Community Baboon Sanctuary
The Community Baboon Sanctuary covering some 18-acres and located 20 miles northwest of Belize City, is one of Belize’s most successful ecotourism stories.
Founded in 1985, the sanctuary is a community based initiative where landowners from seven of the nine villages which make up the Belize River Valley community maintain the habitat and environment to ensure a healthy population of Black Howler Monkeys, locally known as “baboons.“ The sanctuary’s success has been due in a large part to the efforts of seven of the surrounding villages under the leadership of the “Women’s Conservation Group” (WCG) who have been managing the sanctuary since 1988.
- The major highlight of the sanctuary is definitely the troops of black howler monkey that typically live in troops of 4-12 individuals with a dominant male heading the troop. The monkeys are strictly vegetarian - eating leaves, flowers and fruit and moving amongst the treetops and across property lines to feed in treetops paths that landowners have kept intact for them.
- It is likely that you will hear the howler monkeys before you see them. The males have a deep, throaty roar which establishes their territory and warns of intruders. The troops will generally stay up in the trees feeding, grooming and jumping from branch to branch, unruffled by your presence.
- The program survival of this community-based program has been largely due to the sustainable tourism practices, environmental education programs, training and income generating activities developed to assist local residents.
There is a small natural history museum and visitor's center, located in the most central village of Bermudian Landing. Since the entire area is privately owned, it is necessary to check with the sanctuary manager at the visitor's center and use a guide before taking off on the trails.