I think one of Africa’s most misunderstood animals is the Chacma Baboon. Look into its eyes. It wants a hug. Go on. Just remember a big baboon’s canines would put a lion’s weebly little teeth to shame.
As a safari guide, some of my greatest moments have been with baboons. Watching baboons jumping off rocks into the water at Jaci’s waterhole at Madikwe or splashing around in the river near Skukuza. Seeing them mob a leopard in Pilanesburg. Or giggling at a baby Baboon with its own pocket knife in Hluhluwe. Baboons are never dull.
A few years ago I had the privilege of going on a Baboon walk with a monitoring group in Cape Town called ‘Baboon Matters.’ We got to track a troop through the Cape Peninsula’s suburbs and watch them foraging and chilling (and yes, breaking into buildings) in their own baboony way.
Oh my goodness.
Uganda can keep its gorilllas. I don’t need to spend $750 to watch a gorilla for 3 minutes when we have something so good right here. Sitting alongside baboons in their natural habitat was one of the highlights of my life. Really. Sure, I learned a lot about baboons that day, but I learned more about us. I know our cousins can be a real pain, but only because we made them that way. By giving them food. Sweet, delicious food.
Baboon Matters still exists, but sadly their epic baboon walks don’t.
Head over to http://www.baboonmatters.org.za to learn a little more.
Let’s show a little love.