The Barbary Macaques in Gibraltar

In this Article

1. The Macaques Today
2. Visit the The Barbary Macaques

The Barbary macaque population in Gibraltar is believed to have been present on the Rock of Gibraltar since the 18th century. According to one legend, the British will rule the territory as long as the apes exist in Gibraltar.

The origin of the macaques is unclear, but it is generally believed that they were brought over to Gibraltar from North Africa by the Moors or the British. However, some theories suggest that the macaques were introduced to Gibraltar by the British during the 18th century due to trade agreements with Morocco.

The Barbary macaque population in Gibraltar has faced challenges throughout its history. In the early 20th century, the population declined to just a handful of individuals due to hunting and habitat destruction. However, conservation efforts have since helped the population to recover, and it now stands at around 200 individuals.

The Macaques Today

The Barbary Macaques
The Barbary Macaque

The Barbary macaques are a massive part of Gibraltar today too. They have become a popular tourist attraction in Gibraltar, and visitors are often encouraged to interact with them.  Even though we may not recommend feeding them, we do encourage you to visit them. Their playful behaviour in their natural habitat is a truly once in a lifetime moment. Visiting the Barbary macaques is a truly unforgettable experience for everyone and should be on everyone’s bucket list!

Visit the The Barbary Macaques

Rocky Monkey Gibraltar Tours is here in order to ensure that you make the absolute most out of your visit and enjoy the macaques and the scenery with our guided tours. We ensure that you don’t miss out on anything and we cater to your time, which is why we have three different tours for you to choose from ( 2 hours, 3 hours or 6 hours)

If you want to experience Gibraltar’s Barbary macaques in the best way possible, contact the Rocky Monkey Gibraltar Tours team here: 


Gibraltar’s historical records trace back centuries, indicating that Barbary macaques have inhabited the Rock for over 300 years. This enduring presence adds a fascinating layer to Gibraltar’s natural heritage.

Indeed, the legend of the Barbary macaques is true. According to local lore, as long as the monkeys inhabit Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule—a captivating tale that has endured through generations.

Rocky Monkey Tours provide opportunities to encounter Barbary macaques at select locations on the Rock of Gibraltar. Guided by experts, these encounters are safe and adhere to ethical wildlife interaction practices.

Barbary macaques hold immense cultural significance, symbolizing Gibraltar’s identity. As the only wild monkey population in Europe, they are iconic and contribute to the unique charm of the Rock.

Conservation efforts are integral to preserving Gibraltar’s Barbary macaque population. Educational initiatives and responsible tourism practices, promoted by entities like Rocky Monkey Tours, play a crucial role in their long-term welfare.

While native to North Africa, Barbary macaques in Gibraltar represent the only population outside Northern Africa and the sole population of wild monkeys in Europe. Gibraltar’s stable or increasing population contrasts with the decline observed in their North African counterparts.