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Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

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London, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 4,876
reviews: 35
Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

The macaque silvanus (Barbary Ape, though it's a monkey not an ape) inhabits the cedar forests of Morocco. Cedar trees typically only grow at over 1600-1700m, so you find them and their monkeys in the Middle Atlas, Rif and High Atlas.

You can view a YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPhzzDUIZds) showing the monkeys and their babies enjoying melons! Choose HD for the best quality playback.

Azrou is a good place to view the macaques, with three spots that are normally more or less guaranteed to provide a sighting.

Spots 1 and 2: from Azrou (1450m) head south on the N13 to Midelt. As you leave town you pass an Afriquia fuel station on your right and ascend through a Holm Oak (evergreen oak) forest. 6-7km after the Afriquia you start to see the first of the cedars. Spot 1 is the crossroads with rock and fossil sellers on the left. If there's none here, or if you are coming from the south, the second spot is right at the southern edge of the cedar forest before open countryside.

Spot 3: head east out of Azrou on the N8 towards Ifrane. After 3-4km you'll pass a remarkably ornate set of buildings on the right. 900m further on take a road to the right which is probably signposted Cedar Gourand. Carry on for 4km, the last couple of hundred metres are gravel and park up by the big dead cedar tree.

You can see the placements on this map: http://www.infar.co.uk/tim/azrou-monkeys.jpg

I've also included a waypoint marking Mischlifen, a winter ski resort set in the caldera of an extinct volcano. A nice round trip from Azrou is to take the N13 south past monkey spots 1 and 2, then take the P7231 to Mischlifen. Take a small road to the right to descend into the caldera. Afterwards continue on and return via Ifrane. As you exit Ifrane for Azrou, take the road to the left by the side of the Shell station signposted Ras El Ma (marked in orange on the map), for a scenic ride back through the forest.

Unless you are driving a 4WD vehicle, don't take any of the inviting-looking shortcut roads marked in white as these are pistes (tracks). The ones I've marked in orange are tarmac so OK for ordinary cars.

Tim

12 replies to this topic
Tangier, Morocco
Destination Expert
for Tangier
posts: 438
reviews: 11
1. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the info on the Barbary Apes - I am hoping to do a trip to that area soon. I am sure many other people are glad to have that information.

Therefore, I think you need to post this in the "Morocco Traveller Articles" section rather than make it a topic in the Morocco forums.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 4,876
reviews: 35
2. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

I find TripAdvisor incredible difficult to navigate. I've been looking for several minutes and can't find what you are referring to. Any chance of a link?

Tangier, Morocco
Destination Expert
for Tangier
posts: 438
reviews: 11
3. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

Me too! I mis-posted an article about the Tanja Latina festival.

I think for this topic you should use the following link:

tripadvisor.co.uk/AllReviews-g298350-Ifrane.…

You will see a mention "Post a new article" - click on that and repost your Barbary Apes article. I think it will sit in the "Ifrane" section, but at least it will be there for (hopefully) a long time, rather than get lost amongst the other topics.

Thanks again for your info.

Jim Thorpe...
posts: 184
reviews: 40
4. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

Tim - Thank you so much for taking the time to post this. Love the map.

I've also enjoyed reading all of your posts about Morocco as I plan a trip for next year - I appreciate all of your knowledge and enthusiasm!

Malabo, Equatorial...
posts: 41
reviews: 4
5. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

A great article but i cant open the link to the map, has it changed?

Stockholm, Sweden
posts: 2,992
reviews: 40
6. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

I cannot open this map either.

Madrid, Spain
posts: 134
reviews: 30
7. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

Thanks for the useful info as usual! We saw them at spot 3 and it was a really nice stop with few foreign tourists and lots of Moroccan families. Much nicer to see the monkeys there than chained up for the tourists to take pics in Marrakech! Your directions are a lot better than the ones in our guidebook, we missed the exit and had to go back and look for it.

Stockholm, Sweden
posts: 2,992
reviews: 40
8. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

weedy, you can find the correct link here:

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa…

Malabo, Equatorial...
posts: 41
reviews: 4
9. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

Thanks Khamlia..i got it now

Newark, New Jersey
posts: 4
10. Re: Barbary Apes in the Cedar Forests

Hi Tim

Thanks for the video and the article on the Barbary Apes. i was there 3 months ago,and i had to go deep into the forest to see the damn monkeys.

keep it up!

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