How To Find Monkeys In Ahangama

Looking for monkeys in Sri Lanka? Are you wondering if you can spot them in Ahangama, where they might be hiding, and which species are in the town? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers. Welcome to our guide to finding monkeys in Ahangama, we hope you spot them.

Can you actually say you’ve been to Sri Lanka if you didn’t see monkeys? We know there are those bucket list places you’ll tell your friends about – places like Ella, the train from Kandy, Galle, and the national parks. But really, if you didn’t see monkeys, can you actually say you’ve been?

Obviously, of course you can. But there’s something special about the monkeys in Sri Lanka it would be a shame to miss them. The island is home to some endemic species you cannot find anywhere else in the world and they hold such cultural relevance it’s worth finding them to understand why they’re so important.

A Toque Macaque monkey sitting in the trees in Ahangama

Maybe you’ll spot them in the trees on a walk through the jungle roads, maybe they’ll be watching you from the rooftops whilst you eat, sometimes they’ll jump on your balconies and steal your towels, and often they’re just chilling eating fruit whilst you’re relaxing on the beach.

The monkeys in Sri Lanka add something to the already laidback wild vibe of the country and a good spice to your adventures.

How to find monkeys in Ahangama - monkeys swinging from the telephone lines

Strangely though, although they can be found almost everywhere on the island, they are often hard to find in many of the built-up beach towns. If you head to popular spots like Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa, or Galle, you’ll rarely come across them. 

Luckily, Ahangama is full of them and they are completely wild. Here you can have the perfect opportunity to see them chill in the trees, play on the rooftops, and sometimes get up close and personal. If you visit Ahangama, here’s everything you need to know about finding monkeys and tick off that bucket list item you didn’t realise you had. 

A Purple-faced Langur monkey peaks through the pushes in Ahangama

Which Monkeys are in Ahangama

There are three types of monkeys that can be found in Sri Lanka and all of them like to call Ahangama home. Each has a unique personality it brings to the town and a different vibe to wherever you find them. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for.

Purple-faced Langur

The Purple-faced Langur is the most elusive species in Sri Lanka and our favorite to find. These monkeys are defined by their dark faces, wise grey beards, and giant tails that hang above their heads when they move.

A close up shot of a Purple-faced Langur in Ahangama

At a glance:

  • Personality – shy and timid
  • Diet – mainly leaves
  • Habitat – dense wet jungle
  • Social structure – hierarchical
  • Chance to see – good, in certain spots

These leaf-eating monkeys like to spend life high up in the trees in quiet jungles and tend to stay away from humans. But sometimes they come down to the rooftops giving you the chance to give them a closer look. 

Two Purple-faced Langurs and a baby sit on top of the rooftops near Kabalana

The Purple-faced Langur are typically shy so if they get close you’ll feel their nervousness. But this is what makes them so exciting, it gives this elusive feeling of seeing something a little secret. A peek into family life you rarely get to glimpse.

If you’re lucky you’ll get to watch them jump and fly between the trees when they get a little spooked. These guys are so athletic and a joy to watch when they move between the jungle canopy or bounce across the rooftops. 

A Purple-faced Langur jumps in the air between the rooftops

They are endemic to Sri Lanka and can’t be found anywhere else in the world, and also being rare to find on the island, you don’t want to miss them.

Luckily they like to hang out in a couple of jungle spots in Ahangama so you’ve got a great chance to see them if you visit.

A Purple-faced Langur sits confused on the rooftops in Ahangama

Toque Macaque

Toque Macaques are the cheekiest monkeys in Sri Lanka. These guys are super social, mischievous, and bold around humans. You’ll often see them climbing on hotel balconies, stealing items of clothes or cigarettes, robbing fruit from the locals, and generally having a bloody good time.

