A restaurant at Monkey Town Primate Centre in Somerset West was destroyed in a fire in the early hours of Friday morning. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
A restaurant at Monkey Town Primate Centre in Somerset West was destroyed in a fire in the early hours of Friday morning. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Monkey Town Primate Centre in Somerset West will be open for business on Saturday.

The popular tourist attraction was gutted by a fire late on Thursday night. It’s believed the fire started outside the restaurant.

A manager at the facility, Yvette Botha, told Weekend Argus the fire started at around 10.50pm and destroyed the restaurant.

The centre houses more than 250 primates, including Tammy, Ruby, and Sunny, the famous chimpanzee sisters.

However, it is not just a primate centre - it is also a wildlife centre with more than 700 animals in total.

Video: Norman Cloete/Weekend Argus


Visitors to the well-designed enclosure at Monkey Town observe the monkeys from caged walkways.

“The restaurant burned down. The boom melted and there was slight damage to the lion tail macaque and baboon enclosure,” said Botha.

She added no animals or people had been hurt.

The cause of the fire is not known yet and, according to Botha they will receive the fire report on Tuesday.

Twenty-one firefighters, three fire engines and two water tankers responded to the incident.

The restaurant will remain temporarily closed, but the facility has a kiosk where visitors can still purchase refreshments.

Weekend Argus