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Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Lima z/n | Kaya IR. Randolph Statius van Eps, Bonaire
Phone Number:
+599 9 560 7607
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed 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

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Visitor rating
  • 319
  • 83
    Very good
  • 12
  • 4
  • 0
Worth Visiting

A wonderful place to spend an hour or two. You can take a taxi from the cruise port but better to drive through so you can feed the animals. Fun to see and pet the baby donkey... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Marine City, Michigan
via mobile
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582 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 418: English reviews
Marine City, Michigan
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A wonderful place to spend an hour or two. You can take a taxi from the cruise port but better to drive through so you can feed the animals. Fun to see and pet the baby donkey as well as the the old guy. Worth a visit!!

Thank debbaitinger27
Level Contributor
55 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We have traveled as a family for many years to Bonaire. Absolutely love it!! Every vacation to Bonaire is not complete without a visit to the Donkey Sanctuary. These people are doing amazing things! From population control, capturing, neutering, tagging, veterinary services, to caring for the newborns as well as the elderly donkeys etc. It is easy to find, close... More 

Thank Ruth H
Marion J, Manager at Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire, responded to this review

I know you are coming for years to visit the Sanctuary,we are great full for your help and for the nice review and hopefully we see you next year. Kind regards marion More 

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Buy three or four loaves of bread before you go. You will have a bunch of donkey heads in you car in no time. Keep all the windows down so they don't get broken. You may want to bring a set of tongs with you if you are afraid of those big donkey teeth. Don't be alarmed if they chase... More 

Thank christopher C
former NYr
Level Contributor
87 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Seeing these cute animals in a somewhat natural habitat was very rewarding. Feeding them fresh carrots (availabe for purchase upon entering) was such fun. I revisited two times as it is good cause relying on entrance fees and visitor's gratuities. My understanding is that when cars replaced these work animals they were left on their own. This sanctuary helps sustain... More 

Thank RudyWformerNYr
Brecon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
328 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The sanctuary has moved since our last visit, still quite close to the airport. We visited in our hire car, and drove round, allow plenty of time as the donkeys come over and stick their heads through the open car windows!!! Carrots often available for our chance. Well worth a visit, assuming you like donkeys!!

Thank MrMrsW50
Willemstad, Curacao
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

great experience to drive around with your car in this fantastic landscape full of donkeys. To recommend for adults and children for sure. and last but not least you support the donkey sanctuary with your visit.

Thank Ben R
Joliet, Illinois
Level Contributor
66 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This reserve stretches over 60 acres and is specifically for the donkeys. The locals set this up as the donkeys were phased out in favor of trucks in the 1950's. The donkeys were freed and ofcourse multiplied. The reserve helps to keep the population from expanding as well as care for the sick and frail animals. Definitely buy carrots at... More 

Thank Beanctr999
Chimayo, New Mexico
Level Contributor
61 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This refuge is on a large farm and is run by volunteers. They currently provide care for over 600 feral donkeys that were wandering around the island starving or injured. You drive around the farm in your own vehicle. The donkeys will come to your car window looking for carrots. Carrots are on sale in the visitor's center. You will... More 

Thank judyt1957
Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We visited the Donkey Sanctuary via a golf cart rental through Bonaire Cruisers. We spent a little bit of time at their gift shop… buying some cute, reasonably priced souvenirs. We were then given a brief, but detailed introduction about the sanctuary by a very pleasant young lady who obviously had a passion for the donkeys. Since we were on... More 

Thank benz7
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We didn't know what to expect but we were warmly greeted when we arrived. We got a good orientation right away. We paid for our tickets and a bag of carrots for the donkeys. I wished we had bought more carrots because the donkeys go bonkers for them. The sanctuary is very well organized and well run. The donkeys are... More 

Thank Patsy H

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