CONTRIBUTED BY QUENTIN RICHARDSON
While visiting Wissembourg and Colmar, we saw pamphlets for “Montagne Des Signes” or “Mountain of Monkeys”. The nearby town of Kintzheim sits in the middle of both areas we have previously visited, so we decided to visit. It takes about 3 hours to get there from Kaiserslautern depending on traffic.
Arriving to the parking area from town is easy as long as you follow the signs leading to the park. Parking is free, but the lot isn’t paved. It gets crowded, but if you are patient free spaces open up quickly. Signage around the area are displayed in English and German if you don’t understand French. Before entering the forest, there are restrooms, a play area for the kids and a snack bar. You are not allowed to bring food into the forest.
The line for admission wasn’t too long, about a 5-10 minute wait. The prices are fair, check the website for more information. At the counter, they give you tickets and fun facts/quizzes to use to learn about the monkeys (only one type of monkey, the Barbary macaque, is present). Before entering the habitat, you will be briefed on safety and feeding rules. The briefer will recite the rules in English, German or French, but you can also read the rules from signage posted at the entrance.
Once inside, you will be handed a handful of popcorn. Maybe it’s because it was late in the day, or maybe they didn’t tell us, but there were no refills on the popcorn. We exhausted or supply on the first five monkeys we saw. Sadly, the popcorn didn’t even advance far into the park. We spent the remainder of the time taking pictures (I forgot to bring my DSLR).
Throughout the park, there were various sizes and groups of monkeys. Some eager for popcorn, others simply playing around. Also, there are signs helping to familiarize you with the monkeys. You have to stay on the designated path, but there isn’t a time limit on how long you would like to take. Since we didn’t have plans, we strolled through and watched the monkeys play.
The park is very safe, even for small children as long as the kids stay about 1 meter away. The monkeys will reach over and snatch the popcorn from your hand as long as you don’t seem threatening. If there are crowds, the monkeys will retreat back into the forest. The best thing to do is stroll around between crowds. There is always a large number of people in the park during the spring and summer season.
Remember that you are going into the woods to see wild animals. There are areas with lots of bothersome bugs and smells. There is also no protection from the direct sunlight or rain once inside. And there is always a staff member nearby, usually wearing yellow shirts.
Tips for Your Trip:
67600 Kintzheim France
phone +33 3 88 92 11 09
Open every day from 21 March to 8 November. Also open on the 11 November.
March 21 – April: 1000-1200 / 1300-1700
May – June: 1000-1200 / 1300-1800
July 1 – July 10: 1000-1800
July 11 – August 23: 0930 – 1800
August 24 – August 31: 1000-1800
September: 1000-1200 / 1300-1800
October – November 8 and 11: 1000-1200 / 1300-1700
On Sundays and holidays, the park is open without a break at lunchtime.
Last admission is 30 minutes before the park closes.
Children (from 5 to 14 years old): €5.50
Under 5 years: free