Monkeying around in Sri Lanka with The Adventure Company

BBC One’s wildlife programme Living with Monkeys – Tales from the Treetops showed presenters Guy Grieve and Julie Anderson getting up close and personal with some of the world’s rarest monkeys in an effort to find out more about the species.

Now holiday-makers can also get involved in primate research on one of the Hands on Adventures from tour operator The Adventure Company. No previous experience is necessary and even children as young as five can take part – making it a perfect choice for a memorable family adventure holiday.

The Primate Paradise trip and Monkeys in the Jungle trip – new for 2009 – offer inspiring and affordable family adventure holidays in Sri Lanka. Both include time at a primate conservation camp in the ancient Sri Lankan city of Polonnaruwa. Travellers will spend two nights at the camp, joining researchers tracking monkeys, observing their behaviour and learning more about the project, which is one of the longest-running primate behaviour studies in the world.

Led by Dr Wolfgang Dittus, the main aim of the primate research project is to study the populations of Torque Macaque and purple and grey faced Langur monkeys that live among the archaeological ruins of Polonnaruwa in eastern Sri Lanka. Research includes tracking various family groups, observing hierarchies, and how the different species interact with each other. In addition, Dittus examines how the monkeys respond to increasing tourism and human encroachment on their habitat. He has an active environmental conservation and education programme in the area.

The Adventure Company’s Hands on Adventures were introduced this year, giving travellers two to three days practical involvement with community or conservation project within a wider travel itinerary. The ‘hands on’ element encourages interaction with the destination, providing travellers with a richer holiday experience.

As well as time at Polonnaruwa, the 16-day Primate Paradise and Monkeys in the Jungle trips visit Habarana for a dolphin-watching safari, the chance to climb to the summit of Sigiriya’s famous Lion Rock and an elephant-back safari. Travellers will also join local fishermen for a day on the boats, explore the tea country of Nuwara Eliya and take a jeep safari in Kataragama where further wildlife, including leopard, bear and crocodile can be discovered.

The next departure of Primate Paradise is 27th December 2009 – 11th January 2010. Prices start from £1,319 plus £100 local payment per person. For full trip details, see

The next departure of the Monkeys in the Jungle family adventure trip is 17th December 2009 – 1st January 2010. Prices start from £1,299 per child and from £1,899 per adult. For full trip details, see

Prices include flights, accommodation, transportation, the services of a local guide and activities as per the itinerary.

These are just two of The Adventure Company’s trips that bring travellers face-to-face with incredible primates. Howler and red-backed squirrel monkeys can be encountered during our adventure tours in Costa Rica and you’ll get the chance to view silverback gorillas in our adventure and wildlife trips to Uganda.

For more information on any of The Adventure Company’s wildlife trips, see or telephone 0845 609 0889.