Travel to the dry savannas of Arabia or the wooded savannas of west Africa and you might come across baboons in their natural habitat. There are five species of baboons in all. Four, including the chacma, olive, yellow and Guinea baboons, live in the African savannahs. The hamadryas baboon lives on the coasts of the Red Sea in Africa and Arabia.
The largest of the baboons, the chacma, varying from yellow-grey to black in color, lives in southern Africa south of the Zambezi River. Their habitat includes woodland areas, semideserts and subalpine meadows of the Drakensburg Mountain area. They can be found in the African countries of Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Like other species, the chacma spends much of its time on the ground but can climb trees to sleep or get away from trouble.
The olive baboon, greenish grey in coloring, is one of the larger baboons, occupying west and east Africa. They make home in a variety of environments, including open grasslands by wooded areas. They also live in moist forests near areas where people have settled. Olive baboons in Ethiopia live in every area from the valley floor to the plateau about 2,000 feet above. The olive baboons of Eritrea live in the arid and moist lowlands next to forest and savanna.
The yellow baboon, smaller than the olive and chacma, lives in central Africa from the west coast to the east coast. The yellow baboon’s habitat is a range in Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia. Yellow baboons live in savannas, open woodlands and forested areas. Yellow baboons tend to stay near sources of water such as swamps and groundwater in forests because of the limited amount of water their territories receive. This species of baboon may also live near rural agricultural areas where people have settled.
The Guinea baboon is the smallest of the species, with males characterized by a cape of hair. Its habitat is primarily in west Africa. This particular baboon species inhabits Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone. They spend the majority of their time on the ground and can travel long distances. The Guinea baboon population has been on the decline because agriculture and tree-felling have destroyed their habitat.
The female hamadryas baboon is brown, the males are silver-grey. Their home is the African and Arabian coasts along the Red Sea. This baboon species can be found living amongst cliffs in rocky areas of the desert and in the grasslands of semidesert areas. During the day, this species spreads out in search of food and comes back together in small groups at night. The hamadryas baboons live in Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.
- Baboon image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com