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The Ashanti region is close to the equally marvellous Brong-Ahafo region, full with rainforests and amazing landscape. It is also the home of the famous Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary.
The people in Boabeng and Fiema consider the monkeys to be sacred and in the 70s actually came together to pass a law prohibiting causing harm to the monkeys. The story goes that a hunter in Boabeng came across some monkeys guarding a piece of calico. He consulted his spirit Daworoh and was told that these monkeys would bring him good fortune. The hunter took the calico to his village and the monkeys followed him there, and since then the monkeys have lived in harmony with human beings.
The sanctuary holds about 400 monkeys – Colobus and Mona monkeys. The Colobus monkeys are vegetarians and do not come down to the ground often, but the Mona monkeys come down all the time and eat bread, nuts and a lot of things humans have to offer. They come into the village all the time to steal things, but as the people are not allowed to hurt them, they simply get away with it!
It was simply amazing to have the Mona monkeys come up to me and take food off my hands. They are not scared at all and fully expect to be given something. They are still wild monkeys which is the amazing thing! The guide told me that in all her years, there had not been one day that she did not see the monkeys. There is also a monkey cemetery in the forest, where the priests of the village have been buried with other monkeys that have passed away.
Volunteers, especially in Kumasi should take this trip up to Boabeng-Fiema and they will not be disappointed. This trip can easily be done in conjunction with visiting the Kintampo Falls and still come back on the same day.
By Minato Kobori