Tiwai island Nature Reserve

The island of Tiwai is located in the Moa river in eastern Sierra Leone. It’s almost 300 km from Freetown, and some 15 Km from Bo, but it’s not really easy to get here. The hard work involved in the travelling is worth youw while however if you want to see monkeys and apes.

It is best to make arrangements for your arrival as the campsite area is limited and popular with the UN and NGOs. Its very dissapointing to survive the long arduous drive only to find out there is no space for you to stay. Tents are available in 2 camps on the island, but not much else is, so be sure to stock your supplies before you get on the boat. Once arriving, the local staff will be happy to arrange a guide for walks and boat trips.

On the 4.5 sq. mi island of Tiwai you find 3000 monkeys and apes, the densest population of primates on the planet. Species seen on the island include the Campbell’s monkey (Cercopithecus campbelli); diana monkey (Cercopithecus diana); spot-nosed guenon (C. petaurista); red colobus (Colobus badius); black-and-white colobus (Colobus abyssinicus); and the potto (Perodicticus potto). The rarest of primates on Tiwai are the chimpanzees (Pan). Among their shown behaviors is their unusual capability to use tools. They use stones with a tree-root anvil to crack open nuts, and by holding a stick in their mouths, dig out nutmeat they cannot reach with their fingernails. These chimp also exhibit their culture as this ability is taught by an adult to younger chimps.

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