Andy Awa is a charismatic and passionate guide at Monkeyland, Plettenberg Bay. He has a real love for the primates that he cares for every day and says he feels like he is one of them. Guided tours with Andy promise to be enlightening as well as highly entertaining, as his character makes for a very unique experience. Andy has special nicknames for different species, an appreciation of individual primates and can distinguish between the calls of species in what he calls “The Voice” competition for primates. Andy’s connection and understanding of these animals is a testament to his dedication in the years at Monkeyland.
“Before Monkeyland, I had no clue about primates. I really took time before I came here because I was scared of monkeys. You get these stereotype stories about them being naughty and an aggressive type of animal, but you get a surprise when you work with them, to find out these are actually a lovely species. Our primates are similar to the human race, in many aspects of their social life compared to our human social life.
“I am from the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), but I came to South Africa to study in Johannesburg. I studied culinary art so I am a qualified chef as well. I also have a background in the tourism industry, to which I wanted to add the Monkeyland experience. Now I am going for my second year at Monkeyland. It is hard to count, you feel that you have been here forever. My plan was only to stay for 3 months, but these lovely gibbons made me stay longer with their lovely song.