Settled in the green forests of Southern Nigeria, the Drill Ranch, as it’s known to locals and staff, is a brilliant project set up in the middle of some of Nigeria’s most beautiful landscape. Accompanied by the echoing sound of drill monkeys and chimpanzees chanting in the forest, this project does not only have an impact, but it also serves as a nice stop for tourists. There are only some 3,000 drill monkeys left in the world and about 300 of those are here on the ranch. There are also a couple dozen chimpanzees. As a guest, you’re free to roam around, or join the staff on their primate feedings.
Time Needed: 1-3 Days
Backpacker’s Budget: $30-40USD
Things to Do and See in Afi
- Feedings: Staff feed the monkeys and chimps a couple times a day. This is the best time to go view the animals as they are active and up close.
- Nature Hikes: The staff at the ranch can organize hikes into the jungle where there are wild drills, chimps, and even a small troop of Gorillas, although a sighting of any would be extraordinary.
- Villages: Down the road, there are a couple villages you could visit as well.
What to Eat in Afi
You’ll need to pack your own food into the Pandrillus Drill Ranch as there isn’t a restaurant or anything of the sort nearby. There is, however, cooking facilities for you to use and all the essential utensils. The nearest village has a little store where you can buy some things. On the road towards Afi, in the town of Ikom, there is a grocery store along the side of the highway where you can stock up.
Where to Stay in Afi
You basically have two options when it comes to sleeping at the Drill Ranch. You can camp, or you can use one of their bungalows that they’ve built. The bungalows are a little bit expensive, but you can at least know that the proceeds are going to a good cause.
Coming from Calabar, you’ll come up the A4 all the way to the city of Ikom. In Ikom, you’re going to hang a right towards the Afi. Up that highway, you’ll see a big sign on the left side of the road indicating the Afi Road. The ranch is down there quite a ways. The roads are paved all the way to the turnoff to the ranch. From the highway to the ranch it’s about 10km or so of unpaved road, it’s quite rough but manageable.
Back to the Nigeria travel guides