Ouzoud. Macaque’s Waterfalls / Małpie wodospady

Ouzoud in a Berber language literally means “an act of grinding grain”.  But the Moroccans do not come here for bread. Though a dozen of old mills are still operational, the real highlight of Ouzoud are its waterfalls. 600 meters deeps canyon seems unreachable at first, but it fast turns out that taking a pleasant road covered in olive trees will take you all the way down. Not for free of course. The path entry is paid while the official Ouzoud currency are… nuts.

Ouzoud to w języku Berberów “akt mielenia zboża”. Ale Marokańczycy nie przyjeżdżają w ten rejon po chleb. Choć tuzin starych wiatraków wciąż działa, to prawdziwą atrakcją Ouzoud są jego wodospady. Głęboki na 600 metrów kanion z początku wydaje się niedostępny, ale szybko okazuje się, że na sam dół można dostać się przyjemną, pokrytą drzewami oliwnymi drogą. Oczywiście nie  za darmo. Zejście pod wodospad jest płatne, a oficjalną walutą Ouzoud są… orzeszki.

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The toll is not high. Generally one nut will do, though occurrences of some insolent thefts are known, when instead of one nut, it was a whole bag of delicacies disappearing from one’s hand or pocket. The culprits were never caught so far…

All the trails lead though to the family of Barbary macaques. There are several dozens of them living in Ouzoud and while most of them hide in the deep of the surrounding forests, others willingly come out on the road in search of some easy food. It is often that they make contact with people as well.

Barbary macaques can be spot only in the Atlas mountains of Morocco and Algeria. Small population is artificially bred on the Gibraltar.

Myto nie wynosi dużo. Właściwie wystarczy jeden orzeszek, choć zdarzały się przypadki bezczelnych kradzieży, kiedy zamiast jednego orzeszka, z ręki przechodnia znikał trzymany w drugiej ręce lub kieszeni woreczek pełen przysmaków. Sprawców jak do tej pory nigdy nie złapano…

Wszelkie tropy prowadzą natomiast do rodziny Makaków Berberyjskich. W Ouzoud żyje ich kilkadziesiąt i choć większość kryje się w okolicznych lasach, niektóre chętnie wychodzą na drogę w poszukiwaniu łatwego jedzenia. Często też nawiązują bliższy kontakt z ludźmi.

Makaki Berberyjskie spotkać można jeszcze tylko w górach Atlasu w Maroku oraz Algierii. Sztucznie za to utrzymywana jest populacja na Gibraltarze.

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Macaques‘ favorite way to spend free time is grooming. It was scientifically proved that this activity is aimed to decrease stress of the “grooming one”. What is more – the level is stress is inversely proportionate to the number of creatures we groom. Therefore, we should be grooming always and everyone around us, no matter what species they are.

Ulubioną formą spędzania czasu makaków jest iskanie. Udowodniono naukowo, że aktywność ta ma za zadanie obniżyć poziom stresu… iskającego. Występuje tu również wprost proporcjonalna zależność – czym więcej iskamy, tym bardziej będziemy zrelaksowani. Dlatego też iskać należy zawsze i każdego, niezależnie od przynależności gatunkowej.

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The same studies point out that the stress levels of the “groomed one” though remain unchanged. Aga is therefore forced to look for other methods of its reduction…

Rest at the bottom of the Ouzoud canyon seems to be a bull’s eye! Have a look yourselves:

Te same badania wskazują jednak, że poziom stresu osoby iskanej pozostaje bez zmian. Aga zmuszona jest więc szukać innych metod na jego obniżenie…

Odpoczynek na dnie kanionu Ouzoud wydaje się być strzałem w dziesiątkę. Zobaczcie sami:

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If the above should not be enough, let me invite you for the brand new Facebook page – Nareszcie Urlop, where you will also find a movie. Like it, to never miss another post!

Jeśli to nie wystarczy, to zapraszam Was na nową stronę na Facebooku – Nareszcie Urlop, gdzie znajdziecie również film. Polubcie ją, by już nigdy nie przegapić nowego posta!

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Though the Barbary macaques live free, their close contact with humans are far from natural. The apes must not be frightened (which is often done by the school groups) or fed with human food (including horror of horrors, chips…) and generally it would be best to leave them alone.

Since 2009 the species is under a strict protection. Though in the prehistorian times the macaques lived as far as in the territories of today’s Hungary in the east, to the British Isles to the north, nowadays there are only a dozen thousands of them around and their habitat is limited to the Northern Africa.

