Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Our campsite is about 8km outside the town.  It’s a truly lovely site with huge pitches. We are still getting away without electrical hookup and are no longer worried about every watt – mothership electrical systems are just fine – no ‘Main Bus B Undervolt’ for us (sorry, you may need to be a bit of a geek for that one).

We took a long detour to come back to Apeldoorn, just a stone’s throw from Utrecht (well, 40km, but who’s counting?) The reason for this is that we discovered a really cool primate park called Apenheul, which tries to present various primates large and small without barriers.  Many of the smaller primates just wander around the visitors.

Even where it would not be safe (for the apes or humans!) to mix, the park employs clever barriers to make it seem as though you are with the Apes. The highlight of the day was seeing the gorillas up close.  We were in the front row and the only thing separating us from six bloody great apes was 20 feet of water.  None of the primates like water much and it’s an effective barrier between species and in this case us! More than half the species are free to roam among the visitors.  It was a wonderful day.

The Apenheul has a greater mission too: It’s a non profit organisation and all profits raised are invested in primate research and conservation programmes across the world.

Nearby the Apenheul are public gardens, Park Berg en Bos, including a pretty spectacular wooden tower with a great view of the surrounding forest.