When I was a kid I went to school in Texas for a year. On my first day while grappling with my locker a sweet boy stopped to help. My strange accent drew attention to my nationality and was followed with the stereotypical question that I was to hear over and over again that year: “Do y’all have lion in your yard?”

Now years later and settled into domestic bliss in the sleepy coastal village of Chintsa East, I can confirm that as a rule there are still no lion in the back-yards of South Africa, even out here in the sticks. But there are other forms of wild-life, in particular – monkeys.

Monkeys that cause constant mischief, sneaking in through open windows, setting off house alarms, stealing fruit or bread that isn’t packed away, and making a general  nuisance of themselves leaving behind a trail of monkey mess.

Managing to get in at times they have trashed the kitchen, breaking glass bottles and ripping open bags of pasta and flour. In their panic to escape they have smashed through glass window panes – like in the movies!

They are not shy these Chintsa monkeys. They know our weakness’ and smell our fear. Soon after my first baby girl was born my brave hubby had a stand-off in the kitchen with an alpha male – both of them in their birthday suits, one of them a lot bigger and wielding a broom – a scary sight indeed. The monkey was far less impressed than I.

As painful as they can be, we still love having them around. Hours are spent watching as they frolic in the garden and lounge around on our stoep, and their presence helps us feel like we still live in the wild. The troops are deeply territorial and they were here first. Having invaded their space, sharing it is the very least we can do. And in the spring the babies come. Ohh the beautiful little babies…….making up for the sins of their parents.

Read more about vervet monkeys here:

Spring in Chintsa East, South Africa 2012


9 thoughts on “MonkeyintheHouse!

  1. With a live and let live approach we can go a long way to harmoniuous lives with these vervets. Feeding and befiriending them in one house only leads to them being shot in another. Play fair, let them live around us and not encourage them further than this or we will not have the pleasure of their neighbourly entertainment for long.

  2. Oh, those baby monkeys . . . I would have a hard time tearing myself away from the window to carry on with normal life if those adorable things were outside playing!

    • It’s a real ‘love/hate’ situation we have going here, but mostly love. The one in the pic has had a dodgy eye infection since just after it was born – you can see it if you look close, but it seems to be making progress. But always keeps closer to its mom than the others of the same age. Bit more vulnerable I guess.

  3. Wandered over from EllaDee’s. I’m in Gibraltar where we also have monkeys, often wandering down our Main Street to the delight of tourists, and who also get fed badly (the monkeys, not the tourists although possibly both). Interestingly we had friends from South Africa over a few years ago and they couldn’t believe how close they could get to the monkeys!! Looking forward to reading your beautiful blog.

    • Hi, thanks for taking time to check out my blog. We live just 35km out of town in a small village and the differences between what the town folk experience and what we experience are quite extreme. I grew up in the town and had never seen a scorpion until moving into the country as an adult. Didn’t even realise we got them in this area! Funny world we live in.

  4. Reading about the nature around you makes me want to jump into my computer screen and pop out of yours. Here in Chicago there are hardly monkeys…but there are homeless men and women who push shopping carts along the streets at night–and I have a similar approach with them as you do with the monkeys. If they let me get close enough, I greet them, otherwise we mind our territories and as Mike said, “Live and let live.” But I think I’d prefer the monkeys, still. Although not the scorpions.

  5. You must have some pretty wild, wild-life (well at least bird life around the lake). But these monkeys our side do keep us on the alert.
    Homeless trolley folk roam our urban areas too, particularly in Cape Town where they tend to live in between the city centre and the green belt that runs along Table Mountain. They are refered to as Bergies (a berg is a mountain in afrikaans / dutch), and are supposed metholated spirits drinkers so things can get a bit dramatic at times as the spirits and the maddness kicks in. So many people in the world thrown into different and often difficult circumstances. In a way I am glad that I have been challenged by both bergies and our wildlife. Both have added value to my life. Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. Pingback: Babies in the Bush | mybrightlife

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