We arrive at 11:45 in an immaculately maintained park. The automatic mowers are constantly at work on the lawn, which is almost as pampered as a golf course green!
We head straight for the restaurant, coming across the first free-roaming monkeys along the way. Only a stream separates us from them. The truth is that monkeys can’t swim, and have a fear of water.
The restaurant is spacious, flooded with natural daylight and very clean. It serves an enormous range of meals, including vegetarian options. The sun entice us out onto the terrace, with its views of the farm animals. Léon the peacock displays his magnificent tail feathers, and to the great delight of the children a duck comes to visit us.
After our lunch in the sun, we set off for the first feeding session. A keeper walks ahead of us carrying baskets of food - mainly fruit and vegetables, because many types of monkey are vegetarian.
At every feeding point, we learn the main characteristics of the species, how they live, their behaviour, etc. Our tour of the park follows the feeding points. The most eagerly awaited is feeding time with The Boss, and the funniest is with the bonobos. The Boss is a magnificent silverback mountain gorilla, who plays his role to perfection.
Majestically seated in the foreground, with his females spread around behind him, he makes an imposing figure with his 200 kg of muscle and dark gaze. In the bonobo community, the boss is a female: the oldest in the group and the greediest.
So when the keeper says: "and now it's time for dessert... today it’s pears”, she has no hesitation in immediately getting her feet wet to try to pick up more of them!
A visit to La Vallée des Singes is a rewarding experience in a beautifully landscaped park where animals are really respected. It’s just as exciting for the children as it is for adults.