A few years back we visited the Boabeng Fiema monkey sanctuary in west-central Ghana. The kids loved it and it was cool to get so up close and personal with the Mona monkeys.
The Tafi Atome monkey sanctuary is located just off the highway from Ho to Hohoe. It was started by a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in collaboration with locals as an eco-tourism project to support the local community. Today it is one of the more popular tourist destinations in the beautiful Volta Region.
When you visit the Tafi Atome monkey sanctuary, you are taken on a very short walk into the dense forest next to the visitor center. Your guide provides you with bananas and he makes a few short calls into the woods. Before you know it, cute little Mona monkeys come swarming down out of the trees.
Hold out a banana and they jump on your arm and eat it right out of your hand!
These monkeys are so friendly because they have never been threatened by humans. They are believed to have spiritual powers and serve as messengers between our world and the spirit world. Local soothsayers send questions to the ancestors via the monkeys and they, in turn, bring back advice and prophecies from the afterlife.
While they don’t deify the monkeys to the extent that the people of Boabeng-Fiema do, they do have a tombstone marking the grave of one monkey.
If you’re traveling in the Volta Region and have a bit of time to spare, this is a fun little attraction to visit. It isn’t but 15 minutes off the main highway and the whole tour takes under 30 minutes.