About the Author

Bruce Arnott

Field Guide

Bruce grew up on a plot of farmland in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. He always had a passion for the bush and the outdoors, having been camping and fishing since he was a young boy. He attended school in the Natal midlands after ...

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13 Comments

on The Incredible Eyesight of Baboons

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

I love baboons, can watch a troop for hours. They are always busy, doing something. Interesting information Bruce.

Cindy Hauert
Explorer

And also no slouches when it comes to spying human food to pinch!
Things I’ve had stolen from baboons, no matter how vigilant I was:
packets of nuts and fruit
bread
eggs
apples
sugar
box wine
even stuff that’s not edible
and the funniest, a baboon at Mana Pools who sat on the bonnet of my Land Rover and twanged the radio aerial until it broke off. Since then I just have to sing if I want music…

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

There’s an intelligence in their eyes that has always attracted me. But they are naughty, too, tossing the pads off the chaises on our deck and running up and down the trees, deck, etc. I love to watch them!

Doug Hammerich
Senior Digital Ranger

That baboons are”naughty” is right! When we stayed at the Vic Falls hotel, we were warned to lock out terrace doors when leaving because the baboons know how to open doors, and also know there are sugar packets near the coffee maker. One day we forgot to lock the doors when leaving for a few minutes, and upon returning within 10 minutes we discovered the doors wide open and the little burglars sitting on the terrace ripping open and eating the contents of the sugar packets. The baboons touched nothing else in the room.

Irene Henkes
Explorer

I love Baboons…… They are so clever!! I have been at the babooncentre and helped a bit, abt 15 yrs ago……..

Joanne Wadsworth Kelley
Master Tracker

Again I’m amazed. The first time was when I learned that Londolozi had ostriches and now baboons!! Bruce your blog was not only well written, but very informative. I learned a lot. Rather than recant every detail I will tell you just a few of my surprises…..a “troop” can get go from a lowly 4 all the way to 200! Has Londolozi ever measured the baboon numbers in the reserve? From the curved tail for a baby perch to the pink rump, the females are quite noticeable and busy. I love their loyalty and intellect….being naughty and sneaky made me laugh! Great visual.

Guess not everyone’s favourite but have to admire their “cleverness”! Some excellent photos Bruce, particularly the two close-up expressive mug shots.

Vin Beni
Digital Tracker

We had an incredible baboon family sighting . Mother and Father clutching baby, looking away at another vehicle while the baby stared wide-eyed at us. One of the best images I’ve ever captured.

Karin Maclarty
Explorer

Nice, informative piece Bruce with great pics. Thank you. A recent run in with a big male at De Hoop has not made me like them any better but they have certainly provided many laughs over the years….. and lots of good stories.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

The eyes of a baboon, like a gorilla, are like a window to their soul. Sometimes woeful, but often inquisitive or cheeky, to sit and watch baboons is a front seat at the theatre. I’ve been “babooned “ once, losing my freshly baked, still warm roll to the mischievous youngster.

It seems they don’t like to be in water as I watched a troop of them leap across a body of water rather than walk through it, including moms with babies clinging to their backs. Amazing!!

Thanks for such an informative article.

Michael & Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Bruce, Thanks for all of the close-up shots! We never seem to get close enough to see those pircing eyes!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

They really do have incredible eyesight. Though with the ones down here, we worry more about their intelligence s they work out how to get our cars and front doors open!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

But I still love them all the same!

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