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Tarsiers can easily fit in the palm of your hand.
Tarsiers can easily fit in the palm of your hand.

Spot the world's smallest primate in Indonesia Add to ...

What’s the deal?

See the world’s smallest primate.

Where’s it at?

For some people, bigger isn’t always better. If you prefer gremlins to gorillas, head to Tangkoko Nature Reserve, on the northeast tip of the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia. The spectral tarsier, averaging a mere 10 to 15 centimetres from head to toe, can easily fit in the palm of your hand. With enormous eyes, floppy ears and diminutive features, they more resemble munchkins than monkeys. Though tiny, they are easy to find if you know where to look.

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Book a day trip from the town of Manado with Matahatikita Tours. Follow your guide through the humid jungle of the 3,196-hectare reserve as the sun is setting, until you reach a giant gnarled fig tree with elevated roots. When there’s barely enough light to see, the nocturnal tarsiers will emerge from their dens, stopping for a moment to see what is going on, before leaping off into the forest canopy in search of their favourite food, insects. After you’ve had your fill of tarsiers, take in the region’s other attractions: world-class scuba diving, active volcanoes and a warm and inviting people.

Who’s it for?

Searching for tarsiers appeals to the monkey in all of us. But it’s an especially attractive activity for the younger set who simply can’t bear to be parted from their stuffies. A guided day trip to Tangkoko Nature Reserve with Matahatikita Tours ( matahatikita.com) costs $80, including lunch. For more information on the region, visit north-sulawesi.com.



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