I’m always very skeptical when it comes to involving animals in tourism. It’s against my principles and against the practice of sustainable tourism. Think about the whales at amusement parks or elephant rides in Thailand. When I heard about the Tafi Monkey Sanctuary I had my doubts at first, but my friends in Ghana guaranteed me there are no ill practices. The monkeys are not encaged or tamed – they are wild but playful. So, I decided to check it out.
Messengers of God
The Tafi Monkey Sanctuary was built in 1996, but even way before that the monkeys have had some sort of protection from the harmful practices of humans. The ancestors of the community believed that the monkeys served as messengers of God. Even today, the Mona Monkeys live in a free environment and they are in no way encaged. They are wild. Wild, but friendly when you offer them bananas. I mean, who doesn’t like juicy fruit, right?
Of course, the area has much more to offer. The quiet and safe environment is also home to thousands of butterflies and other insects. Also nature-wise, there is a lot to discover. Just like the animals, the area also benefits from the protection and is, in that way, able to flourish freely.
The sanctuary offers tours in the area as a source of income to sustain its business. Just like the monkeys, the local community benefits from the visitors too. Revenues from these tourism practices have brought electricity to the village, as well as improvements to the school and the local clinic.
So overall concluded, the sanctuary has passed my ‘is this the type of tourism i want to contribute to’ test!
|Tafi Atome (Volta Region), Ghana
|25 Cedis per person
|Time to spend
|About one hour. Perfect to combine with another stop.
|What to bring
|Don’t forget your bananas! 🍌
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