Book our Olive Baboon Safaris in Uganda and have a great time with these fascinating creatures. Visit Uganda with African Pearl Safaris for professional services throughout the entire safari.
Olive baboon (Papiocynocephalus anubis)
Size: 14 – 30 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 50 – 100 pounds
Life Span: 20 – 30 years
Habitat: Savannah and Woodlands
Gestation: 6 months
The baboon is one of the primates that frequently interact with people in Uganda. Baboons live in a wide variety of habitats. They are not only intelligent but they are also crafty. Baboons use over 30 vocalizations ranging from grunts, barks to screams. Non vocal gestures include yawns, lip smacking and shoulder shrugging.
The olive baboon is found in several parts of Uganda. It is large and dark, large and also has a dog face.
Baboons are not only extremely adaptable but they are also found in varied habitats. The major requirements for a baboon’s habitat are safe sleeping places and water sources. When water is readily available, they drink every day or two though it believed that they can also survive for long periods by licking the night dew from their fur.
Baboons usually leave their sleeping places around 7 or 8 a.m. After coming down from the trees, adults sit in small groups grooming each other while the juveniles play. They then form a cohesive unit that moves off in a column of two or three, walking until they begin feeding. Baboons usually feed as they move along, often traveling five or six miles a day. They forage for about three hours in the morning, rest during the heat of the day and then forage again in the afternoon before returning to their sleeping places by about 6 p.m. Before retiring, they spend more time in mutual grooming, a key way of forming bonds among individuals as well as keeping the baboons clean and free of external parasites.
They feed, travel, socialize and sleep together in groups of about 50 individuals that usually consist of seven to eight males and approximately twice as many females with their young. These family units of infants, juveniles and females form the stable core of a troop, with a ranking system that elevates certain females as leaders. A troop’s home range is well-defined but does not appear to have territorial borders. It often overlaps with the range of other baboons, though they seem to avoid meeting one another.
When they begin to mature, males leave their troops and move in and out of other troops. Frequent fights break out to determine dominance over access to meat or females. The ranking of these males constantly changes during this period.
Males are accepted into new troops slowly, usually by cohabiting with different females around the edge of a troop. They often help to defend a female and her offspring.
Baboons are not only opportunistic omnivores but they are also selective feeders that carefully choose their food. Grass makes up a large part of their diet, along with pods, blossoms, berries, seeds, leaves, roots, bark and sap from a variety of plants. They also eat insects and small quantities of meat, such as young antelopes, vervet monkeys, birds, fish, shellfish and hares.
For the first month, an infant baboon stays in very close contact with its mother. The mother carries the infant next to her stomach as she travels, holding it with one hand. By the time the young baboon is 5 to 6 weeks old it can ride on her back, hanging on by all four limbs; in a few months it rides jockey style, sitting upright. Between 4 and 6 months the young baboon begins to spend most of its time with other juveniles.