Yodfat Monkey Forest
Yodfat Monkey Forest is a 1-acre wildlife refuge situated in a natural oak forest in Moshav Yodfat. It has harbored squirrel monkeys since 1976 and rescues and provides a life-long home for animals subjected to deprivation or neglect. It also contains farm animals. It is not a zoological park. Nor is it specifically directed at providing education.
Visiting the Monkey Forest:
Time: Allow at least an hour and preferably longer.
Directions: Enter into Waze “Monkey Forest – Yodfat” into Waze. However, do not follow Waze directions within the moshav but park in the parking areas around the first roundabout. Then walk past the stores to the Monkey Forest entrance.
Admission: The forest is open from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm all days of the week except Friday when it is open from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm. Entry is up to 1 hour before closing, although it is recommended to come at least 2 hours before closing. Admission is 59 nis from age 2 years, and 56 nis through their website. Student admission is 53 nis. There is a snack bar for hot and cold drinks, a shaded picnic area and WC’s. Their telephone number is 04 980 1265. Click here for their Hebrew website.
You will be able to feed the squirrel monkeys. They are very tame.
More squirrel monkeys
Walking through the forest
One of the delights of this refuge is the windy path through the forest, since one never knows what is coming next. Close to the entrance are squirrel monkeys that roam wild, are very tame, and can be fed. There are two other areas with monkeys in cages so do not expect to see a lot of monkeys. Most of the other exhibits are either birds or farm animals, some of which, such as the partridges, are free roaming. There are a number of small ponds with ducks. The paths are not stroller or wheelchair friendly. Note that the wire enclosures for the animals do not make for good photos. Many comments from websites have been enthusiastic while others have been disappointed.
Nearby places of interest:
Tel Yodfat is only a short distance from Yodfat (see Tel Yodfat). There are also tourist-type stores and a restaurant adjacent to the Monkey Forest.