The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Vervet Monkey

Afrikaans name: Blouaap

Is this Vervet Monkey shy or just rubbing his eyes?

Vervet Monkey

Photo © Steven Herbert

Chlorocebus pygerythrus

Interesting facts about monkeys

Vervet Monkeys are social mammals that live in smallish to large groups.

They feed on a wide variety of foods including seeds, leaves, flowers, fruit, insects as well as the chicks and eggs taken from birds nests. They have colour vision which helps them see ripe fruit.

Vervet Monkeys are found in suitable habitat across a lot of South Africa. They are not found in desert or highveld grassy areas.

Although they average around 5 kg adult males may weigh up to 8 kg. Females average around 4 kg.

Females normally give birth to one baby but may sometimes have two. Most babies are born in summer.

Vervet Monkeys are common in gardens in some towns and cities. They are opportunistic and will enter a house and steal food if a chance arises. For this reason, and their habitat of eating fruit and crops, they are often in conflict with man.

In the wild Vervet Monkeys are preyed upon by Leopards, pythons, eagles and Chacma Baboons.

Tiny baby Vervet Monkey with its mother

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - Vervet Monkeys are coming into contact with man more and more. As their natural habitat is reduced they tend to wander into our gardens and sometimes even our homes. Many people are happy to see these interesting creatures close up but, for others, they are an enemy. Below - Problems encountered with Vervet Monkeys include dustbins being opened and litter spread far and wide, stealing food from inside homes and also raiding fruit trees. My local troop seem to have a taste for the flowers on my Petunias. Occasionally monkeys may threaten people and pets.

Vervet Monkeys have been here - they will turn your garbage upside down in no time at all!

Photo © Steven Herbert

Balancing act! Vervet Monkeys have little trouble negotiating thin telephone wires.

Photo © Steven Herbert

Vervet Monkeys have surprisingly big teeth.

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above and below - Vervet Monkeys may look cute but watch out for their teeth. You do not want to be bitten by one of these primates!

As this Vervet Monkey yawned it showed its long canines.

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 194

Wild Ways - 2nd Edition - Author: Peter Apps - Published: 2000 - Page: 44

Tracks and Tracking in Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2000 - Page: 50

Wild Issue 16 - Author: - Published: 2011 - Page: 32

Suburban Wildlife in KZN - Author: Dr. Jason Londt - Published: 2009 - Page: 120

The Mammal Guide of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 2011 - Page: 200

The Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa - Author: P. Briggs - Published: 2020 - Page: 318

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 320

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 69

Signs of the Wild - 5th Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1996 - Page: 26

South African Animals in the Wild - Author: Anthony Bannister - Published: 1985 - Page: 65

Signs of the Wild - 3rd Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1986 - Page: 23

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 2

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 20

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 22

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Published: 1980 - Page: 14

Maberlys Mammals of Southern Africa - Revised edition - Author: Richard Goss - Published: 1986 - Page: 24

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 1987 - Page: 7

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 90

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 419

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Published: 1987 - Page: 86

Kruger National Park, Visitors Map 1996 - Author: - Published: 1996 - Page: 5

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Published: 1986 - Page: 46

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1997 - Page: 36

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2001 - Page: 76

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Published: 1987 - Page: 64

First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2003 - Page: 21

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Published: 1987 - Page: 26

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 46

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 143

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edit - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1988 - Page: 76

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Published: 1999 - Page: 84

A Field Guide to the Tracks & Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife - 3rd - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2000 - Page: 59

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Africa including Madagascar - Author: Theodor Haltenorth and Helmut Diller - Published: 1980 - Page: 292

A Field Guide to the Eastern Cape Coast - Author: R. Lubke, F. Gess & M. Bruton - Published: 1988 - Page: 298


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List of South African Mammals

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