The lovely people at MySchool are giving local charities the opportunity to raise funds with their #Vote4Charity Challenge.  For Baboon Matters, the timing couldn't be better as we are perilously low on funds - this campaign could literally make the difference we need to keep our doors open a while longer!

If you are a MySchool card holder, and would like to help us continue fighting for the ethical treatment of baboons in South Africa, all you have to do is visit and follow the simple instructions to vote for us, and we receive R5 for every vote!  We do not need to be one of your chosen beneficiaries in order for you to vote for us and give us a boost when we need it most.

If you are not a card holder, signing up via the website is easy - just click on "Get a Card".  Every time you shop and swipe at any Woolworths, Engen, Superquick, Waltons or Write Shoppe store, a percentage of your spend is donated to your chosen charities!  Because every swipe helps and every cent really counts!
A case study for non-aggressive management of baboons
Nine months after the implementation of its Baboon Monitor Program, the small Overberg village of Greyton has proved to be an excellent example of what can be achieved if baboon management is tackled proactively.
Funded jointly by residents and the local municipality (through the Extended Public Works Program), the initiative has provided employment to 5 local men, who received extensive training by Baboon Matters on baboon behavior, troop hierarchy, identifying and counting baboons, record keeping and strategizing. 
The lush village, with its abundance of fruit and nut trees and veggie gardens, was becoming increasingly attractive to the local troop, and their occasional raids were becoming more and more frequent.  Seeing the problems experienced in nearby areas like Hermanus and Pringle Bay, where baboons are habituated to human food and raids into homes are common, Baboon Matters realized that Greyton was uniquely positioned to nip their baboon problem in the bud - before raiding behavior was so ingrained that it would be difficult to reverse.
A series of public meetings were held with residents to gain support for the program, as well as the local municipality who agreed to provide funding for 4 monitors through the EPWP, whose salaries would be “topped up” by 
monthly contributions from residents. The 5th monitor is funded entirely by residents.

In the nine months since the program started, baboons have spent an average of just 1,2 hours per month in the village, with most of the incursions being attributed to a lone male.  Because the village is surrounded by mountains with easy access from every side, this lone male has proved to be a challenge – because he is on his own it is much easier for him to stay out of sight of the monitors, but it is a great testament to the team that when he gets in to the village it only takes them an average of 10 minutes to chase him out again. 
With aggressive and often lethal management of problematic baboons still the norm throughout South Africa, the Greyton Baboon Monitor Program demonstrates that non-lethal or aggressive solutions are not just possible, but create job opportunities as well as opportunities for educating local residents about their role in minimizing raiding, and giving them a better understanding of baboons and why they should be protected.  It is this change in mindset in residents that is the most gratifying to see.
Please contact us at if you’d like to find out more about our monitor training program.

Greyton's Baboon Monitor team
Funding SOS!  After nearly 20 years we are facing closure in the near future due to lack of funding!  Please consider making a donation to enable us to continue working for baboons in crisis!

We are thrilled to be collaborating with Neighbourhood Farm – a fabulous initiative by famous foodie and baboon-lover, Justin Bonello, currently being rolled out at 9 schools throughout Cape Town’s South Peninsula.

Their mission is simple:  “We grow great wholesome food, create local employment, utilize renewable energy, give our teachers real educational resources and allow our children to dig up grubs, pull carrots out of the ground and connect with the earth – all in your suburb, around the corner from your home.”

Says Justin, “We install outdoor classrooms at every school.  A space where children can learn in a tactile environment. Where geography, science, biology and economics can be brought to life in a biologically diverse environment.”
“Around the classroom, we design and grow a permaculture garden, complete with fruit bearing trees, butterfly and perennial gardens, and where possible a natural pond to invite life back to the school.”

Then there’s the economic heart of the project - the market garden. Beyond showing children how food is and should be grown,  it provides a small revenue  stream that not only makes the gardens sustainable, but regenerative as well.  All produce from the market garden is sold to the community, providing nutritious food, local employment, and an environment that is uplifting for our children.

