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Premium Tours

Thanks for your interest in the DLC’s premium tours!

Our premium tour experiences are educational and unforgettable. Scroll through the images and descriptions below, then submit our reservation request form to book your space today!

Or, surprise your loved one with a gift certificate for a premium tour! These once-in-a-lifetime experiences make perfect gifts. Call (919) 401-7240 or email primate@duke.edu for more details or to purchase a gift certificate.

Please note that you must have a reservation to visit the Duke Lemur Center. To view an at-a-glance comparison of tour types, please see the tour homepage.

Tour Option #4: Walking with Lemurs

Images + Videos

Ringtails and sifakas in their natural habitat enclosures. Photo opportunities abound!

Click here to watch a video of Drusilla and Julian's sifaka family at the start of a Walking with Lemurs tour, leaping out of their indoor enclosure into the woods (and through our cluster of guests!).

Additional footage of our free-ranging lemurs in their natural habitat enclosures is accessible via our "Meet the Lemurs" YouTube playlist. They're so amazing to watch in person!

Description + Pricing

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk in the wilds of Madagascar, watching in awe as lemurs leap through the trees around you? No need to travel halfway around the world – the DLC's Walking with Lemurs tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have that unforgettable experience right here in the forests of Duke University!

On a Walking tour, guests are guided through one of our 9 naturally forested habitats just as the animals' keepers set out to feed them in the morning, ensuring the appearance of leaping lemurs eager to eat their breakfasts. Though there will not be a barrier between you and the lemurs, the lemurs will not directly interact with any guests. We encourage natural behaviors from our lemurs, ensuring a safe and unique experience of what it would be like to wander the forests of Madagascar.

Please note that this is a seasonal tour offering based on warm weather forecasts, and can only be consistently offered from May 1 through October 15. If you're interested in an off-season date for this tour, we'll place you on a waitlist and notify you 24-48 hours before the tour if the weather forecast allows for a Walking with Lemurs tour type.

Because you'll be walking in a forested area, closed-toed shoes are required and long pants are recommended.

***As of May 25th, 2017, due to construction to improve our nocturnal animal habitats, we will not be featuring any nocturnal species on this tour. We are happy to introduce you to all of the other lemurs on the tour until construction is completed later this year.***

Pricing is $95 per person.

Scheduling

This tour lasts approx. 90 minutes and is offered seasonally (see above) at 10:30 a.m. every day of the week (Monday-Sunday).

Because of the popularity and seasonal limitations of this tour, it tends to fill up several weeks in advance. Please submit our online form or call (919) 401-7240 to make your Walking with Lemurs reservation.

Age Restrictions

Participants must be at least 10 years old. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tips + Ideas

Tour Option #5: Behind the Scenes

Images

From left: observing leaf distribution and a training session; ring-tails watch their keeper from outside the AtyAla hallway. On this tour, guests are permitted inside the buildings’ hallways that are typically off-limits to visitors.

Description + Pricing

If you've ever wondered what goes on "behind the curtains" of a world-renowned primate research, education, and conservation center, the DLC's Behind the Scenes experience is the tour for you! Guests spend the majority of their tour in areas that are typically off-limits to visitors, seeing the DLC through the eyes of its dedicated staff. Participants also observe integral parts of the daily routine of working with the Center's amazing animals, such as training sessions and afternoon feedings.

This tour is a private booking for groups of 1-4 people over the age of 10. Each group will have its own guide, ensuring an experience catered to your group's particular interests. Closed-toed shoes are required.

***As of May 25th, 2017, due to construction to improve our nocturnal animal habitats, we will not be featuring any nocturnal species on this tour. We are happy to introduce you to all of the other lemurs on the tour until construction is completed later this year.***

This private tour has a flat fee of $320 plus tax. Your group can include up to 4 participants for this price.

Scheduling

This tour is offered daily (Monday-Sunday) at 1:00 p.m. and lasts approx. 90 minutes.

To make your reservation for this unforgettable experience, please submit our online form.

Age Restrictions

Participants must be at least 10 years old. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tips + Ideas

Tour Option #6: Painting with Lemurs

Images

From left: ruffed lemur Magellan paints a masterpiece; a finished painting by ring-tails Randy and Sophia; a finished piece by ruffed lemurs Halley and Ravo and their twins, Cosmo and Astro.

Want to see more? Check out these gorgeous images from Lara @ Pretty Connected, who painted with Halley, Ravo, Cosmo, and Astro in Nov '16.

Description + Pricing

Lemurs love to paint, especially when we toss tasty treats like cranberries on their canvases! You'll be amazed by the artistic renderings of our ring-tailed Picassos and ruffed Van Goghs as they walk through paint and onto canvas in search of raisin and berry rewards. Participants on this tour are invited to choose up to 3 different colors of paint (all non-toxic, water based tempura) and watch the lemurs as they make their masterpiece. The best part is, you get to take the canvas home with you!

Please note that this tour does not involve any direct contact with the lemurs, and that guests observe the painting session from outside the enclosure. (Don't worry, you'll still have a fabulous view!) Fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and travel writer Lara of Pretty Connected booked a Painting with Lemurs tour this fall and wrote about the experience. Check out her post to see what it's like, and feast your eyes on those gorgeous paintings courtesy of ruffed lemurs Ravo, Halley, and their twins Cosmo and Astro!

Painting with Lemurs is a private booking for groups of 1-4 people over the age of 10. Each group will have its own guide, ensuring an experience catered to your group's particular interests. Closed-toed shoes are required.

***As of May 25th, 2017, due to construction to improve our nocturnal animal habitats, we will not be featuring any nocturnal species on this tour. We are happy to introduce you to all of the other lemurs on the tour until construction is completed later this year.***

This private tour has a flat fee of $260 plus tax. Your group can include up to 4 participants for this price.

