You don’t have to go to a National Park to see monkeys or baboons in Africa. In some ways, it’s more exciting to see them hanging out in the backyard of your hotel or the parking lot of a grocery store, but those kinds of sightings are also … riskier. One second you’re eating breakfast, staring at a fuzzy little monkey face, thinking “wow, this is so magical and I’m so lucky to be here.” The next second, one of them is stealing part of your breakfast, or the t-shirt you left out to dry, or your entire bag of groceries right out of your hands (didn’t happen to me but I’ve seen it).
In a National Park, you can just watch and enjoy — and monkeys and baboons are a lot of fun to watch. Monkeys are adorable. Baboons, not so much, but I still can’t take my eyes off of them, mostly because their movements and mannerisms seem so human. Except when they’re swinging from the trees, which is just cool.
We saw only one kind of monkey in Serengeti, and I think it’s the only one that lives there — the Vervet Monkey (not a typo of Velvet, as I originally thought). You can identify it by its black face and hands, and also by another unique, colorful feature that I’m too polite to mention here but which you can see for yourself in the pictures below.
Baboons are even more plentiful than monkeys. We ran into this tree-full on one of our first days:
Check out this lovely little family grooming and playing and staring back at us from the ground nearby:
Have you ever seen something test the boundary between cute and creepy quite like this baby baboon?