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Guide to the mammal species of Southern Africa

Chacma Baboon - Papio ursinus
Travel Writer: EcoTravel Africa  

Chacma Baboons are gregarious and can live in very large troops. They have a well-developed social structure, led by a dominant male, with individual females having a very definite 'pecking order' within the troop.

Photographer: EcoTravel Africa 

The number of adult Chacma Baboon males in troops can vary from a solitary individual in the smaller troops to up to 12 in some of the very large ones. Dominant males lead the troops and direct their movements, with subordinate males traveling towards the rear.

Low-ranking females are located on the perimeter of the troop. High ranking females, which are more likely to have infants, are likely to be found towards the centre of the group.

When there is danger nearby, the male will let out a bark which sends the rest of the troop to safety. The primary enemy of the Chacma Baboon is the leopard: when one is spotted they let off hysterical shrieks and barks, which often causes the leopard to flee.

Chacma baboons have a very powerful build with large canines, which can be used in vicious fights, which sometimes end in death. The older males can become very bad-tempered. The troop leaders' dominance is drilled into the rest of the troop from an early age, and if they become disobedient they are likely to receive a swift cuff.

Chacma baboons are omnivorous, feeding primarily on fruit and leaves. They usually roam in the veld for grass, insects, roots and eggs, returning to resting areas during the late afternoon. Female baboons produce one infant at a time and the newborn chacma can cling to the mother soon after birth. There is no fixed mating season, and chacmas are full-grown within eight years.

More facts about Chacma Baboons

Kruger National Park (South Africa)
Pilanesberg National Park (South Africa)
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park
Mountain Zebra National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Augrabies Falls National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Mammals of Southern Africa    >> Printable List <<
Wildlife - Fauna & Flora of Southern Africa

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Learn more about the Chacma Baboon - Papio ursinus with Wildlife Campus. Course content includes in-depth information about Chacma baboon habitat, spoor, droppings, ecology...

Wildlife Campus offers many courses including: Field Guide Courses (FGASA); Game Ranging; Wildlife Management; Photography; Astronomy...

Southern Africa has many top Game / Nature Reserves, and is home to many of the mammals of southern Africa. Numerous wildlife safari and tour companies operate guided tours to Southern Africa. Popular adventure travel activities in Southern Africa include: horse riding safaris, elephant back safaris, mountain biking, birding, wilderness walking trails, science safaris and volunteering especially for GAP year students.
Southern Africa Wildlife - Fauna & Flora
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Birds Trees
Fishes Shrubs
Mammals Grasses
Reptiles : Snakes Herbaceous Plants
Invertebrates Fungi : Mushrooms
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