Monkey Forest, Lombok
I defy anyone to say that monkeys aren’t cute. They have amazing little faces and movements akin to super-agile humans. I’d love to be as spritely as a monkey, jumping from tree to tree, even if it was just to try it out for a day.
So when deciding what to see and do in Lombok, one of the things we both agreed on was to take a trip to the Monkey Forest to see these little critters.
From talking to other people who had been to the monkey forest in Bali, where we were previously, I had imagined a vast expanse of open forest, situated in an area easily accessible by tourists. That’s the western girl in me. What we actually saw was somewhat different.
The Monkey Forest, Lombok is exactly that, a forest where the monkeys live. They seem to live in harmony with the outside world in Lombok. The forest is cut in two by the mountain pass across Mount Rinjani. You can trek through the forest and you’ll more than likely run into the cheeky critters, but there’s a much more relaxed way to see the monkeys. Simply just drive up the mountain road and stop at one of the viewpoints.
The monkeys are in an abundance here as they know it’s a perfect place for the tourists to come, and for them to secure a few monkey nuts.
I was a bit wary about the monkeys being boisterous. I had heard stores of the monkeys in Bali attacking the tourists for the food they brought for them or worse still attacking them when the food ran out. I can’t say I wasn’t a little concerned, but our guide didn’t seem concerned and took us to a little shop to buy some nuts before heading up the mountain pass.
An arrival, I noticed that there were only a few people at the viewpoint, which was bizarre, but I expect much more pleasant for the monkeys. People were being very respectful, just scattering a few nuts around and then passing the nuts to the braver monkeys who were gently taking them from people. There was a mother and a young baby. We were careful not to scare her, but I did sneak a few flash-free images of them.
After getting through a couple of bags of monkey nuts and snapping away about a hundred photos of these cute creatures we decided to leave them in peace to go along with their day on the mountain pass. The monkeys didn’t seem disturbed by the handful of tourists there, in fact, they seemed to be very chilled out and open to posing for a few pictures in exchange for some food. The cars on the mountain road take it easy, so there’s little danger of the monkeys getting hit, but I also think that both humans and monkeys seem to have adopted a harmonious approach to sharing the forest.
When we left we were approached by a chap who was some kind of mountain janitor and asked to make a contribution to the area. I looked to our guide for some reassurance whether this was legit and he said it was, so we parted with a small contribution, he wasn’t asking for much, and waved bye to the monkeys.
I really enjoyed seeing the monkeys up close and they were really gentle-natured. This was a real highlight of our day out exploring Lombok.
Read more posts in the Travel Category