Go ape at Dorset's Monkey World

Monkey World near Wareham is just down the road from the Tank Museum at Bovington Army Camp.

So this can make a great double header if you need to entertain the kids for a whole day.The place is about 30 minutes drive from Poole.The post code is BH20 6HH for all you sat navers.

This place is really a rescue centre rather than a zoo.Primates come from all over the world having been rescued from some horrific circumstances.Spain is one place where chimpanzees are paraded along the beaches by photographers looking for clients who want a snap taken of them with the chimp.

Some have even been taught how to roll a cigarette for the amusement of the tourists.Thankfully some are rescued and brought to the centre where hopefully they can forget the trauma.

As for the cute orangutans, some come here from Taiwan, having been rescued from people who keep them as pets.Many manage to escape from their owners and are found wandering the streets.

On the day we were at Monkey World it was the Easter holidays so big crowds.Still an excellent car park very close to the entrance.Entrance price is currently £31 for a family of four.Groups of fifteen or more get in for less.

The site is not too big so it's easy to get around. Clearly the chimps and the orangutans draw the biggest crowds but the gibbons,lemurs and stump tailed macaques are worth a look.Many have been rescued from British laboratories.

At certain times of the day the keepers give talks about the apes,who is fighting with whom,which ones are ignoring each other.Sounds a bit like a soap opera just with no script.

Can't say I was impressed with the catering here but the gift shop is well stocked and you should find something you like even if it is a mug.

Kids get bored eventually, so I am pleased to say there is a huge adventure playground down at one end of the site.It has all manner of slides, ropes to climb and swings to swing on.It will keep them entertained for hours,will at least 40 minutes from my experience.Oh and they sell ice cream too.

Monkey World is open 10am to 5pm (6pm in the summer) every day of the year except Christmas Day,last admission is one hour before closing.


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