March 26, 2017

Out of East Africa: The Vervet Monkey

Vipingo Ridge Kenya

As you may be aware, The Marbella Plus team are out working in darkest Africa. We are staying at the exclusive Vipingo Ridge, near Mombasa in Kenya.

Vervet1Our first brush with nature has come in the rather sweet form of the Vervet Monkey, which live in the trees next to our house overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Called Tumbili in Swahilli, this small, black-faced monkey is common in East Africa as it adapts easily to many environments and is widely distributed.

The different types of vervets vary in color, but generally the body is a greenish-olive or silvery-gray. The face, ears, hands, feet and tip of the tail are black, but a conspicuous white band on the forehead blends in with the short whiskers. The males are slightly larger than the females and easily recognized by their turquoise blue scrota, now who wouldn’t want a pair of those I ask?

In East Africa these monkeys can live in mountain areas up to about 13,000 feet, but they do not inhabit rain forests or deserts. Their preferred habitat is acacia woodland along streams, rivers and lakes. They are diurnal, sleeping and eating in trees from which they seldom venture.

Vervet monkeys living near areas inhabited by people can become pests, stealing food and other items and raiding crops. Good climbers, jumpers and swimmers, they often elude capture.

In sexual and dominance displays, vervet monkeys run the gamut from shaking branches and jumping around to making a hard ‘kek-kek-kek’ sound to mark their territories.

Sounds just like your average Joe in Banus on a Friday night if you ask me.

Photos ©Johnny Gates

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