If you’re visiting North Carolina and in the Raleigh Durham area or visiting Duke University, add visiting the Duke Lemur Center to your agenda. It’s open to the public and Duke houses the largest and most diverse collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar. They are a research center first and foremost so there is no holding/touching the lemurs but watching them — especially when they jump or rather glide through the air. Meeting so many different breeds (there are over 80 types in existance) is an unbelievable experience.
The grounds are beautiful and set in the woods, so it’s a great outdoor activity. The lemurs are by the entrance and there are a number of guided tours available starting at $12. All of the lemurs are gated in so you can watch them from outside and learn about the different species. They also have some nocturnal ones which you go inside a dark room to observe them through the looking glass.
There are a few other tours and events (all listed HERE), we did the “Painting with Lemurs”($95), which is more accurately “watching Lemurs paint from behind the gate.” It’s still so awesome to see, especially since you get to take the painting home (you can also purchase them in the gift shop for $12.50+ depending on size), but you get to pick the colors and watch as they run around a canvas making you a custom masterpiece. We actually lucked out and had a whole family of four paint ours. Lemurs are female dominant so they don’t always let the males join in.
Meeting the lemurs was definitely one of the highlights of our trip and is a must do if you’re in the Raleigh Durham area. If you’re on a budget the $12 price to see them is unbeatable and easily one of the best activities if you’re an animal lover.
Book 2-3 weeks in advance since the tours do book up! Learn more at lemur.duke.edu