Meet The Monkeys Of Namibia

Meet The Monkeys Of Namibia

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on Dec 16, 2016

As one of the most famed destinations on the planet for wildlife, Namibia is home to a whole host of interesting (and sadly endangered) animals. From the mighty lions, cheetahs and leopards, to the neighboring antelope, hippopotamus and tiny tree squirrel, there really is a fascinating array of wildlife to behold in the ‘gem of Africa.’ In light of the past month’s monkey focus, we’re here to talk to you about a couple of species that you might just stumble across on your visit to Namibia, with a brief outline of their history and characteristics.

First up is the Chacma baboon – located primarily in Africa, these monkeys are part of the Old World monkey family, and are among the largest and heaviest of all baboon species. These primates are a highly social species and tend to live in fairly large groups of multiple males and females, as well as their offspring – so the chances are, you’ll almost definitely cross paths with these simians at some point! As a fairly widespread species, the Chacma baboon is not ranked as a species at serious risk – however, they do face difficulties every day in the form of human issues and habitat destruction. Issues classified by the former could be anything from poaching for their skins, to humans considering these monkeys as ‘vermin’ – while it is true that Chacma baboons are scavengers, there is never an excuse for human intervention of this nature, and it is with this that the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary strives to protect the animals. Many baby baboons are residents of the sanctuary, and love to be taken care of – volunteers can feed the (mostly herbivorous!) animals, take them for walks, and bathe them. Adorably, the Chacma babies love to be cuddled and at night, guests can put them to bed with sound minds and without fear. Many visitors to the sanctuary find great joy in this activity, and the baby baboons clearly love it too!

Baby baboon

Another species of monkey that you might see is the Vervet monkey. Also part of the Old World family and similarly social (if not, more so!,) these monkeys are somehow a little harder to spot at the sanctuary, but you may cross paths with them yet! Happier in more mountainous areas, these monkeys also feel content in acacia woodlands, along streams or rivers, and in trees from which they seldom venture. They are primarily herbivorous (though, like many species, if food sources become scarce they will make exceptions), but when it comes to the animals that might make a meal of these monkeys, the Vervet has become adept at eluding capture – they are, after all, keen climbers as well as fantastic jumpers and swimmers. That said, humans still play a part in the risks these small simians face, in terms of contributing to habitat loss and, once again, poaching (notably to be used for their ‘medicinal value’, which surely by now humanity should realise is non-existant.) Sanctuaries across Africa strive to protect these animals from such a cruel fate, and for the most part it seems to be working as the Vervet is classified as at no risk.

Whether as just a part of a wider Africa trip, or as the sole purpose for your visit to the continent, the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary is absolutely worth including in your itinerary. There's a huge amount of animals to see and to work alongside, so why not check out the project page and start planning your African adventure!

Baby baboon


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