Smitswinkel baboon troop go a-venturing

Dear Readers,

After a long break, it’s time to dust off the keyboard and get busy again with pixels and posts.

There was the usual influx of visitors swelling the numbers on the roads and tourist venues along the far southern Cape Peninsula over the festive season. The queues into the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve had tail-backs all the way to Partridge Point, the worst we’ve seen in years. The scenic route along this southern stretch winds and climbs along the coast right through the home range of the Smitswinkel Bay troop of baboons. There is always some hold up or panic when they are foraging alongside the road; this year there was a change of habit and on a couple of occasions they appeared inside the park.

There they were minding their own business, chilling in the shade when along came the visiting human hordes, intruding into their peace. As usual there were the visitors who ventured too close to get photos; fortunately the baboons ignored all the fuss and eventually crossed the road and disappeared into the fynbos (vegetation).

16 thoughts on “Smitswinkel baboon troop go a-venturing

  1. Glad to see you brushing the dust off your keyboard, Liz. Your posts are always an interesting read! Seems folks everywhere have difficulty understanding and respecting the line between humans and wildlife. I’ve seen people in my neck of the woods approach elk herds…

    1. Thanks Jane, lovely to see your comment.
      Strange that folk don’t perceive the danger intruding into wild animals’ space. It doesn’t help that there are many TV wildlife shows with maverick presenters billing adventure and irresponsible close-up encounters.

      1. That is so true, Liz. I think they are the reason that wildlife shows are generally not one of my favorite genres (although I do learn a lot from ones done from naturalist/ science-based perspective). The unnatural background music that the “maverick presenters” use also drives me crazy!!

    1. Thanks Jude. Partridge Point is about midway between Castle Rock and Smitswinkel Bay. It’s part of the marine protected area, not that that means much these days. Come back for a visit Jude… i’ll show you the spots!

    1. Hello de Wets… thanks for the welcome back. I missed my blogging mates πŸ™‚ I really get nervous for this troop when people get so close, as the animals always end up getting the bad rap for ‘infringements’. Thank goodness none of the visitors tried feeding them.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Anne. The irony here with this troop is it’s one that roams on the ‘city’ side of the COGH reserve, so when they’re in the park their ‘minders’ (rangers) are not allowed in as it is strictly SanParks terrain – essentially the troop is ‘free’ to roam πŸ™‚

  2. Wonderful photos. And I confess, I’d have been one of the hoards wanting to get photos. How magical to have wildlife so close. I was reminded of a drive out to Otway lighthouse on Australia’s south coast and seeing koalas in the trees. Of course everyone stopped to look, but there were only a few cars – nothing like you have here.
    Alison

    1. Thanks, Alison. Isn’t it crazy – that herd instinct, one car stops, then a traffic jam; one person with a camera and then there’s a crowd! The cuteness factor would be enticing too. Monkeys certainly attract attention, though koalas with their endearing looks would be hard to resist. Talking koalas, isn’t it tragic that so many have perished in the fires.

  3. Such beauty. We are so blessed by the beauty of nature. Thank you for sharing your pictures. It reminds me to be grateful for this planet and all its wonder. Thanks.

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