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Monday, May 15, 2017

He Promised Me Africa - Part 3 - Baboons

The view of Victoria Falls from the air was stupendous. However, the close up view we got from the trail across from it knocked our socks off too. First thing we saw though, as we started down the trail were these amazing Baobab trees. It was the first time, I'd ever seen such a thing and I couldn't stop taking pictures of them.

Then we encountered a baboon troop. We had first seen them from our motor coach driving to our hotel from the airport. There was a fence along side the road with a baboon perched on each post. It was almost as if they were welcoming us. As we reached the corner where we were to turn, everyone in front of us burst into laughter. At first, I didn't understand...but then I saw. The largest male baboon...apparently the alpha male...was sitting on that corner post...holding his penis and making noises that sounded an awful lot like laughter.

Someone asked if baboons were friendly and the guide said, "They are very proud." And that got everyone giggling again while I snapped his picture for posterity.

However, the baboon troop I encountered on the trail to Victoria Falls wasn't aggressively friendly or particularly unfriendly. They were used to people and the folks who lived in the area were used to them. As I walked along the trail, Johnny got ahead of I was a bit surprised when they appeared in the brush beside and in front of me. However, other than take their picture, I tried to not intrude on their space figuring that if I got too close they might not like it.

As you can see in the picture above, there were people just ahead of me. They were coming from the Falls and soon passed me. When I got to the curve in the road, the baboons popped out of the brush and gave me a start...and a thrill. They were showing off their new babies.

Clearly, they could have stayed hidden if they wanted to...and had been when the other group walked past...I was just lucky to be there when they decided to show off. They didn't seem to mind me taking their picture so I guessed this was a normal thing for them. However, for me to see them this close was a major thrill. After my encounter with them, I hurried on to catch up with Johnny. He took my picture as I emerged from the trail. I'm trying to tell him about the baboons...and he is trying to tell me about the Falls up ahead of him.

Fortunately for me, I got to see Victoria Falls from the trail. It wasn't until we got home and got our pictures developed that Johnny got to see the baboons. This was a case where digital would have been great but that's not what we had at the time.

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