin’ forward to seein’ 'em.  We stopped by banana stand & the CCS workers bought several sets of bananas for us to feed the monekys.  The trip took us about 45 minutes and after passin’ the sign, I knew it’s near.  Upon our arrival, I didn’t see any cages of the monkeys nor were they nearby.  The sanctuary worker explained about the species (Mona monkey) and how the sanctuary wuz established to protect ‘em from poachers and extinction.  We were told dat the leader of the pack wudda appear (the big male one) to check on us before others come.  He protects his pack.  There were 4 families of the monkeys, as the man explained.  He also assured us not to be afraid as they won’t bite us.  He told us to hold the banana tightly and when the monkey jumps on you, it will try to grab it and leave.  Then the excitement would diminish.   It will stay with ya and eat the banana ‘till it’s gone.  It will give peeps time to take photos of ya w/ the monkeys and to look at ‘em closely.

All of a sudden the monkey king appeared walkin’ on the ground toward us from the tree.  I was in awe and starin’ at it .  He wuz so big and I admitted I wuz a lil’ afraid ‘cos I heard stories how strong the monkeys are, especially they can tear ya with their powerful teeth.  Be cool & stay calm, Mary.  The CCS workers handed us a banana & reminded us to hold it.  In no time the monkey jumped on my arm & tried to grab my banana.  The other one jumped on my shoulder, just to perch on it. They didn’t weigh me down and I took the moment lookin’ at ‘em.  Disbelief!  So groomed, shiny, & beautiful creatures.  I giggled at the monkey when it dug the banana downward to my hand but when it kept eatin’ all the banana down until it reached to my hand, I had to let it go.  Wuz afraid it’d bite my hand by accident.  My interpreter helped takin’ some pictures of us.  The monkey mother jumped on me w/ her baby clingin’ on her body.  Soooo cute!  I briefly touched the monkey’s hair on its back to feel what it’s alike.  It’s smooth like silk.  It didn’t seem to mind thinkin’ I wuz lookin’ for bugs, eh

There were different sizes of the monkeys. They have brown fur with a white front. Its tail and legs are black and the face is blue-grey with a dark stripe across the face. Their eyes were big & reddish orange.  The sanctuary has different places for ‘em to climb onto such as high bars, ropes, and poles.  It also has a small buildin’ where the monkeys stay for birth and when they’re injured.  After feedin’ ‘em w/ the bananas, they’re gone back to the trees.  They jumped from the tree to the next.  Some of ‘em played & wrestled, just like children.  Some were lookin’ for fleas (or bugs) in others’ hair. They hardly stayed still when I tried to take good photos of ‘em.  Many photos were no good, but I got some good.  The sanctuary worker said there’s a river nearby where they go for a drink.  The rainin’ season is June-July and when it’s dry, the sanctuary provides bowls of water. 

We strolled through the jungle on a path.  I tried to look up in the trees for the monkeys but they all disappeared, not one sight of their movement.  We stopped by a Kapok tree for a group snapshot before returnin’ to our home-based.

It wuz a close encounter and one of best adventures I’ve ever had.  At least I finally saw an exotic animal other than chickens, roosters, lambs, goats, and sheep in Ghana!
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Patty Hetzer on

Hi Mary,
This blog was as much fun for me to read and enjoy seeing the pictures as it was for you being there. I didn't have to be afraid of the monkeys! So much fun!
Thank you.

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