Monkey Park, AKA Israeli Primate Sanctuary Foundation is an organization that rescues and rehabilitates monkeys. And today we are going to visit them. Let’s begin!
Monkey Park is located in Kfar Daniel, or more exactly nearby in Ben Shemen forest (not far from Lod).
Map of the area:
On weekdays, you can enter from 10:00 until 15:00 and stay at the Israeli Primate Sanctuary Foundation until 17:00. And on Holidays, Saturdays, and summer vacation the cashiers are open from 10:00 to 16:00 and you can stay at the Monkey Park until 18:00.
During the weekdays, and Saturdays the box office are open from 10:00 until 15:00 and you can stay at Israeli Primate Sanctuary Foundation until 17:00. On Fridays and on holiday’s eve, the box offices are open from 10:00 until 14:00 and you can stay at the Monkey Park until 16:00.
The price is 48 NIS per person.
The price for pensioners / disabled people is 24 NIS.
- everyone aged 2 years old and above has to purchase a ticket.
- opening hours and ticket prices were updated in April 2019. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting.
Most Israeli credit card firms offer discounts. For example, Isracard, Leumi Card, and American Express offer 1+1. And Visa Cal offers entrance tickets for 36 NIS. But coupon sites also offer discounts. For instance, Groo allows buying tickets for 35 NIS or 139 NIS for a family ticket (four people). Moreover, at cpnclub.co.il you can buy tickets for 39 NIS.
The Rescue and Education Center is an organization that rescues and rehabilitates monkeys. Since 1996, the center receives monkeys that have been seized by the police and the authorities after they were held in violation of the law and under difficult conditions. They also host monkeys who left the research labs and any other monkey in need of help.
Most of the monkey sanctuary is closed to visitors and allows monkeys to live their lives peacefully. In the open section, tours are conducted for private visitors, schools, kindergartens and adult groups where visitors learn about the activities of the rescue center and meet some of the groups of monkeys. Also, children can enjoy a large gym, an extreme sports area, a creative corner, and other seasonal activities.
The monkey shelter team works day and night to ensure that every monkey that comes to the rescue center has a good future and lives with other monkeys. As these intelligent animals with high cognitive abilities deserve, complex social life and developed emotions. We want you to know our monkeys as they behave. They pick up food that we prepared for them or the food they find in the area where they live and sometimes do nothing – like the rest of us! So in our monkey shelter, monkeys are not in a “petting zoo”! The visitors do not throw them food and do not touch them.
Source: official site
When Monkey park opened about two decades ago, it was quite promising. But over the years, the number of species decreased, and now there are only about ten different species (probably less) of monkeys. For some reason, the management decided to invest in a playground for children and not the monkeys. So, now they are not the best at anything (there are better playgrounds and better animal-related attractions).
Moreover, it is overpriced. At 48 NIS per person (everybody aged 2 and above needs a ticket) you can find better alternatives. For comparison: this is only 2 NIS cheaper than Jerusalem zoo, 19 NIS cheaper than Safari and more expensive that Rishon Le-Tzion zoo.
So after such a harsh introduction, you might be asking why we revisited the Monkey Park. I had a chance to buy tickets at a discounted price, so I did. Personally, by comparing to other places, I think that the price should be around 30 NIS per person.
Touring At Israeli Primate Sanctuary
This park is specializing in various monkeys. A unique feature of this park is that most monkeys in the park were saved (from hunters, diseases, experiments and so on). Thus, one positive thing about this park (especially for photographers 😉 ) is that most animals are not behind bars (or you are allowed to enter their cages). Thus, there is no bars/fence between you and your subject.
One important note is that when you buy tickets, ask about tours. Usually, you can join a short tour at the beginning, and towards the end (you have to be accompanied by a guide to pass through Squirrel monkeys area).
At our first stop, we fed the monkeys with olive tree leaves. The monkeys learned to pull the rope until they get the branch.
Here we are just before the end you enter a big territory with Squirrel monkeys. You are not allowed to go by yourself and wait for an instructor. Usually, a group leaves every half an hour.
While you wonder on the premises, the squirrel monkeys are jumping above you on the trees. They do not seem afraid of humans and can come quite close (as close as several meters). Thus, you do not need a big zoom lens 😉
How Big Is Monkey Park?
The park is not big and a typical visit will take 1 – 2 hours. Maybe more if you come with kids and make a long stop at the playground.
Do not confuse between Monkey Forest in Yodfat and Monkey Park at Ben Shemen (this place). If you are interested in Squirrel Monkeys, then you can also find them at Hay Park in Kiryat Motzkin. Another splendid animal related attraction is Gan Garoo, it is an Australian Park in Nir David.
For additional attractions with animals, check out the animals category. You can also browse the map at the top of this post for nearby attractions.
Having a place like Israeli Primate Sanctuary Foundation is important. But from the touristic point of view, this place could be much better. Thus, you can either buy discounted tickets (see coupons section above), and this way you will feel that you get adequate value for money. Or if you think that this cause is important, then you can donate money on the official website, and visit another place.
Have you ever visited Monkey Park At Kfar Daniel? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!