The vervet is the only monkey to make the list. These monkeys live in southern and eastern Africa. Vervets pay a lot of attention to their young – females that are not mature enough to have their own help look after another’s young. Vervets have four predators: leopards, eagles, snakes and hyenas. If they see one approaching, they will sound an alarm call to warn others of its presence. Vervets have four different calls for each of their predators. They eat fruits, leaves, seeds and flowers, and sometimes birds’ eggs, chicks and insects. Vervets spend several hours a day grooming; the most dominant males getting the most attention.
- They have been noted for having human-like characteristics, such as hypertension, anxiety, and social and dependent alcohol use.
- Vervets were transported to the islands of Barbados, Saint Kitts, and Nevis in conjunction with the African slave trade.
- Vervets are called tumbili in the Swahili language.
Time of year: The weather in Nairobi is constant all year round, but try to avoid the rainy seasons in November and from March to May.
Destination: Nestled amongst southeast Kenya’s Chyulu Hills, Ol Donyo Lodge is a luxurious 20-bed lodge surrounded by 275,000 acres of African plains where the wildlife is found free and roaming. Rebuilt in 2008, ensuring the ultimate in modern facilities and luxury but still reatining the feel of a natural bush lodge, Ol Donyo offers private villas perfect for families which all include a lounge, verandah and even a rooftop ‘star-bed’ for a sleeping-out option. Activities for the whole family are in abundance, with Big Five game drives and walks, horseback safaris, or even wildlife viewing from mountain biking. An especially popular activity with children is hiding in the bush with a guide while the resident bloodhound sniffs them out, with the ranger and kids trying to throw the dog off their scent. The Lodge is also proud of its connection with and support of the local Maasai, and guests are welcome to visit local villages. With the backdrop of magnificent Mt. Kilimanjaro and all the African wildlife you can imagine right on your doorstep, Ol Donyo is the ultimate in an exclusive safari experience.
Price Guide: From USD510 per adult per night, full board with most drinks and all the activities described, and a community fee which goes towards the Maasailand Preservation Trust.