At the start of July, Neil and I visited Monkey World in Dorset. I’d been once before a few years ago with my friend Helen. There is also a TV Series all about Monkey World and the good work that they do
Monkey World assists governments around the world to stop the smuggling of primates from the wild. At the Centre refugees of this illegal trade as well as those that have suffered abuse or neglect are rehabilitated into natural living groups
Monkey World is open every day except Christmas Day and an adult ticket will cost you £12.00. Head over to their website for full details and information. We arrived at around midday and the car park was already pretty full. There is disabled parking but the car park itself is loose stones rather than tarmac or concrete. It’s quite tricky to walk over as I discovered after we’d snuck into the last disabled space on the other side of the car park. Neil was in charge of navigation.
The park is split into sections, with different types of primates grouped together across the park. Each enclosure is huge! The monkeys inside have so much space and so many things to do, it’s really nice to see how well looked after they are, especially after the start some of them have had in life. If you are familiar with the TV programme, you will be aware that they rescue a huge amount of monkeys, often from labs or circuses.
As the enclosures are so vast, it can be tricky to spot a monkey amongst all the foliage. Something I heard alot of people complaining about. Monkey World is not like a zoo or a safari park. It is a rescue centre with the sole purpose of rescuing and rehabilitating the primates. Visitors are an after thought and the monkeys aren’t there for your enjoyment. It’s worth bearing this in mind when you visit.
When you do catch a glimpse, it is really nice to see them, in as natural a habit as possible. They are very characterful and joy to watch. Monkey World is quite large and hilly. The site is very well signposted and there are lots of places to sit and relax including a huge benched picnic area and designated smoking area.
It was a very hot and sunny day whilst we were there, so I was very grateful of the trees that lined the walkways!Monkey World have this to say about accessibility:
All of Monkey World is accessible for our disabled visitors except for the Woodland Walk. There are no primate enclosures along the Woodland Walk. In a few places around the park there are some uneven surfaces and short areas on steep cambers which may be difficult to negotiate for manual wheelchair users. We have a fleet of motorised scooters which are perfect for negotiating these areas, and can be booked in advance.
Scooters are available to hire and it definitely would be difficult to navigate a manual wheelchair along some of the paths. I am not a wheelchair user but I do have mobility issues. Personally, I really, really struggled to get around, I was very relieved that I was able to sit down often. The walk around the park wasn’t easy for me. I would recommend taking this into consideration if you decide to visit.
Despite the fact I couldn’t really walk for days afterwards, we had fun at Monkey World. It was very interesting to see the characters from the TV show – I heard lots of people talking about Gordon the Orang-utan!
All in all, Monkey World is a very nice day out. There are lots of places to eat and drink, places to sit and lots of interesting facts about monkeys to discover. I would totally recommend visiting!
Have you been to Monkey World? What did you think? Let me know below.