Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Drill monkeys

After an involving and exhausting 3 day retreat for the new NEITI Board in Calabar, yesterday afternoon, a colleague and I visited the Drill Monkey Rehab centre on Ndidem Nsang Iso Road, just a few minutes from the city centre. It was pure therapy to stare at the chimpanzees (rescued from various places), with their half foot, half hand feet and age-old faces. The chimps were greedily demolishing mangoes when we arrived.

Nearby in their own large pen, the Drill monkeys are a fascinating site. The alpha male (who goes by the name of 'Creek Town') has a bright blue bum - sign of his authority status. The former alpha male (forgotten his name) has an appropriately fading blue bum. There is also an obese alpha male who moves around slowly with rippling layers of midriff- surely a reflection of modern times? Our guide told us that there is some tension in the clan, as the former alpha male is dating Creek Town's sister. Drill monkeys are irresistible to watch, with their unmoving shiny African-mask faces and bushy bodies. If ever you are in Cali, its well worth a stop off. Better still, plan to go upstate to Afi Mountain to the reserve. Email [email protected] if you fancy it.

Calabar itself is beguiling. The pace of life is Ghanaian, the people relaxed and friendly. Shame the hotels are a bit crappy and Freddy's is the only Lebanese joint in town - forget about any other non-Nigerian cuisine. Shame also that Tinapa is fading ever further away from being a commercial success. If only someone would come along and re-brand it as a leisure resort - that would work.


Anonymous,  3:49 pm  

thanks for high lighting a great part of my city.

Anonymous,  5:01 pm  

got any pictures of your calabar trip?

Anonymous,  12:02 am  

pace of life ghanaian? I don't think so!

culturalmiscellany 12:41 pm  

lgAlso loved my trip to the Drill Monkey Reserve last year. ITs was great being back having visited briefly two years before. I hope to go back there very soon. I agree that Calabar is in stark contrast to alot of Nigeria's other towns and cities, I found it very refreshing. Did you manage to walk down to the river and see the project going on down there?

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