Monkeys are funny, as well as dangerous sometimes.
What precautions do I need to take when I am camping (under unavoidable circumstances) in a region where there are monkeys?

EDIT: Referring to Monkeys in India. Rhesus Macaques, Bonnet Macaques, Gray Langur.

  • 4
    This is going to depend on the monkeys in a number of ways -- size, habitat, familiarity with humans, boldness, etc. For example: colobus monkeys are likely to stay in the tress and flee, but are quite big; baboons are also big, and can be aggressive; rhesus monkeys will steal anything that's not nailed down and quite a lot of things that are. If accustomed to humans the latter will be hard to deter, but in the wilds your mere presence will disturb them -- for a limited time.
    – Chris H
    Dec 22, 2015 at 13:15
  • 1
    I think you might need to narrow this question to a specific area and possibly the type of monkeys in the area. Dec 22, 2015 at 14:00
  • 1
    @JamesJenkins I am not sure. Although the levels of risk increase with larger monkeys and apes, it's essentially the same question. How do I avoid theft and aggression from monkeys.
    – Escoce
    Dec 22, 2015 at 14:22
  • 2
    Possibly, I have little knowledge about monkeys. But if I change the noun Monkey to Bear in the question, it makes a huge difference. A polar bear in the arctic, a black bear in north america, a panda bear in Asia, are all going to have different answers. Dec 22, 2015 at 14:28
  • Monkeys are no joke. I've been attacked (in a hotel compound in India), and just yesterday I was speaking with a guy who was hospitalised after being attacked by a Rhesus in Malaysia. Both attacks were unprovoked, but as with bears in the US, they may have been because the monkeys had been socialised. Even so - if you're camping in monkey territory, I'd suggest taking any advice below pretty seriously. Mar 31, 2017 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


I love this question and thus I've researched a little bit. Just as you've wished I don't talk about the encounter with a monkey or something. I just show off the different races and their ability to adapt to humans in their territory.

What I wanted to make clear: I absolutely assume that the reader doesn't provoke the animals in any way!



Camping with monkeys is generally an easy thing. They don't assume you as danger or something. They might get a little curious but that's it. That does however not mean to underestimate them. Monkeys can be dangerous if provoked somehow.

This applies generally to all monkeys in disagreement with the comments beneath the question.

Scientific definition of monkey:

Monkeys are haplorhine ("dry-nosed") primates, a paraphyletic group generally possessing tails and consisting of approximately 260 known living species. Many monkey species are tree-dwelling (arboreal), although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Most species are also active during the day (diurnal). Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent, particularly Old World monkeys.

Lemurs, lorises, and galagos are not monkeys; instead they are strepsirrhine ("wet-nosed") primates. Like monkeys, tarsiers are haplorhine primates; however, they are also not monkeys.

From Wikipedia

There are even several camping tours which let you camp in such territories.

Of course you absolutely (!) should avoid camping in ape's territory. They are up to no good :) Luckily they're not subject of this question.

I just wanted to make clear that apes, strepsirrhine etc. are another topic and that this answer thus doesn't apply to them.

Rating system

  • Social ties

    How they are attached to their peers. The lower their ties, the harder to get in an encounter. For example "high rated" species often have several leaders which are - of course - provoked more easily then loners which aren't responsible for a whole group.

    • Low: kind of loners
    • Medium: small groups with flat hierarchy
    • High: groups with strict hierarchy
  • Sleeping behaviour

    Are they awake during the night or day? The most species are active during the day (diurnal). This is important if you want to sleep.

  • Territoriality

    Do they have a fixed territory and thus defend it?

    • No territory
    • Nomads
    • Territory
  • Living together

    Ranges from bad over medium to perfect. It's an overall rating how they do with humans. Are they able to adapt to them? In which relationship do they live with them?

Gray Langur

Is absolutely nice to camp with.

Gray Langur

  • Social ties: medium
  • Sleeping behaviour: diurnal
  • Territoriality: no territory
  • Living together: perfect

They can adapt well to human settlements, and are found in villages, towns and areas with housing or agriculture. They live in densely populated cities like Jodhpur, which has a population numbering up to a million.

This section might make the Langur seem to be a little bit like a pet but it isn't! When provoked or threatened in any way it can be absolutely dangerous! As I already stated this answer only refers to the basic "I camp and monkey does monkey things."-situation.

OWRAH: A langur went berserk and attacked passengers at Howrah Station in the wee hours of Thursday. The incident left at least five people severely injured.

Bonnet Macaque

Is okay to camp with.

Bonnet Macaque

  • Social ties: high
  • Sleeping behaviour: diurnal
  • Territoriality: no territory
  • Living together: medium

Thus they are well adapted to humans you should hold in mind that they've a strict hierarchy. An alpha, beta and gamma male will try to protect their group! Respect this and you'll be fine.

Rhesus Macaque

Is perfect to camp with.


  • Social ties: high
  • Sleeping behaviour: diurnal
  • Territoriality: no territory
  • Living together: perfect

Rhesus macaques are noted for their tendency to move from rural to urban areas, coming to rely on handouts or refuse from humans. They adapt well to human presence and form larger troops in human-dominated landscapes than in forests.

  • What about Baboons? Dec 23, 2015 at 19:17
  • Oh never mind, the question was edited "EDIT: Referring to Monkeys in India. Rhesus Macaques, Bonnet Macaques, Gray Langur." Dec 23, 2015 at 19:18
  • 3
    :) Maybe I'll add a section about Baboons anyway
    – OddDeer
    Dec 23, 2015 at 19:38
  • Huge upvote for showing the positive side of being outdoors in the presence of wild animals, and for showing them respect. This is really well-researched and explained, and offers so much excellent advice. I love the pictures too. I want to go monkey-camping! Mar 31, 2017 at 18:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.