Africa-9 Baboons

We like monkeys and baboons. Why? They are primates, and they look like us. They have such expressive faces, and they engage in such interesting behaviors. We really enjoyed watching them.

However, Africans really do not like the monkeys, and especially the baboons. Why? First they are noisy. They are very social animals, and they get in loud arguments. Second they cause trouble. At every camp we were told to not leave the doors open, even when sitting out on the deck, because the baboons could get in. I could just imagine having a nice siesta out on the deck, and being awaked to baboons destroying the inside of the place.

Road sign in South Africa

Our tent in the Okavongo Delta camp did not have a lock, but it did have baboon-proof latches. And two of the camps had air horns which could be used to chase baboons away.

We arrived at a picnic ground in Chobe National Park, and there was another safari group at another table that was being raided by baboons. Our guide Kenneth got out of the vehicle and calmly walked over and pulled out his sling shot. Whap! Whap!. A couple of well placed rocks and they were gone.

Our guide Kenneth getting baboons out of the picnic area
Kenneth after his success.
Kenneth’s armamentarium.
Susan at a now peaceful picnic table.

Our guide Cynthia in Victoria Falls told us that baboons recognize when people are carrying groceries, and sometimes they steal the groceries. Also in Victoria Falls we saw police patrol persons (on foot) carrying slingshots. Yes, they were for scaring away the baboons. They said the baboons have learned to recognize the appearance of the sling shot and simply brandishing the weapon would cause them to run.

Baboon at the border crossing at the Victoria Falls bridge.

So baboons are a problem. But we liked them.

They do have intelligent looking faces.

In Chobe National Park, we spend considerable time just sitting and watching baboons.

When we were in Mala Mala, near Kruger National Park, South Africa, we had Vervet Monkeys in front of our Khaya, or cabin, and also out on our deck. We liked them!

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