At our Tshetshepi Lodge we had a chalet next to the river, where many baboons and small monkeys lived. During the day you wouldn't see them much but at 5 am you would hear them screaming, fighting and running in the grass in front of our chalet and climbing on our roofs, checking out our decks and looking into our bedroom window! Yes, they are that cheeky!! They really came upon our decks and were standing at our windows and checking us out!!
So the first morning we noticed that they would come that close, I mean only a thin window was between us, but I didn't have my camera next to my bed and so I missed the opportunity to photograph them. The next morning though we were prepared!! I had opened my bedroom window, so they would wake me up with their screams and we put Jasmine's lion cub in front of our bedroom window. Now we were laying in bed and watching them come passing by. But they didn't pass by as the other morning, no they noticed the lion cub and starting talking to each other. You could hear the change in their voices, amazing to hear! And suddenly about 50 baboons came closer and closer to our window. They were so curious to see what that lion cub was about?? Pacing and pacing in front of our window, while my mom was in the other room and didn't understand why the baboons were not coming in front of her bedroom window....because they were all in front of ours!! So I sent Jezz out to my moms room to come in our room and the 4 of us lay in our bed and just sat there quietly and watching the behaviour of the baboons and the little monkeys.
Look at the 2 baboons in the back, one is checking out the butt of his friend ;-0
Then at a certain moment a big baboon realised that my window was open, had only the mosquito netting in front of it, and they can easily push that open. So then I got scared...although I was behind the glass on the other side, these animals are wild and strong. He walked towards my window and wanted to come inside to get the lion cub, so I stood up from my bed and yelled and waved with my arms. The baboon ran away and all the others as well. I closed my window and we waited again. Here they came again, slowly but surely. Closer and closer to the lion cub. We changed the position of the lion cub to the front window, so the 4 of us could see them better. First we had it on the side, since that window was without a frame I could take better pictures. But I was afraid that such a big window could easily break if a baboon pushes to hard onto it....
Here he comes towards my open window...now I get scared, and chase him away!
So now all the baboons are on our deck pacing along the window, looking at the cub (which by the way really looks real) then I realized that these sliding doors we have in the front of the bedroom who open up to the deck weren't closed. I mean I closed the door, but didn't put the latches on, so just one push of these big baboons and they would be standing in our room. And we heard already from the people of the lodge that many times that happens, if you leave a single window open they are in their within seconds! So after another 15 minutes watching these baboons and they got closer and closer and more cheeky I got scared again (not showing the girls though) and told Jezz to stand up and scare them, so she did. She stood up on the bed an screamed and made waving movements and the baboons went a bit back into the bush, still watching us...I mean the lion cub.... and we closed the latches. Now I felt a bit more comfortable to let the baboons come as close as they wanted and I took all of these shots. But since it was only 5 am I put the camera on night vision, so my flash wouldn't go off all the time.
The left one is ready to grab the lion cub, and the other ones are starting to run away, it was getting more and more agressive and at this point Jezz scared them away!
We had 45 minutes of fun watching these big baboons and little monkeys at 5 am in the morning! We still had a game drive on our schedule and we already had so much fun. What an adventure it was!
And these were the little monkeys that are very curious as well. When we came back one day from our game drive the girls had their stuffed lions in their arms and the monkeys try to come as close as they possible could. Just to see what the girls are having in their arms. So cute!!
We had a great time at Tshetshepi Lodge, definitely worth going back!!