Apenheul is quite unique: it is a huge park with 99% only monkeys & apes and the first Zoo in the world where animals can roam free. It is located in Apeldoorn, East Netherlands, in the region of Gelderland. To reach from Amsterdam is easy as there are direct trains (which will take 1 hour) or with changing the train in Amersfoort (which will take a little bit longer). From the train station there are 2 buses which will get you close to the park. The entrance is through a park with a lake in the middle, with lots of flowers and greenery, so spring seems to be the best season to visit it. And not only because of the explosion of vegetation, but also because most of monkeys have babies they carry around.
As most of the zoo’s also this one is full with kids, but I simply enjoyed the day: the kids were beautiful as dolls and with their hearts beating so hard seeing all the monkeys around them. They also had a spot package which includes a special map, a book with the species in the park, different games and mini-binocular (to discover the hidden monkeys). Oh, not to mention the games at each corner and the information set in such a way that you can memorize it at any age. So if you have a kid it is a perfect place to spend a day with him. (also for non-kids persons) At the entrance you will take a bag especially designed to keep the monkeys out from your things – as we know they are too curious not to search around.
I think the bag is especially for the Bolivian monkeys, as they had no issue coming down, jumping into kids strollers and searching for food or stuff.
Today I will write about the beautiful part of the park, the monkeys I liked most and the shows. I will leave for the next part the sad thing about any zoo, but don’t start crying yet. So usually we see sad animals in the zoo, or what we think as sadness in their eyes, but let me tell you about Apenheul: it is a park in which around 80% of the animals are free to roam around. Ok, they cannot leave the park entirely, but they have a huge area to discover and play around. They also breed there and the park is under an explosion of babies. I never saw so many lemurs at one place as I saw yesterday at one show: in one part of the park a music was put on and one by one the lemurs (makis) started coming to get some food, and not only them of course. (Click on the photo for full scale)
Another show took place at the gorilla island – it is the world’s biggest habitat for gorillas in a zoo, about 1 ha. The same as the lemurs in the moment that the music started, the gorillas appeared one by one, in order to get their food. I didn’t knew until now, but gorillas are vegetarian, so they received carrots, onions and potato (I guess).
There was an insider on the gorilla island and he was chased away, in the below photo he just caught a fly.
Some other pictures I took:
And now my favorite one. It is called blue-eyed maki or lemur, it’s from Madagascar and, unfortunately, he wasn’t free to roam around freely.
Planning to visit? Check their website for more information.