Cape Town – South Africa

Up on Cape Point a troop of Chacma Baboons mingle amongst the tourists. Dodging in and out of the cars and coaches on the look out for food. As groups of visitors enjoyed the sights, struggled against the wind and browsed the gift shops, these baboons were waiting for an opportunity to present itself.

Chacma Baboon

These Baboons are the fourth largest African primate at 100cm to 180cm in height and weighing in between 12kg and 45kg. They have special protection up on the Cape Peninsula.

When not stealing food from tourists the baboons eat fruits, plants, seeds, roots and bulbs, insects and scorpions. Unlike many primates these baboons also forage on the beach at low tide for shellfish and sand hoppers.

It was interesting to watch a particularly large baboon follow a group of tourists as they emerged from the cafe. It sat at a distance until one girl took a paper bag out from her rucksack, then it ran across, grabbed a bread roll from the bag and settled up on a wall to eat it.

Some of the baboons have become extreme opportunists and climb in to cars through open windows or even open car doors to scavenge for food.

Chacma baboon on Cape point

Chacma baboon on Cape point

Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope are the most Southerly points of the Cape Peninsula, with Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town being the Northern End.

View on the way to Cape PointView over Cape Town

For the first few days in South Africa our base was Cape Town. Opposite the Hotel was Company gardens, a local park and heritage site.

We spent quite a few hours here watching the local wildlife, some that were familiar to the UK, but also many new bird species for me.


One of the highlights was watching a African Harrier Hawk hunting pigeons in the Company gardens. We watched as it startled the pigeons up in to the air and circled them over and over again until the pigeons were flying overhead in a ball. As it identified one individual, the Hawk separated it from the group and dived in to catch it.

African harrier hawk

Down at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town many Cape fur seals either gracefully swim around the boats in the harbour or lounge on many of the platforms.

Fur seals differ from true seals as they have external ear flaps and larger front flippers that they use to propel themselves along in the water, unlike true seals who use their back flippers.

Cape Fur seals

About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. This year my debut book "Get Your Boots On" was published I am a keen amateur photographer. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire Badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
This entry was posted in Animals, birds, nature, photography, South Africa, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cape Town – South Africa

  1. David Stimpson says:

    Hi Alex nice pictures I hope you have enjoyed South Africa I forward to seeing what other pictures you have taken

    Liked by 1 person

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