Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The monkeys and baboons of Tanzania, Africa

When people think about the wildlife in Africa, they typically think of lions, elephants, zebras and giraffe. But along with those animals, there is also an abundance of monkeys and baboons. Although the baboons can be a bit pesty and aggressive, they are also fun to photograph.

Today's blog post is all about the monkeys and baboons in Tanzania.

Throughout the month in Tanzania, we encountered many troops of Vervet monkeys. They generally hang in packs between the size of 10-70 animals. They have very human-like characteristics and are fun to photograph. For most of these images I used the Canon 1D X Mark II camera with the Canon 200-400mm lens. I should also mention that I shot almost the entire safari on one 256GB Pro Grade Digital memory card.

As our guests were photographing the monkeys I kept reminding them to wait until the animals had catch light in their eyes before firing the shutter. For those of you who are not photographers, the catch light is that little burst of light that shows life in the animal's eyes. It is most prominent when the animal looks into the sun or out into the sunlight of the day.

This little baby vervet was looking down at me as I shot up into the tree.

This monkey cracked me up with his different hand positions, And I was happy that he was sitting in perfect sunlight.

And then there are the baboons which are everywhere in Tanzania. We see a lot of these primates while on our photo tours in Africa. They have existed in Africa for more than 2 million years.

The baboons and monkeys will feed on the termites, and can be seen climbing termite mounds for a snack or just to get a good view of their surroundings.

This little one was getting it's nourishment from mom...

...while this little one was hitching a ride.

I have been to the Ngorongoro Crater 5 times now and know that the baboons like to hang out by the "check-in" gate. I usually prep our photo tour guests to get their long lenses ready at this location to get some tight baboon shots. At this location, the primates are used to people and will not run away. Actually, it is worse than that. They will scavenge food from any vehicle that is not totally secure.

I saw these baboons breaking into a vehicle and laughed as I quickly raised the camera and got this shot of them exiting the Land Cruiser.  Their guide scared them out of the vehicle but not before they stole food from the unsuspecting tourists.

Having close access allowed us to get some nice shots of the mothers and their babies.

And we got some great facial expressions too. You can see that the baboons have dog-like muzzles. Under those muzzles they have very powerful jaws and extremely sharp canine teeth. Believe it or not, they eat not only insects and small birds, but they actually eat the vervet monkeys too.

This is my favorite baboon shot from the trip. I just love the clean coat and the piercing eyes.

All the guests enjoyed watching the baboons interacting with each other.


This was one of the younger baboons that we saw.

Before and after a little nursing session.

The female baboons have a 6 month gestation period and only give birth to one baby at a time. These primates typically live for 30 years in the wild.

I hope you are enjoying my "blog by animal type" this time around. So much more to come.

Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Hi Jeff:

I haven't left a comment for some time, but I have enjoyed all of your "Africa" posts. You are wonderfully skilled and your blog is a great source of inspiration. Your favorite is my favorite as well. I also think the one shot of the mother hugging the baby is also great!

Well done!

J. Ross