What images spring to mind when you think of Morocco? Deserts, camel rides, souks, blankets and carpets? How about monkeys?

The Monkeys of MoroccoIt is a little known fact that there is actually a population of around 15,000 Barbary macaque (Barbary Apes) living in Morocco. These monkeys are the only primates aside from humans living north of the Sahara on the African continent, and are even more unique because of their existence outside of Asia!

It’s not just geography that makes these naturally tail-less monkeys unique, they have long been coveted and captured by passing travellers because of their thick ginger fur. The skeletal remains of the monkeys are said to have been discovered in the ashes of Pompeii, and even deep within an Egyptian catacomb!

Seeing the monkeys in Morocco is an experience of a lifetime, and if you are lucky enough to see a young family of Barbary Apes, you will be amazed at the love they show when looking after their young. It’s almost human!

Every member of the group helps to rear the young because interestingly the females mate with every member of the The Monkeys of Moroccotroop, so the males are never sure which ones are their young (they definitely do not mate for life!) They play with them, groom them and even hold them in their arms if conflict looks to be arising around them. The males are always on hand ready to brave any danger so that they may protect the young in the group.

As well as roaming freely in parts of the Rif Mountains, the best places to see these inquisitive and beautiful creatures on our private tours are near Azrou in the Middle Atlas Mountains and the Ouzoud Waterfall in the High Atlas Mountains. Be careful though, as they have perfected the art of spotting tourists and might just jump on your back for a little ride!