Choć makaki w Ouzoud żyją wolno to tak bliskie ich kontakty z człowiekiem nie są czymś naturalnym. Małpek nie należy straszyć (co niestety nagminnie robią grupy szkolne), karmić ludzkim jedzeniem (w tym, o zgrozo, chipsami…) i generalnie najlepiej zostawić je w spokoju.

Od roku 2009 gatunek ten jest objęty ścisłą ochroną. Choć w czasach prehistorycznych makaki zamieszkiwały tereny tak dalekie jak… Węgry na wschodzie czy Wyspy Brytyjskie na północy, dziś ich populacja liczy tylko kilkanaście tysięcy osobników i ogranicza się do Afryki Północnej.

 

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***

Ouzoud lies something like 150km from Marrakech, which distance can be easily traveled in 1,5h thanks to some good roads. It is a place for a full day rest combined with a bath in the warm little “lakes” at the bottom of the waterfall.

***

Ouzoud położone jest jakieś 150km od Marrakeszu, którą to odległość pokonujemy w półtorej godziny dzięki drodze szybkiego ruchu. To miejsce na całodzienny wypoczynek połączony z kąpielą w nagrzanych słońcem jeziorkach u stóp wodospadu.

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73 thoughts on “Ouzoud. Macaque’s Waterfalls / Małpie wodospady

  1. The waterfalls are stunning, but the macaques fill me with a humble feeling. I only hope this is not another species humans wipe out from the face of earth.
    Your pic of Aga with one of the macaques are very precious. Well done!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Resa. Indeed, the population of macaques is not raising which doesn’t make me too optimistic :/ Hopefully though they will find their way, because they are amazing animals.
      Me and Aga, we did nothing to encourage this macaque to groom my wife ;) Though I reckon her hair was exactly the color of their fur, hence…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You! And I am thrilled You liked my fb page as well. Doing an experiment here, I will try to throw in more content there ☺ Lucky You having a hot day, Poland is more like Autumn…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jane! Indeed, very friendly, sometimes a bit too much ;) But they were not all at disturbed by passers by making photos of them. More by the local kids scaring them away :/

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Andy! Obviously there was business happening there, locals standing selling nuts to passers by. I hope that the monkeys were not collecting them to give them back to the locals, haha ;)
      Have a great week yourself!

      Like

  2. Wonderful images, Maciek. To travel 150km in 1.5 hrs must have been heaven for you! The Macaques look so tame. I believe (though I may be wrong) there were Macaques in Malaysia (Long-Tailed Macaques) when I was there during 1995. They were not like these precious little beauties. In Malaysia, as I was walking the many steps up to the Batu Caves Hindu Temple, the Macaques were stealing our offerings; coconuts and flowers. They certainly were quite aggressive!
    I just love the images of Aga with the little monkeys… So cute; and to groom her must have been so wonderful to have such a connection… Tell her I’m very green! <3

    Liked by 2 people

    1. very interesting and very beautiful pictures. Macaques are there in Malasia and yes they are quite aggressive. One is advised not to carry shopping bags at all as they will think it contains food and will attack from all sides (in one island) These waterfalls are magnificent.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you. Wow – so there are organized criminal monkey groups there in Malaysia ;) ? I saw monkeys when I was there once, but never knew they would be brave enough to attack and steal my food.. The ones in Morocco are rather harmless.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes I read your comment and remembered how when we took a boat taxi in Kuala Lumpur which took us to several islands. It was on one of those that we saw these aggressive monkeys. and they were in hordes. Here in NZ we have no monkeys or donkeys, except in the zoos! :)

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Another person has just commented on the Macaques in Malaysia as well so that’s about right! These are different kind though. The ones in Morocco are harmless, they were very friendly and rather enjoyed being close to humans. They even came on the road with their young which has to mean something.
      Aga was very much surprised, scared as well, but all in all – it was once in a lifetime experience for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that is Shakil, a very learned and travelled man. :)

        Going onto the road with their young says an enormous amount… I love being a fly upon the wall of your journeys, Maciek; you never know what you will find! :)

        Liked by 2 people

  3. The falls are breathtaking and the monkeys delightful! I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t be totally taken to nirvanna with all that grooming and monkeying around! lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, right… I asked Aga about it yesterday and she said she was nervous that she would get bitten, Still, the monkey was just relieving some stress :D

      Like

  4. quelle cascate sono incredibilmente belle…così sottili e lucenti sembrano capelli di una ata gigantesca addormentata sulle rocce
    i macachi poi sono deliziosi, con quella espressione ocì dolce e umana che fa voglia di coccolarli!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, we did a lot of cuddling for sure! They macaques very incredibly friendly. I love your comparison of the waterfall to a giant. In Poland we have those mountains – the Tatras and their three peeks form a figure of a sleeping giant :-)

      Liked by 1 person

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