The Barbary Macaque is mainly found in the cedar forests of the Atlas and Rif Mountain ranges. Although the species is commonly referred to as the “Barbary Ape”, the Barbary Macaque is actually a type of ‘old world monkey’ and so is not an ape at all. The Barbary macaque is gregarious, forming mixed groups of several females and males. Troops can have 10 to 100 individuals and are matriarchal. Unlike other macaques, the males participate in rearing the young. Males may spend a considerable amount of time playing with and grooming infants. In this way, a strong social bond is formed between males and juveniles, both the male’s own offspring and those of others in the troop.
The local macaques are friendly and used to the presence of humans. So while they are not tame we can observe their natural behaviour from very close distances during a hiking trip through the cedar forests.