Scheduling

This tour is offered daily at 1:30 p.m. and lasts approximately 60 minutes. While you'll see and learn about several species of lemurs as you walk through one of the main hallways in our animal area, most of your time will be spent watching – and laughing at the antics of! – the special lemur troop chosen by your guide to paint your masterpiece!

To make your reservation for this unforgettable experience, please submit our online reservation form.

Age Restrictions

Participants must be at least 10 years old. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tips + Ideas

Tour Option #7: Lemur Keeper for A Day

Images + Testimonial

From left: Behind the scenes in the prep kitchen; distributing browse to sifaka; and enrichment for aye-ayes.

Want to see more? Read about Carrie's Keeper for A Day experience in Feb. '17 - and check out a gallery of images from that day, too! "I told my fiancé that besides the day he proposed, my day at Duke Lemur Center was one of the happiest of my life!"

Description + Pricing

The name says it all! Guests can experience a (half-) day in the life of one of our world-renowned lemur keepers in this unique program. Our staff have been learning the best ways to care for these unique and endangered primates for 50 years, and we can’t wait to share that knowledge with you! Participants will have the opportunity to participate in and observe all of the daily aspects of lemur care, including feeding, enrichment, and training. This experience immerses you in the role of lemur keeper for 4 hours, so expect to work hard and get dirty! Closed-toed shoes are required.

Pricing varies by number of participants. Each group of 2 will have their own guide, ensuring an experience catered to their particular interests. For groups of 3 or 4, guides will accompany the group for the entire experience, and you may be asked to split into 2 groups for certain activities.

1 person – $350 plus tax
2 people – $625 plus tax
3 people – $975 plus tax
4 people – $1250 plus tax

Read about Carrie's Keeper for A Day experience in Feb. '17 - and check out a gallery of images from that day, too! "I told my fiancé that besides the day he proposed, my day at Duke Lemur Center was one of the happiest of my life!"

Scheduling

This tour is offered every day at 12 o’clock noon. It runs ’til 4:00 p.m.

Keeper for A Day is an exclusive private booking for groups of 1-4 people over the age of 13. To make your reservation for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, please submit our online reservation form.

Age Restrictions

Participants must be at least 13 years old. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tips + Ideas

Tour Option #8: A Photographer’s Dream

Description + Pricing

See the Duke Lemur Center through the eyes (or lens) or our resident photographer, David Haring! David has been documenting our lemurs for over 30 years, and his photographs have been featured in countless publications, articles, calendars, and website. He has the world's largest collection of photographs of the world's largest collection of lemurs!

On the Photographer's Dream tour, you'll enjoy a morning traveling through our natural habitat enclosures photographing multiple species of lemurs with David and 5 fellow photographers. This leisurely paced experience is catered to photographers who're interested in capturing the lemurs exhibiting natural behaviors such as foraging, climbing, resting, and grooming. You'll have time to set up the perfect shot and enjoy the company of fellow photographers of all experience levels.

This highly exclusive tour is offered only twice annually, once in early summer and once in late summer. Because you'll be walking in a forested area, closed-toed shoes are required and long pants are recommended.

***As of May 25th, 2017, due to construction to improve our nocturnal animal habitats, we will not be featuring any nocturnal species on this tour. We are happy to introduce you to all of the other lemurs on the tour until construction is completed later this year.***

$150 per person plus tax. Maximum of 6 participants.

Scheduling

This tour begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends around 12 o'clock noon. This highly exclusive tour is offered only twice annually, once in early summer and once in late summer. Our fall 2017 date will be announced shortly... Stay tuned!

To reserve your space on this highly exclusive tour, please submit our online reservation request form.

Age Restrictions

Ages 10 and above. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Additional Details 

Release and waiver:

All participants and/or guardians of minors participating in specialty tours and the Keeper for a Day experience are required to complete a Release and Waiver agreement prior to the experience.  Please review, sign and bring the waiver with you on the date of your scheduled experience, or take the time to familiarize yourself with it prior to the tour and fill it out upon check in.  All participants are to encouraged to arrive at the Center 15 minutes prior to your tour time. Individuals cannot participate without a signed waiver.

Walking with Lemurs release and waiver

Behind the Scenes release and waiver

Painting with Lemurs release and waiver

Keeper for a Day release and waiver

Photographer’s Dream release and waiver

Tour deposits:

The Duke Lemur Center will hold a deposit of 50% of the total cost for each premium tour or group tour. A group representative must provide credit card information to hold the spaces for the tour. You must call to make any changes to your reservation at least 48 hours in advance of your tour. Group that cancel with less than 48 hours until their tour or no-show will be charged the 50% deposit. Groups that arrive with fewer participants for the tour without having notified the Duke Lemur Center 48 hours in advance will be charged the full amount of spaces booked.

Public vs. private tours: 

On the Tour Comparison Chart HERE, tours that are reservable per person are public tours open to anyone who requests a reservation. Unless you book all 8 spaces on a Walking with Lemurs tour, for instance, you’ll be on the tour with people outside your group. Tours that are reservable by group, on the other hand, are private bookings exclusively for you and your invitees.

General info:

General information for planning your trip to the DLC is available via our ‘Plan Your Visit’ webpage.

Location and directions:

The Lemur Center is situated in Duke Forest less than 10 minutes from Duke’s West Campus. Step-by-step instructions are available online.

Questions?  

General information for planning your visit, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, is available via our ‘Plan Your Visit’ webpage.

If you have other questions, please call the Lemur Landing front desk at (919) 401-7240. We’ll be happy to help!

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