Gibraltar Barbary Apes
These intriguing characters roam the upper rock, and sometimes the lower town, wild and free. There are various ways to visit them listed below. They are very friendly as long as you don’t try to touch them, they can touch you and quite often jump on you but don’t be tempted to pick one up or try to stroke it as the chances are you’ll get bitten.
1. Walking – it’s a long, long walk up the rock which is 3 miles long and the road zig zags from end to end so although you might avoid paying one of the guided tours you will be walking for literally hours. That’s great if you’re young, fit and don’t mind the heat, but for families with small children this can turn into a nightmare. If you do decide to walk take plenty of water.
2. Cable Car – A great experience and the next cheapest way to walking, unfortunately when taking the cable you can only visit the very top and miss out on other sites such as the Great Seige Tunnels, The Apes Den, St.Michaels Cave as well as other fascinating exhibits. The cars run up and down constantly all day with approx 15 min gaps, but be warned if an ocean liner is in there will be considerable waiting time and long, long queues. There are apes up at the top, but they are much more prone to bite than their friendlier cousins lower down at the Apes den. A great experience for the view as you ascend and descend in the cable, but another warning is avoid windy days as the car may have to close and you can become stranded at the top for hours, waiting for a minibus to collect you.
3. Taxi – Although the most expensive this is really the most ideal way to see all the sights, especially with small children. All the taxi drivers are very knowledgeble and will each offer a slight extra insight into Gibraltarian life as well as history, you’ll also be quite safe with your personal guide as they know the apes very well and give good advice on how to interact with them without getting bitten.
Whichever way you choose to visit the Upper Reserve it is certainly a well worth experience.