Monkeys in the Mist
Magoebaskloof Getaway is a safe haven for the Samango Monkey and numerous Phd students have come to research these very interesting and endangered species of monkey. Samango monkeys are rare, being confined to the evergreen Ultramontane forests of Southern Africa, which cover less than 1% of the land area of the sub-region. Unlike the Velvet Monkey, which commonly occurs in the vast stretches of Savannah Woodland, one seldom sees the Samango. One only has the rare opportunity of seeing these little creatures in a few places, one of which is Magoebaskloof Getaway farm in the Magoebaskloof in the Limpopo/Northern Province of South Africa. Samangoes are active, gregarious, noisy and curious, like most primates around the world. They are also very intelligent, and this makes them successful survivors in rapidly changing environments. But, unfortunately, since the Samango is totally restricted to moist forests, they have little chance of surviving when their habitat is destroyed or over exploited. The bush and forests on Magoebaskloof Getaway are perfect for the Samango and one has every chance of seeing them when walking on the hiking trails
SAMANGO MONKEY VITAL STATISTICS:
Description: Slightly larger and also darker than the Velvet Monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops).
Habitat: Totally confined to forests and sometimes plantations.
Diet: Fruit (50-90%), flowers (13%), leaves (26%) and insects (6%)
Life history: Single young, rarely twins, September to April
Behavior: Troops of up to 35 are active at day, and sleep in trees. The troop will patrol a home range of about 18ha, while single males will roam between troops. The most characteristic call is a loud “nyah” which serves as an alarm call as well as a loud booming call. When at rest, the troop communicates with bird like twitters.
Field signs: Half eaten fruit, pips and peels are dropped from trees.
Key reference: Apps. P. (ed) 1996. Smither’s mammals of Southern Africa. Southern Publishers. Halfway House