The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Chacma Baboon

Afrikaans name: Bobbejaan

On the march. Mother Chacma Baboon with its baby.

Young Chacma Baboons often ride on their mothers backs

Photo © Steven Herbert

Papio ursinus

Interesting facts about baboons

The Chacma Baboon is sometimes referred to as the Cape Baboon.

A male baboon can be up to 1 metre in length and that excludes the tail which is another 80 cm. They can weigh up to 40 kg. Female baboons are smaller than males with a weight of around 25 kg.

Male baboons can have canine teeth that are nearly 4 cm in length. They can be very aggressive and there are recorded incidents of a baboon killing a Leopard which attacked it. They clash with humans from time to time and care should be exercised when they are nearby.

The Chacma Baboon is found in a variety of habitats including savanna, woodland, semi-desert and mountain grasslands.

Chacma Baboons eat a wide variety of foods including fruit, seeds, insects and grass. They will also take small animals, including baby antelopes, if they can catch them. They will raid human households at time, or steal food from cars or picnic areas.

These baboons live in troops which contain adult males and females, along with their young. Smaller troops may just have one male and a couple of females.

Juvenile Chacma Baboon with a far away look in its eyes

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - This youngster seems to be contemplating something while he nibbles on some grass.

Young Chacma Baboon on its mothers back

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - Young Chacma Baboons travel on the backs of their mothers or, at times, hanging underneath her.

Below - A troop of Chacma Baboons stroll along a dry river bed in iMfolozi Game Reserve

Troop of Chacma Baboons

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 194

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 24

Wild Issue 33 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 34

Wild Ways - 2nd Edition - Author: Peter Apps - Published: 2000 - Page: 40

Tracks and Tracking in Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2000 - Page: 52

The Mammal Guide of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 2011 - Page: 204

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 69

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 320

Signs of the Wild - 5th Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1996 - Page: 30

South African Animals in the Wild - Author: Anthony Bannister - Published: 1985 - Page: 63

Signs of the Wild - 3rd Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1986 - Page: 27

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southe - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Published: 1991 - Page: 419

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 13

Kruger National Park, Visitors Map 1996 - Author: - Published: 1996 - Page: 5

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Published: 1980 - Page: 16

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 1987 - Page: 5

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Published: 1986 - Page: 45

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 86

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Published: 1987 - Page: 75

First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2003 - Page: 22

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Published: 1987 - Page: 63

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2001 - Page: 74

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1997 - Page: 24

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 141

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edit - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1988 - Page: 74

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 45

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Published: 1987 - Page: 32

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Published: 1999 - Page: 82

A Field Guide to the Tracks & Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife - 3rd - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2000 - Page: 58


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List of South African Mammals

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