Because a number of these schools are situated on the urban edge where baboon raids are frequent, it is vital that the Farms are protected from their baboon neighbors – either through baboon-proofing the market gardens or by training garden staff to keep the baboons away.   We look forward to working with Justin and his team to ensure our wily primate cousins don’t scupper all their hard work!
Neighbourhood Farm's pilot project at Kommetjie Primary is well under-way.
For nearly 10 years Baboon Matters has been engaging with the forestry industry and Forestry South Africa in an attempt to stop the mass killing of baboons in pine plantations around Sabie in Mpumalanga.  At least 4000 baboons have been killed in this time for damaging trees by stripping the bark.
What is not understood is why the baboons are stripping the bark in the first place.  There does not appear to be any nutritional value in the bark, and it is hard work for baboons to remove it – baboons are lazy creatures who are unlikely to spend so much energy on a task unless there is something in it for them!
We have been calling for research by the industry to understand this phenomenon, as well as to undertake a population count. It is highly likely that there are non-lethal ways of managing the problem, but for many years the industry has shown no interest in testing alternate methods.

We, together with other NGO’s, recently met with the industry’s Baboon Damage Interest Group again, and for the first time in 10 years we are cautiously optimistic that there may be steps in the right direction. 
After running a crowdfunding campaign in December last year, Baboon Matters has raised almost R70 000 to put on the table for research – not nearly enough obviously, but enough to encourage industry players, including Government, to allocate funding for research as well.
It remains to be seen whether there is finally going to be progress, but one thing is clear – the industry does not like the negative publicity they have received as a result of the mass removal of baboons that has been exposed, and we intend to keep up the pressure until there is change!

After many years without a rehabilitation center or sanctuary for orphaned or injured baboons in the Western Cape, we are so excited that our friend Jill Simpson has launched her sanctuary, Wild Rescue, near Riversdale!

The seeds for the establishment of Wild Rescue were sown when Gill visited the Joshua Baboon Rehabilitation Project in Barrydale over six years ago. These visits made her realize not only the plight of the Cape peninsula baboons, but of all baboons in the Western Cape - never thinking that she may one day open a wildlife sanctuary herself, and fill the gap left by the tragic closing of the Barrydale sanctuary in 2010.

While she initially intended to focus on primates, it soon became clear to her that there was a need for a sanctuary for all wildlife in the Western Cape, not just primates. 

Jill and her team are hard at work preparing for their first wild residents, and offer a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to get involved.  If you’d like to find out more about their volunteer program, are able to make a financial contribution, or are just looking for a gorgeous weekend getaway, please email


What an incredible honour it is to be chosen as a beneficiary by the truly inspiring people at THE PLATTER PROJECT!  With Adv. Thuli Madonsela the proud of owner of a platter and the Project's biggest fan, ThePlatter Project has raised more than R400 000 for wildlife conservation projects and organ donation awareness.

The Project was born when mother-of-three, Di Wilkinson, was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure and was determined to use her time and talent to make an impact on causes close to her heart. A self-taught artist, she began painting wildlife on large ceramic platters which allowed her chosen beneficiaries to raise funds through auctioning them off.


To date 40 platters hold pride of place in homes around the world, and we are so grateful for this opportunity to raise much-needed funds to help us continue advocating for the ethical treatment of baboons in South Africa. 

The Platter Project have set a minimum amount of R10 000 for each platter, and since we don't have a suitable event planned for the near future where it can be auctioned off, we are sharing it here - this is your opportunity to own one of these sought-after collectors'  items!  Please contact us at


Our scientific advisor Dr Paula Pebsworth has been in India for the last 4 months researching techniques to minimize crop raiding by primates.

In stark contrast to South Africa, the Indian government is actively looking for non-lethal methods of managing their primates.  Killing these animals in India is simply not an option for religious reasons.

We look forward to hearing how Paula's research on minimising conflict can be applied to baboons in South Africa.


C.A.R.E:  Our friends near Phalaborwa are looking for a General Sanctuary Operations Assistant.  You can see more details about this position here  or send an email to

Riverside:  Congratulations to Bob Venter and his team for the  release of 96 rehabilitated baboons back to the wild where they belong!  This was a mammoth task taking months of preparation, and is the ultimate goal of all rehabs! 

Prime Crew:  It's hunting season in Limpopo, which means our friends at Prime Crew will be inundated with orphaned infants over the coming months.  If you can assist with nappies, formula, bottles, blankets or baby toys they will be gratefully received!  Contact Luzanne on 082 851 0347.

Pic:  Prime Crew
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Baboon Matters · PO Box 48189 · Kommetjie · Cape Town, Wc 7976 · South Africa

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