Human Family Meets Monkey Family

Tour for families

We welcome people of all ages to visit and learn about the local wildlife and especially about our passion – the monkeys. Witness first hand the soap-opera lives of  famous monkey movie stars, like “Maya” and “Kumar”  shown in the the DisneyNature film Monkey Kingdom, as well as other monkey favorites appearing in documentaries on the BBC and Discovery Channels.


Photo: Barney Wilczak

What you will experience

  • You’ll See: three primate species: toque macaques, hanuman langurs, and purple-faced langurs. Learn what makes them so special; their different social and ecological strategies.
  • We’ll show you: a variety of social behaviors, including: maternal care, play, food competition, grooming, courtship – all communicated in monkey language comprising a rich repertoire of facial gestures, body postures and vocal signal. You may also see territorial disputes (warfare), anti-predator behavior among others.
  • We’ll explain to you: how monkeys differ as individuals,  their family and friendship relations and their often dramatic social histories.
  • Photograph: Our monkeys can be observed up close for easy photographs.

Photo: Barney Wilczak

Photo: Barney Wilczak

Activities you are offered

With guidance from our naturalists you will:

  • follow monkeys on foot in the forest of the Polonnaruwa Nature Sanctuary (Archaeological Reserve)
  • learn to make Monkey Identification Cards as individual monkeys are easily distinguished by their natural markings.
  • notice different behaviors and listen to us explain their significance.
  • attend a lecture and group discussion of the highlights of your field observations (optional, at the Primate Center Lodge).
  • watch an entertaining documentary film about monkeys at the Primate Center Lodge (optional)

What you will gain

Photo: David Barron

Photo: David Barron

You will gain a better understanding of :

  • monkey societies and their dynamics in the wild
  • how different monkey species are specialized in their behavior and ecology and co-exist peacefully in a shared forest habitat.
  • how and why monkeys differ markedly as individuals
  • issues of primate conservation
  • your human place in nature

Who benefits

The program is suitable for adults and children over 5 years of age.

Schedule and bookings

Field tours in the forests are for about two hours starting in the cool of the day, at 06:00 am,  07:15 am, or in the late afternoon 4:00 pm. Presentations at the Primate Center are scheduled at other times depending on the timing chosen for of  field tours.   The 06:00 field tour is preferred but must be booked by 12 noon the day before; visitors are offered an early 05:30 breakfast at the Primate Center and encouraged to book accommodations at the center the night before.

Book this monkey tour directly by contacting us or through AirBnB monkey tour.