Meeting the Macaques in Gibraltar
Visit the famous monkeys in Gibraltar for an unforgettable experience with friends and families. Meet & greet the wild Barbary Macaques in their natural habitat, the only place in Europe where they are allowed to live free in the wild.
Get to interact with some of the 6 Barbary Macaque troops that live freely in the Rock of Gibraltar, each commanding their own territory.
Facts about the Barbary Macaques of Gibraltar
65-75% of the global population of wild Barbary Macaques live in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The remaining number of wild macaques live in other areas of Morocco and Algeria.
Barbary Macaques are Omnivores, meaning they forage for a wide variety of plants, fruit, roots, nuts and insects.
It is estimated by experts that macaque species could be threatened by extinction within the next 10 to 15 years if action is not taken. The main threats are mainly deforestation and illegal trading.
- Height: 45-70 cm
- Weight: 10-16 kg
- Gestation: 6 months
- Lifespan: 20 – 25 years
- Fur: Yellowish Grey & Brown
Apart from humans, they are the only primate North of the Sahara and the only species of the genus Macaca outside of Asia. The Macaques in Gibraltar is the only primate species in Europe.
Their teeth structure is the same as humans.
They also have thumbs like humans.
Although not visible, they have small tails.
They are resilient to extremes in temperature.
Males are larger than females.
Social facts about the macaques
Barbary Macaques live in groups of up to 80 individuals, known as troops.
The Gibraltar troop sizes vary between 25 and 70 members.
There are currently 230 macaques in Gibraltar.
Each Troop has a strict hierarchical structure. Troops are led by an alpha female and/or alpha male.
Each troop protects its own territory from invasion by other troops. Incursions by unknown macaques will be communicated to the rest of the group quickly and the whole troop will take a defensive stance.
Troop are a close-knit family with all members taking care of the younger macaques. The elders will put themselves in danger’s ways to protect their young.
Grooming is a very special social behaviour where social bonds are formed and strengthened by the macaques.
In Gibraltar, there are 230 macaques divided into 6 Troops. They are all living freely in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.
Where to find the monkeys in Gibraltar?
All the macaques live in the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, this is where their territories lie. Nevertheless, they are also explorers and will tend to venture out into the outskirts of the town.
Getting to the Gibraltar Nature Reserve
The cheapest way of getting into the Upper Rock (Nature Reserve). Entry points are:
- via Jew’s Gate or;
- via the Moorish Castle.
Definitely the most convenient and relaxed way of getting into the Nature Reserve. You can choose from the following two options:
- Taxi transfer to the Nature Reserve
- Taxi Tour of the Nature Reserve*
*Bonus includes collection and drop off from your preferred location, privately hired tour, a personal driver for the duration of the tour and also air conditioning…a must during the summer months. Click here to book a taxi rock tour of the Nature Reserve.
The Cable Car is definitely an experience if you are visiting Gibraltar. Nevertheless, please note that none of the Cable Car stations is close to the majority of the attraction sites in the Upper Rock. If you have mobility issues, going up via the Cable Car is not recommended.
The Cable Car is also not available when there are high winds.
Foreign personal vehicles are not allowed to be driven into the Nature Reserve. Visitors are advised to park their vehicles somewhere near town and get some other alternative method to enter the reserve as explained above.
Open all days of the week except Christmas Day
Nature Reserve Ticket
Only valid for day of payment
Entry to all attractions in the Nature Reserve
£8 fee for children 11 or younger
Free- Children under 5
Monkey Tours in Gibraltar
Visiting the Barbary Macaques in Gibraltar is being considered by many to be the top attraction. The macaques are accustomed to being around people. Nevertheless, visitors must be warned that they are still wild animals. As scavengers, they will take any opportunity to steal food.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that you always visit the monkeys in Gibraltar with a qualified guide. There are two recommended ways to meet and greet the Barbary Macaques
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