Walking With Cheetahs 2011 travel blog

Today was our first day of walking the Junior Baboons.

On the farm there are baby baboons - 5 of - Juniors approx 11 and then the Senior. Don't mess with the Seniors! A fact - a senior baboon has the strength of 8 men!

So anyways we walk the juniors. They are amusing, cute but scary nonetheless.

Simpley because they are unpredictable and they have an alpha female which the juniors are all intimadated by. So if they can't challenge another baboon, they will challenge a human - more obvious a volunteer.

To start our walk you have to "de-baboon" yourself. This means no hair ties, no sunglasses or hat, nothing in pockets not even a tissue. No watch, bracelet etc. They have a fascination with buttons on clothing and will try to pick them off with both fingers and mouth.

And you walk in the midday sun - again 30+ deg temp.

So off we trot. Debra is first to have a companion sitting on her shoulder. It then jumps over to me mid stride. Their leg or hand will go in your face but you can't move them just have to ensure that you can see. Oh another thing is you can't scream or say No! To all the baboons No means challenge. Just think of a precocious child being told "Not to do that" and then the tantrums start. But on a more dangerous scale.

We arrive at a river bed where we sit and they can play in the trees. All went well, all buttons in tact - no tears, no scratches, no challenges so after an hour we head back to camp. Again they jump on us for a ride home but we arrive safely back to their enclosure.

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