Monday, April 14, 2008

Monkeys Here, Monkeys There

After taking a moment to do a little complaining I am now ready to begin the trip stories and I will start with the monkeys.

With the exception of Amsterdam, Monkeys (I am using the term loosely to include all primates) were a a constant on my recent trip. I don't know a lot about Monkeys, but I have come to the conclusion that they can be fairly compared to teenage boys - they're cute, but just a bit naughty too. Here are a few of my most fun monkey stories...

On my first full day in Cape Town we traveled around the Cape Peninsula which is just gorgeous with many little beachy towns along the way. We made it to the Cape of Good Hope which is the south-westernmost point in Africa.

It was just beautiful! However I was very surprised to see both ostriches and baboons in this rocky beach area. Since this post is about monkeys and not ostriches, I will just say that it was quite strange to see these very large birds walking along the beach...who knew?

The entire trip around the peninsula we warned not to feed the baboons and that they were dangerous. We were told that if we saw baboons we shouldn't stop the car for too long and if/when we were stopped under no uncertain circumstances were we to open the windows. And well, this would be why...

The baboons climb all over anything that stops, reach inside, and steal bags, sodas, food, cameras, etc. Once they have something, the run away with it and you are hard pressed to get it back. Something interesting about these particular baboons - they are apparently the only baboons who eat fish and shell fish.

In Kruger National Park game reserve, which is in the northern part of South Africa, we stayed in a bush camp. The camps are basically just areas of the reserve that have been fenced in. The larger animals don't seem to get in, but there were still all sorts of animals inside the camp - impala, baboons, vervet monkeys, bats (there was even one in my sink).

We got up very early in the morning to take a morning game drive and had a second game drive in the late afternoon. The rest of our day was spent around camp and we were lucky enough to have the monkeys (and sometimes baboons) visit us each afternoon. I could spend all day with my camera just watching the vervet monkeys. They are so cute and awfully busy. However they are also nosey and don't seem to have a fear in the world. They often rummaged through bags and the trash cans nearby.

There was one particular male monkey who liked to visit. He sat on the patio deck of the bungalow and let us get pretty close to him. However, he gave us quite a show. Let's just say he was not the master of his domain...

At this point I called out, "He has blue balls!" Who knew? Anyways, as I said he liked to visit and was very uninhibited...

But seriously, as naughty as they were, we couldn't get enough of them. Isn't he the cutest thing you've ever seen?

The guides and employees of the camp pretty much left these guys alone, but the baboons in the park are another story. During one of the afternoons, I sat on the patio watching the animals, writing in my journal when all of a sudden four baboons ran across the grassy area that I was looking out over. Following closely behind was a park employee running after them, chasing them away. After a few minutes, the baboons come racing back the other direction. They passed my bungalow and then slowed down and decided to stop and check the outside refrigerators of the remaining bungalows. They pulled out water and other items and then dropped them and continued running as the park employee came running at them from the other direction. As a spectator, it was very fun to watch, but I am sure they do plenty of damage and wreak havoc on the park if they are not chased away every so often.

The monkeys were also prevalent in Zambia. We were warned to keep all doors and windows closed because they were very brave and would come inside. We weren't there an hour when my mom came back into her room and there was a monkey on the table stealing the sugar packets, and some friends had one in their room sitting on the TV when they walked in after leaving the door open for some air.

Crazy monkeys!


  1. Master of his domain. Your killing me, Kim. Your pictures are fantastic and it sounds like you saw amazing, once in a lifetime things. I'm so jealous. I am going to live vicariously through your stories.

  2. My son isn't even two yet and he's already like that monkey. I'm afraid of the teen years.

  3. Whatever you do, don't let Avitable find out about this post. It will quickly end up on some animal sex website.

    But seriously, what a cute picture of a blue-balled moneky masturbating!

  4. Oh, do you think he'll vist this post. I would be honored - even if it took a masturbating monkey to do so! A girl can dream, can't she. {swoons}

  5. Master of his own domain... BWAHAHAHHA.

    It could have been worse, I notice you didn't mention any throwing of poo. ;)

  6. As a masturbating gorilla man, I am impressed with his technique.

    I think I'd win in a long distance ejaculating contest, though.

  7. amy - no there was no poo throwing, thank god!

    avitable - that's impressive!

    my blog hero (next to jason of course) commented on a post...i'm giddy.

  8. It sounds like you had an amazing time. The ocean shot is exquisite. I remember the baboons from a safari trip in Kenya. They are wild!

  9. Ohhhh man, I love it. And now I love you by default.

  10. Those are great! My favorite is the third monkey picture. He's knitted his hands, and his feet are crossed and pigeon-toed. He couldn't look more guilty and caught in the act if he tried.

    (Linked her from Jason, by the way -- great post)