Drill ranch. One of the numerous places to visit while in Cross River state is the Drill ranch. They are open everyday and there’s a tour guide to take you around. Major things you should know about the drill monkeys and the ranch:

What are drill monkeys?

The Drill monkey is a large, short tailed rainforest monkey. Drills have a smooth black face and look really alike. They communicate with facial expressions, vocalisations and behaviors. They are really social and live in groups of about 15-30 and super groups of up to 200 animals. The drill monkey is a very endangered species and long overlooked African primate. The world population of drills is less than 10,000 and could be as low as about 3,000.

Drill ranch Drill ranch

Where are the Drill monkeys found?

They are found only in Cross river state, Nigeria; South western Cameroon and on Bioko island in equatorial Guinea.

Related: Marina Resort, calabar. 

What do drill monkeys eat?

Drills are semi terrestrial. They search the ground for food like fallen fruits, roots, leaves, insects and invertebrates. They also climb trees up to high levels to pick fruits.  Being semi-nomadic, drill monkeys travel long distances in the forest, following fruiting seasons of different trees.


Are drills an endangered species?

Yes. They are. Drills are among Africa’s most endangered species and are in danger of extinction. They are currently the top conservation action priority of the over 60 African primate species.

Drill ranch Entrance

The reasons are

  – Drills are hunted down for bush meat. – Their natural habitat is being destroyed continuously by farming, logging and other human developments. – Their natural range is only 40,000sq km. Really small.

What is the drill ranch for?

Drills are protected by from hunting by law in both Nigeria and Cameroon. The ranch is like a wildlife sanctuary, designed to keep the drill monkeys safe from endangerment. It is the drill rehabilitation and breeding center. The ranch is one of the world’s most successful captive breeding programs for an endangered species.

Where is the Drill ranch located?

The drill ranch in Cross River state is located in 2 places. One is at the Afi mountain wildlife sanctuary in boki local government area of Cross River state and the other is at Nsefik Eyo layout, Ndidem Iso road, calabar. These are the only safe havens created artificially for the drills in Nigeria.


How and when it all started?

The drill ranch started in 1991 with 5 drills in Calabar. By January 2009, there were 298 drills at the ranch – which is over 75% of captive drills in the world.

How are the drills gotten?

Most of the Drills are donated by citizens of the state while some  are recovered by wildlife officers and law enforcement personnel. The ranch operators don’t buy the animals because it is illegal to.

How is the ranch funded and maintained?

The drill ranch project is funded by direct donations to Nigeria. The fundraising efforts of the pandrillus foundation in the USA and the Rettet Den drill in Germany. The pandrillus foundation is a Nigerian NGO founded and directed by Peter Jenkins and Liza Gadsby to promote the survival of the very endangered species. The pandrillus foundation also provides home for orphaned  chimpanzees. It is a 501 c 3 tax exempt nonprofit organization to help raise funds for Nigeria. The pandrillus foundation works in cooperation with the Cross River state forestry commission, the ministry of environment and Tourism bureau. In essence, the drill ranch survives by donations in cash and kind.


The drill monkeys in existence are continually threatened. The pandrillus foundation is trying to do their best. We as citizens should also support these efforts.

We should : – Stop the killing and hunting of wildlife. – Only carefully researched logging should be carried out in permitted areas. – Support from individuals, companies, organizations both in Nigeria and abroad. – Cash and kind donations like animal food, medicine, building materials, etc are appreciated from concerned humans.

Rules of the ranch.

  – Visitors are not allowed to feed the primates. Food and drinks should be handed to the ranch workers. This is carefully examined before feeding to avoid contamination and illness. – Visitors aren’t allowed very close to the cages. Drills are one of the strongest primates in existence.

Drill ranch

Fun facts

  – The drill monkeys mate over 30 times per day! – They have a working government system in their groups. There’s always a dominant male and female. – Like all systems of government, there ‘s always elections and exchange of power… To find out how, visit the ranch today!

The best part is that…..

At Afi mountains, there are options for lodging and camping. People that visit the ranch camp there.


  • It is adventurous
  • You make Your Own meals
  • Interact with the locals
  • Get to feel nature.
  • Explore the canopy walk way and the Afi mountains wildlife sanctuary.

What’s not to love! Wanna go on camping trip? Contact me and let’s set it up!

Quick question, what is your take on wildlife conservation?

If you find this helpful, please share this post and create wildlife awareness.

Drill Ranch. Protecting the endangered.
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