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Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire

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Address: Lima z/n | Kaya IR. Randolph Statius van Eps, Bonaire
Phone Number: +599 9 560 7607
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

In 1993 Dutch Nationals, Marina Melis and her husband Ed Koopman,...

In 1993 Dutch Nationals, Marina Melis and her husband Ed Koopman, established a donkey sanctuary on Bonaire for sick, wounded and orphaned donkeys: Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire.


The primary objective of Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is to offer a sheltered, protected life to all the donkeys of Bonaire. Our information about the lives and experiences of donkeys is also raising awareness amongst the local community, schools and tourists.


At this moment there are more than 400 donkeys living in Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. They are provided with food, drinking water and medical care and have plenty of room and freedom.

When a report arrives about a live wild donkey in distress, volunteers are sent to the rescue. Sick and wounded animals are nursed and, where necessary, a vet is called upon to give medical attention. Orphaned foals are raised with a baby bottle. All stallions that arrive at the sanctuary are castrated to avoid expansion of the numbers of donkeys in care. Once the animals are recovered, they are lucky enough to spend the rest of their lives lovingly cared for at Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire.


In all the years Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire has been active, a lot has already been achieved. Hundreds of donkeys were saved from the streets in miserable condition and were given a safe life in the sanctuary. Too bad there were also many donkeys that suffered from so severe illness or injuries, that they could not be cured. Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire paid for these animals the cost of putting them to sleep by a vet, so at least they were released from suffering any longer.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 446 reviews
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  • 326
  • 104
    Very good
  • 11
  • 5
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You Really Should Visit

If you go to Bonaire for diving, you should take an hour some day and drive thru this place. It's well worth the time. Lots of photo ops as the donkeys approach your pickup, and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Bethesda, Maryland

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446 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

If you go to Bonaire for diving, you should take an hour some day and drive thru this place. It's well worth the time. Lots of photo ops as the donkeys approach your pickup, and stick their faces into the windows.

Thank Larry9499
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We stopped by the Donkey Sanctuary not really knowing what we would find and this place is a gem. These guys are doing amazing things with donkeys and it super fun to buy a couple of bags of carrots from the gift shop and try and part the sea of donkeys as you hand them out on a driving tour... More 

Thank Eddie231
Deport, Texas
Level Contributor
46 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

My husband and I had a great time at the Donkey Sanctuary. The staff is very helpful and friendly! We had fun feeding the donkeys carrots, climbing the observation tower and driving through the grounds

Thank Kelly C
Basseterre, St. Kitts
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

We bought a bale of hay at the gate to hand out of the back of the truck, so much fun!!! But remember to keep your fingers tucked. The rehab center was really great, lots of very sweet donkeys.

Thank Wanderlust_187
Mukwonago, WI
Level Contributor
220 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The people who started here 26 years ago & continue to over see it's day to day functions have a heart for the wild donkey's of Bonaire. The age of the donkey's are 6 months to 44 years. Take the time to hear about their work and drive through this attraction.

Thank BiggPapa
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
242 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The Island of Bonaire has a donkey problem-the unfettered growth of a donkey population first brought to the island by European settlers in the 1600’s. The animals eke out a meager subsistence in the hard-scrabble wilds of this semi-arid island. Unfortunately, many are malnourished and ill and others are injured in collisions with a burgeoning number of autos on the... More 

Thank Joe C
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
125 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My wife and I drove through the sanctuary! We laughed so hard! Spend 3$ and get a bag of carrots at the front desk. You will have donkeys jumping through your windows for those carrots! We met a 3 day old donkey and saw the senior donkeys. Overall just a lot of fun! Stop by and donate your $7 to... More 

Thank Brad P
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Well operated, caring for 600 donkeys. Dedicated people. Warrant your support. Donkeys free roam in a very large enclosure. You can drive through, feed them carrots ( bring the little ones so they go further), pet them, walk around. They are very friendly and readily approach you and your vehicle which can be a bit daunting. Appreciate their history and... More 

Thank 11surfgrl
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Drive through the sanctuary with donkeys poking their heads in your window and following you. Highly recommend buying a bag or two of carrots at the visitor center before you head in. The donkeys are cunning and adorable, so hang on tight to the carrots until you're ready to give in.

Thank TravelOmnivore
London, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We stopped at the donkey sanctuary on a recent tour of the south part of Bonaire. The staff tell you about the history and purpose of the donkey sanctuary, then you're free to tour the facility. You can walk into the special care area and visit with the donkeys receiving special care (moms and foals, injured donkeys), then drive through... More 

Thank S and A T

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