A Toque Macaque sits on top of a wall in Sri Lanka

At a glance:

  • Personality – sociable and mischievous
  • Diet – fruits, leaves, small animals, and waste
  • Habitat – forests and urban areas
  • Social structure – matrilineal
  • Chance to see – high, they’re everywhere

These monkeys get their name from their toque-shaped crazy hair and they match its style with striking orange coats and an attitude in how they move. These guys are not scared of people, they will often get up close and try to steal your food. We once found a few trying to drink from an old Coca-Cola bottle and stealing all our fruit – great times.

Toque Macaques are native to Sri Lanka and can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Luckily these monkeys love to hang around urban areas and seem to be everywhere so you’ve got a great chance to see them.

In Ahangama, they’re the most widely found species, who knows, you might find them exploring your hotel or creating chaos from the telephone lines.

Three Toque Macaque monkeys swing from the telephone lines in Ahangama

Grey Langur

The Grey Langur is the zen master of the crew, the most chilled-out monkey on the block. These majestic monkeys are absolutely stunning with beautiful silver-grey coats, dark black faces, and long elegant tails that glow in the evening sunlight. When they move, they move with purpose. They’re a great monkey to find and watch for a while.

A Grey Langur sitting on a tree branch

At a glance:

  • Personality – calm and collected
  • Diet – fruits, flowers, leaves
  • Habitat – forests and open woodland
  • Social structure – large open groups
  • Chance to see – rare, need to get lucky

Unlike their Toque Macaque brothers, the Grey Langur likes to stay away from people – often chilling at the top of the trees or running around in big groups in the fields. Sometimes their curious nature can lead them closer to towns and people where they sit at a distance and watch our own chaotic lives happening with a bemused amusement. 

Whether you find them in the trees next to your hotel or completely in the wild, when you come across them, they’re always the same. These guys just sit there without a care in the world. Their zen-like nature is a joy to come across and you can’t help but just be relaxed while you watch them do their thing – who needs to go beach to chill, may as well just find some Grey Langurs instead.

Grey Langurs can be found all over the Indian subcontinent and up towards Central Asia so they’re arguably less exciting to see. In Ahangama though, they are the hardest monkeys to find so enjoy the rare moment if you come across them. There are a few spots where they sometimes hang out, so hopefully we’ll help you find them – you’ll just need to be a little lucky.

A close up of a Grey Langur monkey looking confused

Where to find monkeys in Ahangama

Monkeys are everywhere in Ahangama and you have a great chance to find them by just exploring the town. The only place you won’t find them is on the beachfront and coastline where there aren’t many trees and they like to avoid the main roads.

If you want to make sure you see them there are a few hotspots you should head to. Here’s our custom-made monkey map and a little insight into the best locations to find each species.

A map of where to find monkeys in Ahangama

Kabalana jungle area

The best spot to find monkeys in all of Ahangama is in the jungle area near Kabalana Beach. Up Kabalana Road there are many open fields and big jungle sections where all three of the monkeys come and visit.

A lone Purple-faced Langur sitting on the rooftops at Nuga House near Kabalana Beach

This is the only spot in Ahangama where we’ve found Grey Langurs that will sometimes sit in the fields or hang out in the nearby trees. Both the Purple-faced Langurs and Toque Macaques like to spend their time in the nearby jungle.

If you want to head here we suggest hanging out and eating in Nuga House which is a great Israeli restaurant where the monkeys often watch from the rooftops or swing between the nearby trees. If you stay in Venus Villa, Kabalana Villa, or Jini House you’re almost guaranteed to see them every morning – it’s a kind of Sri Lankan rooster alarm if you get my drift.

Location: Nuga House

A Toque Macaque monkey walking along the telephone lines in Ahangama

Marshmallow jungle area

Near Marshmallow Surf Spot there is a road running past Marshmallow Homestay which is full of trees and a thick jungle canopy.

Purple-faced Langur monkeys love this area and you’ll often find them leaping between the palm trees and eating leaves in the shade – this is the best spot to watch these monkeys being active.

A Purple-faced Langur peaking through thick jungle near Marshmallow surf spot

The road meanders through many sections of jungle and past a few local villages away from the hustle and bustle of Ahangama Town. It’s a nice place to take a stroll during the late afternoon when the light is perfect and the monkeys are often out.

