Baboon Matters Trust - baboon conservation in South Africa


For more than 25 years Baboon Matters has been at the forefront of baboon conservation  – in the face of ever-increasing urbanization and intensive agriculture, and the resulting escalation in baboon/human conflict.

“Baboons could not, surely, have a more passionate advocate. Baboon Matters is doing so much to help both baboons and people.”

 – Jane Goodall

Throughout South Africa baboons are in crisis.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that their numbers are declining – the result of their low conservation status, and a society which sees them as problematic and expendable.  Many thousands are killed around the country each year under cruel and inhumane conditions.

Will you help us create awareness for their plight and put your  #HandsUp4baboons?

In a funding environment where baboons are not considered a conservation priority, Baboon Matters relies purely on the support of the public to carry out its work.


In a funding environment where baboons are not considered a conservation priority,

Baboon Matters relies purely on the support of the public to carry out its work.



We cannot continue advocating for the ethical treatment of baboons around the country without financial support.

Your once-off or monthly contribution, or bequest in your will, can aid our fight for a future for baboons in South Africa.

Please consider supporting us.

Add Baboon Matters Trust as a Charity Beneficiary on your existing MySchool card, or join the program. Because every swipe counts and every cent helps!


Baboon Defenders are a commited group of supporters who stand with us as a voice for baboons. All we ask is that you do what you can, when you can.

On occasion we may ask for your help – whatever it is, it will be what is truly needed, right when it’s needed most!

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with the baboon-friendly people at Ayama Wines, who are generously donating R30 from the sale of each bottle of wine in their premium Baboon range to Baboon Matters.

Wine may be ordered directly from Ayama.  This is a real win-win:  Support Baboon Matters and enjoy some award-winning wine at the same time!

What to do - there are baboons in my home!

What to do if a baboon enters your home?

Stay calm!  He will not hurt you unless he feels threatened or cornered.

Make sure he has an exit route like an open window or door.

If you have dogs, lock them out of the way.

Read More

What to do - there are baboons in my home!

About Walking Tours

Although a change in policy by the City of Cape Town resulted in our Walking Tours with Baboons being stopped in 2011, we still get regular requests for these tours.  Our Walks were incredibly popular, and many hundreds of people developed a deeper appreciation for baboons as a result, but we are unfortunately not allowed to offer them anymore.

Join us on Facebook

Baboon Matters updated their cover photo. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

We made some new friends at Woolworths in Noordhoek this weekend! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

So this lovely boy was visiting constantia uitsig. Noticed he has a rather bad cut on his left arm. Thought would share. Perhaps he needs help? ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

I like tham u see playig ther is nithg wrog ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Report back on our trip to Knysna

The scale of the devastation in the Knysna area is unprecedented, with around 120 square kilometers of vegetation turned to dust in the worst fire the region has experienced since the mid-1800’s. What is also unprecedented is the level of concern from residents about the impact this disaster is having on wildlife whose homes and food sources have been obliterated. A number of initiatives have been started in the area to assist wildlife, and during our short visit we met one group, Eden be Needin’, which is being driven by a group of passionate, organized and informed young people who are collecting and distributing food in the area. It was incredibly moving to see how committed this team is, and their goodwill towards creatures great and small was palpable.

Cape Nature, who have recognized that this is an exceptional situation, have advised that feeding should be seen as supporting the animals, rather than saving them. All manner of animals will be seeking food, from civets to caracals to birds of prey, and yes, baboons.
The wildlife will typically gravitate to greener areas, and those areas may be human residences or farm areas. The idea of the supplementary feeding will be to encourage wildlife to move away from human settlements and remain in areas where pockets of unburnt forest may still exist. To support wildlife staying wild, residents are encouraged to take precautions to protect their livestock and properties; predators may try and feed off chickens and certainly a wide variety of animals will attempt to feed off crops, so an important consideration in this period will be that humans will need to reduce easy food availability on their properties.

In order to minimize the risk of wildlife becoming habituated and dependent on humans for food, we encourage people to follow these guidelines:

· Assess situations on a case-by-case basis before feeding. You may think the animals have no food but they are adaptable and there are still pockets of green that will provide food. There has been some rain, and more forecast, so we anticipate that some re-growth will happen quickly and re-growth after fires is typically high in nutritional value. If you are absolutely certain that there are no other options available, then we suggest the following:
· Stick to food that is part of animals’ natural diet – fruit, veggies, seeds, nuts, grains etc. (Please do not feed with fruits and veggies that regrow easily - e.g. tomatoes)
· Ideally feed at night, or as late in the day as possible, so there is less association of humans with food
· Feed as far away from human settlements as possible, and away from roads where the animals may be injured
· Keep moving feeding stations, if possible towards green areas where there may still be natural forage available
· Spread food out, rather than placing it in one big pile, so that natural foraging behavior is encouraged
· Mix it up – less food one day, none the next, a bit more the following day etc.
· Keep monitoring - what re-growth is happening, and what the animals are eating. If they are not eating what you are putting down, then stop.

