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  • Writer's pictureNicole Paulus

Visiting Orange Eco Land? Take the Family on a Happy Donkey Tour

happy donkey giving Robert a hug

In the serene eucalyptus forests of Monchique, just a 20-minute drive from Orange Eco Land, there exists a magical retreat where happiness radiates not only from its human visitors but also from its four-legged hosts—the Happy Donkeys. Guiding these charming animals is Robert, a compassionate soul whose life's purpose revolves around the welfare of these gentle creatures and the joy they bring to all who encounter them.

Robert's venture, aptly named Happy Donkey Sanctuary, offers a unique experience—a guided walking tour through the picturesque landscapes, where families, couples, and solo travelers can immerse themselves in nature's tranquility while forging unforgettable bonds with the resident donkeys.

Central to Robert's ethos is the happiness and well-being of both the donkeys and the visitors. To ensure an intimate and enriching experience, Robert restricts tour group sizes, allowing for personal interaction and fostering a sense of connection with the donkeys. With a maximum of just a few individuals per tour, each participant receives ample attention and the opportunity to form a genuine bond with these endearing creatures.

Respecting the needs of his beloved donkeys, Robert has crafted a thoughtful itinerary, alternating between two days of enchanting donkey walks and one or two days of leisure, allowing the animals time to rest and recharge amidst their natural surroundings. This balanced approach not only safeguards the welfare of the donkeys but also enhances the quality of the experience for visitors, who can savor each moment of their interaction with these remarkable animals.

The inception of Happy Donkeys traces back to Robert's earlier days as an olive oil producer in Andalusia. In search of a reliable companion for farm work, fate led him to his first donkey—a creature whose past bore the scars of mistreatment and neglect. Despite Robert's diligent care and unwavering devotion, the donkey's journey tragically ended within two years. Undeterred by this loss, Robert's heart remained tethered to these resilient animals, prompting him to embark on a new chapter—one fueled by adventure and compassion.

Accompanied by Cameron, Lucia, and later, Josefina—a third donkey born amidst their travels—Robert traversed the Spanish countryside, camping in natural parks and reveling in the beauty of the wilderness. It was during this nomadic odyssey that the seeds of Happy Donkeys were sown, as the enchanting landscapes of Monchique beckoned with promises of a tranquil haven for both man and beast.

With its sprawling land and lush vegetation, Monchique became the idyllic backdrop for Robert's vision to flourish. Here, amidst the rolling hills and whispering forests, his donkeys roam freely, their contented spirits a testament to the harmonious bond they share with their caretaker.

The Happy Donkeys, each bearing a name that echoes their individuality and charm—Cameron, Lucia, Josefina, Federico, and Luisa—embody the essence of companionship and kindness. With lifespans spanning up to 45 years, these intelligent beings exhibit remarkable traits, from their ability to self-medicate with herbs to their fondness for affectionate gestures such as cuddling and nuzzling.

In a world where vaccination and deworming are commonplace, Robert embraces a natural approach to animal care, allowing his donkeys to thrive on a diet of wholesome foods, including carobs and fresh herbs and occasionally indulge in their favorite treats of carrots and dry bread. Their gentle nature and affinity for human interaction make them beloved companions for visitors of all ages, with children as young as five delighting in the opportunity to ride these gentle giants.


Are you enticed by the idea of frolicking in nature alongside five joyful donkeys? If so, you can embark on your own enchanting journey with Happy Donkeys by booking your tour here. You can also follow their escapades on Instagram and join Robert and his cherished companions as they spin tales of love, laughter, and limitless adventure amid nature's serene embrace.
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