Swing on by to Monkey Haven on the Isle of Wight – recent winner of the best small attraction in England. As the name suggests, it’s a primate rescue centre – a wonderful sanctuary that provides a haven for all kinds of monkeys, and plenty of other animals too. Visitors can meet mischievous monkeys, whooping gibbons, beautiful birds of prey, incredible reptiles, and notoriously naughty meerkats!
The primary purpose of Monkey Haven is to provide at-risk primates with their own, safe little monkey-world on the Isle of Wight. The rescue, protection, and preservation of badly treated and endangered monkeys is the sanctuary’s main aim. Many of the animals have been rescued from the cruel pet trade and are incredibly rare. They live in wonderfully extensive, excellently-equipped habitats, and the sanctuary tries to provide all of their residents with happy and healthy lives. Their work is helped by visitors, who can come and meet the sanctuary’s enchanting animals, enjoy their antics, and learn more about them.
As a charity, all proceeds from your visit will help the animals you’ll meet.
In addition to watching the animals go about their lives, visitors will find a lot to occupy them at Monkey Haven. Every day, there are several interactive talks by keepers, during which visitors can get up close and personal with many of the animals – you can even learn how to handle a snake at Reptile Rendezvous. Feeding times are staggered throughout the day, so you are bound to see at least one group of residents tucking into their food during your visit. There’s also a lovely shop, a children’s play area, a picnic area, an ice cream stall and an excellent tea room.
Also, if you download the free Monkey Haven app,you can plan your visit, follow a banana trail, see behind the scenes and take silly selfies.
Monkey Haven is open during the summer from 10am until 5pm, with last admissions at 4pm. If the weather is very bad, however, the sanctuary may need to close to the public. The health and wellbeing of the animals is the sanctuary’s priority and monkeys need to be kept warm and dry in bad weather. If the forecast is looking rough, it’s a good idea to phone ahead and check plans with Monkey Haven. The Isle of Wight has plenty of bad-weather options, so don’t despair if the monkeys are taking a 24 hour raincheck.
It’s only a quick hop from the mainland to the Isle of Wight and Monkey Haven. Wightlink can get passengers from the mainland to the Island in as little as 22 minutes! Once you’re on the island, it’s easy to drive or get public transport to Newport, near where Monkey Haven is located. Book your ferry tickets today – the monkeys and their friends are waiting!