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“A Must!”

Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire
Ranked #6 of 106 things to do in Bonaire
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed February 18, 2014

Definitely worth the stop. When we were here, there was a 2 week old baby that we got to spend time with. These folks are doing a fantastic job managing the population of donkeys on Bonaire, so stop in on your off gas day, buy the tickets that go towards keeping the sanctuary open and enjoy some donkeys begging for carrots in your car windows!

2  Thank Wanderlust3483
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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390 - 394 of 714 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2014

don’t miss this! The sanctuary is much larger than we realized before we went. It takes up a huge land area bordering the south fence of the airport. Allow an hour just to drive around it, going very slowly because of the donkeys everywhere. Some walked alongside our truck with their noses pressed against the windows or side mirrors. We rolled down the windows periodically and fed them carrots through the open window; they stick their faces right inside! You can never have enough carrots! They sell them in paper bags (currently $3) at the entrance and we should have bought more than one bag. You can also get out of your vehicle to feed them the carrots. The donkeys are gentle and friendly, but beware, you will mobbed! There is also a special penned area for mothers and babies. If we ever get back to Bonaire we will make sure to go again just to visit and support this. Nice little gift shop with some unique donkey-themed stuff we didn't see in Kralenkijk

2  Thank lifestartsat50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

Make sure to drive through the park and feed the donkeys. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard!

1  Thank Barb S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2014

We went at the end of our vacation because we were looking for something to do in between checking out of our lodging and checking in at the airport. This is a huge facility not far from the airport, which was started by a Dutch couple who were concerned about the plight of wild donkeys who wander the island, underfed and sometimes hit by vehicles. There is a fee to walk or drive through the grounds. It is a dirt road, and the donkeys can be anywhere, so you must drive slowly. We drove, stopping for a short time to climb the viewing tower, and it took us about an hour. Because visitors can buy food to feed the donkeys, they come up to you as soon as you arrive. I was surprised at the variety of colors in their coats. There is a gift shop with souvenirs and snacks, and a covered picnic area with seating. There is also a small enclosure with chickens, iguanas and tortoises near the end. The fee is $7 per adult, $3.50 for children 12 yrs and under. It was mildly interesting, and the fee helps support a good cause.

4  Thank CRPhoenix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

What a fantastic way to spend an hour or two. It takes maybe an hour or so to drive through the park, but there's also a viewing tower and a place to picnic (fenced off from the donkeys) if you wish. So much fun, and a great cause to support.

Be sure to bring carrots (or purchase them from the sanctuary, pretty cheaply) to feed the donkeys! They run alongside your car and stick their noses in looking for munchies.

4  Thank astevens16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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