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Chacma Baboon

Cape of Good Hope nature reserve

Chacma Baboon

Chacma Baboon

On the Cape peninsula the Chacma baboon are the only protected population of the species in the world. They mostly subsist on fruits, roots, bulbs, honey, insects and scorpions. During the low tide they may even be seen roaming the beaches, feeding on sand hoppers and shellfish – very unique behavior for primates. Large, dog-like with shaggy, grey-brown coat and long bare snout. Males larger than females. The male weighs in at about 40kg whiles the female tops the scales at 20kg. Babies often ride on mother's back. Lives in troops in rocky areas. The call is a deep booming bark. Loses fear of people when fed along roads or at picnic sites which may affect their ability to feed themselves. The indigenous people called them "choachamma' or 'choa kamma'. The Chacma baboon occurs as far as Angola.

The Cape Peninsula baboons can be seen on any public road between the Tokai Forest in the southern suburbs of Cape Town and the famous Cape of Good Hope, which is part of the popular Table Mountain National Park to the south of the city. In the Cape Point reserve most baboons are born between July and November, after a six months gestation. The baby are mischievous and playful, the adult have their hands full with these juveniles.

On our full day guided tour to Cape Point & Cape of Good Hope we often see them on the way along the road and in the Good Hope nature reserve. We always alow enough time to stop and take photos!

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