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Tuesday, 11 October 2016 13:04

Volta Region

Tafi-Atome Monkey Sactuary

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Tafi Atome is located in the Volta region not far off the main road from Ho to Hohoe. In 1993 the land around the village of Tafi Atome was set aside as a sanctuary for the Mona Monkey population that lived in the forest that are seen as sacred. When the people of the village first migrated to the area they carried with them their fetish beliefs that revolved around the tortoise and the monkey.

The monkeys are seen as the speakers for the slower quiet tortoise. Because they were sacred they were protected by taboo, and this worked effectively until these beliefs were largely washed out by Christianity. By the 1980s the populations of monkeys were dwindling. After the formation of the sanctuary the populations returned and now they number over 300 and at least 4 different troops. Some are more habituated than others.

This village is definitely worth a visit, beyond the monkeys there is very little hassle in the village and you can take photographs and walk around at ease. After checking into the visitors center you can take a tour of the forest where you will hopefully see the monkeys. Your chances will improve if you bring some bananas, since the monkeys are habituated and already live side by side with the people of the village there is little concern that they will become a nusence so feeding them bananas is ok.

These monkeys differ from the ones at Baobeng Fiema by the white ring of coloring around their waists, they are said to be true monas, and the ones at Baobeng Fiema are and off shoot of the Monas. The ones at Tafi Atome, if you hold your banana firmly in your hand will come and sit on your arm and unwrap the banana and eat it while resting on your arm. These little guys also seemed to have more personality and can seem very playful playing pikaboo and swinging from vines.

In addition the Monkeys as the primary attraction you can take a tour of the village. Take a drum lesson, or even experience a drumming and dancing demonstration in the evenings and some story telling. If you would like to stay in the village as part of the visitors center there is a nice little guest house which by the time you are reading this has hopefully gone through the planned update. There also great opportunities for homestays if you wish. There are bikes for rent that you can use to get around to the nearby Kente weaving village of Tafi Abuipe, or farther to the Avatime hills.

Read 759 times Last modified on Friday, 15 December 2017 14:57

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