In terms of baboons specifically, the situation provides a unique opportunity to start gathering data and would be an excellent project for research into baboons in the area as well as being a case study on supplemental feeding. We would be grateful if residents could assist us by keeping track of the number of troops in the area, their size and movements, we will be liaising with our academic colleagues and make available a data/monitoring sheet in coming days.

We know that this is a controversial issue. It is, we believe, the first time this kind of supplemental feeding is taking place. The local authorities have acknowledged the scale and impact of the fires and know that residents want to help the wildlife. We would really like to stress a cautionary approach; residents must carefully assess the need, follow the guidelines and monitor the situation on an on-going basis, in order to ensure that all animals get back to natural feeding as soon as possible and that their lifestyles are not changed completely in the long-term.

We know that there has been increased human/baboon conflict in some areas around Knysna in the past few years and would hate to see this escalating. We do think though that if managed properly, this could be an opportunity to move those raiding troops that are coming into the most conflict away from human areas completely. That would be the best possible outcome.

We wish all our new friends in the Knysna area strength as they re-build their lives and the lives of all creatures affected by this tragedy, and offer our on-going support.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Wahoo, more than half of our beautiful bags have been sold already at Woolies stores around the country - thank you friends! If you don't have one yet we suggest you get it quickly before they are all gone!

South Peninsula friends, we will be at Longbeach Woolworths tomorrow morning, come and say hi! A free copy of our book, Beast or Blessing, for everyone that signs up to the MySchool program or nominates us as a new beneficiary!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Feedback from the Cape of Good Hope SPCA about the Waterfall Troop's baboon known as Nicky Menage (coded WFF6) who is suckling an infant and is suffering from severe mange and has lost almost all her hair.

With thanks to the SPCA for following up on this girl and her condition :
"Following receipt of several complaints and requests for clarity, we would like to address the status of an adult, female baboon known as “Nicky Menage” or WFF6 and her infant from the Waterfall Troop in Simon’s Town.
We are aware that she is being treated for Sarcoptic mange which is less host specific than other types of mange and is spread by direct body contact to other animals and humans.This illness is resulting in significant hair loss across her body.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA, have expressed our concerns to the relevant authorities regarding her and her infant’s well-being as seasonal temperatures decline, placing both mother and infant at risk.
The acute degree of hair loss and the time it will take for the hair to regrow is a worry especially since the hair affords the baboon a measure of protection against the elements. The obvious loss of this all-important layer of insulation leaves her exposed and at risk of death due to exposure as temperatures plummet.
It was thus important for us to establish whether or not she was receiving timely and appropriate treatment to curb the spread of the mange. We have done so and been assured that she is being treated. However it is important to note that it may take time before signs of visible improvement are apparent.
Our concern had us facing the Cape Storm on the 7th of June in search of her and we were relieved when we finally located her sheltering warmly in a cave. Our Wildlife Unit have been monitoring her every week since and we are satisfied that she is keeping up with the troop and foraging well. We have had regular updates as to her well-being as well as confirmation from the baboon management authorities that Nicky has been receiving veterinary treatment for her condition since May 31st 2017.
Should her condition be seen to deteriorate in the near future we invite the relevant authorities to utilize our short term care wildlife unit for her treatment and care.
The SPCA Wildlife Unit will continue to proactively monitor her recovery and keep you updated as to her condition.
We welcome the public to assist us with any sightings or updates as she and her troop can be quite elusive when trying to capture images. Kindly Call 0217004158/9 or email with any information and images.
We wish to thank the City of Cape Town, SANPARKS and HWS for ensuring that she has been treated and for monitoring her and the troops well-being.
We also wish to thank the public for being our eyes and ears and for caring about our wild animal heritage."
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook


Jenni Trethowan
084 413 9482

Kathy Kelly
082 746 1609

Baboon Matters Trust is a registered
Non-Profit Organisation. 074-553-NPO




Sign up to receive our newsletter.