B is for Baboon

This entry is part 4 of the series Out of Africa


A few years ago, we were driving through a mountain pass in the beautiful Western Cape in South Africa. Suddenly my husband had to stomp on the brake as a baboon family scampered across the road.

Babies clung to their mothers’ underbellies. Youngsters stopped to play, oblivious of traffic on the road. One curious little guy plonked down in the middle of the road and studied our car. Another jumped onto the front of the car and peered in the window before playing with the window-wipers.

BaboonSuddenly, a loud bark sounded from the top of the tree, and the animals scurried for the trees. The senior member of the troupe, perched atop the highest tree, was warning them of danger. Older and wiser than the rest, he recognised that what looked like fun to the youngsters was actually a situation they needed to avoid.

Baboons, or Bobbejaane, spend most of their day on the ground, only clambering up trees to find food, escape danger, or to sleep. Sometimes they prefer to spend their nights in high outcrops of rocks. The babies spend more time in the trees as they like to leap from tree to tree and play with one another.

Once the baboon patriarch cleared the road for us, we drove on our way. I thought of God, our Father, and how He watches over us at all times. I wonder how often he tells me to stay clear. Am I always as quick to obey?

Sometimes, here in South Africa, we hear someone called, “A baboon”. It is an insult and suggests the person has done something really stupid. Do you think that is fair? Is there something we can learn from the Baboon family?