• 083-454-8441 | +27 14-736-4090
  • info@bambelela.org.za

Keeping Primates Safe

What To Do If You Come Across Wild Monkeys and Baboons

Resist the temptation to feed the monkeys!
If they come too close, control them with direct eye contact and shoo them away.

Leave the monkeys alone!
No attempts to touch them, please. Teasing and touching them will only encourage them to stay around humans, which, if they are monkeys released from Bambelela, will defeat all the hard work of many years to hand-raise them and then wean them from human contact.

Keep eye contact and never turn your back on them!
You can control them with your eyesight, show them that they are not welcome near you and shoo them away with noise and body gestures.  They won’t attack you from the front because they are intelligent enough to know that you are more powerful and stronger than them. Opportunistic as they are, they only will approach you when you turn your back on them and walk away.

Transferring Males!
They might choose to stay around humans for a while in their confusion of having to leave their troop of birth when reaching sexual maturity. They are on the look out to join another monkey troop.Don’t shoot them, PLEASE!
They are only following Nature’s call and only do what Nature wants them to do, to avoid inbreeding and they will move on again, usually after 2-4 weeks, if not fed!




If you do encounter any problems please call

You can help to make a success of co-existence between human and non-human primates!


Dealing With Monkey-Related “Problems”

If monkeys visiting your property is a problem to you, make every effort not to leave any food around that will encourage their presence and make them less cautious of humans.

This applies both inside and outside your home.

If you feed the wild birds in your garden try to do so at random times so that there is no routine to which the monkeys can get accustomed, otherwise they will be waiting for you at your bird table each day, especially in winter months.

Monkeys will enter homes to eat fruit and other food kept on counters, sideboards, tables, etc. , so keep fruit and other food concealed.

If your house is left unattended, doors and windows should be kept closed or only slightly ajar so as to prevent monkeys from gaining access.

Windows fitted with mesh or insect-proof screens will keep monkeys out but still allow air circulation.


If you are having a children’s’ party or run a crèche or day-care centre and the children are given food, sweets or biscuits out of doors, ensure that adults are present to discourage monkeys from harassing the children for their food.

If there are monkeys in the vicinity it is advisable that, where practical, the children finish eating indoors before going outside.

Edible leftovers should be cleared away as soon as possible so that monkeys are not attracted to the garden whilst the children are playing there.

Dog or cat food left over after the animal has eaten, or which is left out all day, may attract monkeys. Feeding your cats and dogs after dark is the solution, as monkeys aren’t nocturnal and so long as the food is gone by daybreak, the monkeys won’t be a nuisance.



How To Deal With An “Unwanted” Vervet Or Baboon Presence

  • Use Your Hosepipe To Squirt Them!
    You can reach them on your roof, in the trees and at a distance when they are on the ground.  They hate being hosed and will run away. A water pistol or squirt bottle aimed and squirted at the monkeys inside or close to your house is very effective, and you can add vinegar for an unpleasant smell.
  • Shoo Them Away!
    Monkeys are easily shooed away simply by walking towards them and waving a small towel, dishcloth or other similar item. Don’t be intimidated if they stand their ground and threaten you.  They will turn tail and flee as you get closer! A piece of hose, with holes in it, swung around whilst advancing towards monkeys will frighten them away. Monkeys fear men more than they do women, so, wherever possible they should be chased away by men.
  • Use Rubber Snakes!
    Monkeys are naturally wary of snakes, so realistic rubber snakes placed around your home or garden can discourage them. Don’t leave a rubber snake in the same spot too long otherwise the monkeys will get used to its immobility and ignore it. Attach a length of thin nylon or string to the snake and tug it into “motion” when the monkeys are close to it.
  • Point a Gun but Don’t Shoot Them!
    Pointing a gun-like object at monkeys will usually send them scurrying away. A shot fired into the air will help too.
  • Keep a Dog!
    Dogs can be a deterrent to monkeys.  However, if a dog does actually catch a monkey this could result in very serious injury to the dog and the monkey.  Dogs should be trained not to physically attack the monkeys but to bark at them instead.
  • Use Electric Fencing!
    One or two strands of electric fencing are effective in keeping monkeys out of gardens, homes and crops.  This is very easy to install.
  • Use Nylon Bird Netting!
    Use nylon bird or hail netting over and around vegetable, strawberry and other produce to keep monkeys out.
  • Use Insect-Proof Screens!
    Insect-proof screens on windows and doors serve an additional function of keeping monkeys out of homes. Plastic mesh on windows and security doors/gates is also easily fitted and very effective.
  • Spray Plants!
    Monkeys have very keen senses of taste and smell.  They can be discouraged from eating fruit, flowers and vegetables by spraying or brushing these with a liquid containing quinine, chilli, insect or pet repellant or any other distasteful but non-lethal substance that can be washed off. Dry curry, chilli or tobacco powder also works well in flower/vegetable beds. You can also buy a Veterinary product called AVERT, which is a non-toxic bitter solution or you can use Aloe juices.
  • Secure Bin Lids and Use Jeyes Fluid!
    Prevent foraging in refuse bins by securing the lids with a convenient but monkey-proof clip or strap. Sprinkle Jeyes Fluid inside, on the outside or around refuse bins and bags.   Refuse skips covered with shade cloth and treated with Jeyes Fluid will deter monkeys.
  • Use a Burglar Alarm!
    Monkeys are easily chased out of fruit or access trees by installing a burglar alarm siren in the tree and activating it when the monkeys are there.  This can prevent them using the tree to gain access to a roof, upper window or another tree, and can protect fruit and flowers.
  • Use Tin Cans!
    Tin cans containing a few stones and tied at intervals along a length of string which is laid through a garden and attached to a fixed point, then yanked hard when the monkeys are close, will chase monkeys out of a vegetable garden or flower bed as the cans leap noisily into the air.
  • Use Clear Grease!
    Clear grease smeared onto overhead wires, along the tops of boundary walls and fences, on down-pipes, well-used branches and poles will discourage monkeys from using these to gain access to areas such as your roof, balcony, etc.
  • Use Piping on Wires!
    Where monkeys easily use overhead telephone or other wires to gain access to roofs, fit a length of hard plastic piping around the wire at the point where the monkeys access it.  As they put weight on the plastic pipe it rolls around the wire so making it impossible for them to climb across it.