Location: Marshmallow Homestay

A mother Purple-faced Langur monkey with her child hanging out in the palm trees

Ahangama town

If you walk up Imaduwa Road, many sections of the jungle are full of Toque Macaque monkeys and sometimes a few Purple-faced Langurs. The main road makes this section harder to explore, but if you stay at the Eco Villas or one of the nearby hotels you’ll see armies of monkeys every morning. 

Sometimes a few of the cheeky monkeys will be sitting on the buildings near the center of Ahangama – but as the town has grown they’ve tended to move a little further into the treeline.

Location: Eco Villa

A solo Toque Macaque monkey sitting proud upon a concrete structure

Ahangama hills

Past The Cove Beach and up in the hills near Colive, The Kip, and W15 are many areas of dense jungle that are full of Torque Macaques. This area is lovely to explore with tall thick trees covered in giant wrapping leaves and it’s the perfect place to watch these cheeky monkeys do their thing.

Location: The Kip

Two young Toque Macaque monkeys sitting in the trees and eating

When to spot Monkeys

In Ahangama, you have the chance to see monkeys throughout the day, but their activity levels change depending on when you find them. Mornings are bustling with energy – it’s when monkeys are most visibly active, jumping around and searching for food. This is the prime time to watch their chaos as the jungle wakes up.

A tired Toque Macaque monkey sitting on a table rubbing it's eyes

As the day progresses towards evening, the atmosphere shifts. The monkeys’ energy calms down, and you’re more likely to see them in a relaxed state, making for a peaceful viewing experience. 

Weather also plays a role in how easy they are to find. Rainy days bring a different dynamic, sometimes making them seek shelter, other times they play more, and sometimes they’ll try and hide away inside a nearby hotel.

A baby Toque Macaque monkey climbing in the palm trees in the rain


What’s the best time of year to find monkeys

Monkeys are active in Ahangama year round so you’ll get the opportunity to see them whenever you visit. The dry season runs from December to April which is typically the best time to visit the town when the weather is nice and the surf works the best.

Two Purple-faced Langur monkeys eating leaves on a wall in Ahangama

How to stay safe

The monkeys in Ahangama are wild so it’s best to keep a safe distance. Make sure to hide any food or shiny loose objects – you don’t want these guys stealing your phone!

Can I feed the monkeys?

As tempting as it might be to share your snacks, feeding the monkeys is a no-go. Doing so can alter their natural eating habits making them dependent on human-provided food – some locals treat monkeys badly so it’s best to leave them in their natural habitat.

A Toque Macaque monkey sitting in some bushes eating leaves

Can I take a picture with a monkey?

On many of the popular tourist beaches, there will be locals walking monkeys on leads that are dressed in coats offering them for pictures. This is a cruel practice and they are not treated well. Please avoid paying for photos as it only encourages bad behaviour.

Are there any guided tours?

There are no guided tours in Ahangama to find monkeys, you’ll need to explore the area yourself. If you would like to go on a tour you can head to Sinharaja Rainforest, Udawalwe National Park, or Yala National Park where you have a great opportunity to see monkeys in the real wild.

A baby Toque Macaque monkey trying to bite on a palm tree leaf

What other animals can I spot in Ahangama?

Ahangama is full of wildlife. Out on the surf breaks you’ll often find turtles, near the shoreline you’ll see kingfisher birds, we’ve come across the odd rare snake, rooftops are full of peacocks flaunting their feathers, mongoose bounce around the streets, and there’s always a few monitor lizards prowling around – we once saw a 2 meter lizard crawl past our pool with it’s tongue out, it was so cool!

If you visit Ahangama, you’ve got a great chance to come across some unique wildlife wherever you go.

A peacock showing it's feathers on top of a rooftop in Ahangama

Enjoy the guide?

We’re on a mission to create the best free travel advice for Sri Lanka. If you enjoyed our article, please support us.



Support Us