Tourists don't know where they've been, travellers don't know where they're going.

Paul Theroux

Living with the animals 🇿🇼


In the uk there are a few wild creatures wandering around that you might encounter; urban foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs, the occasional badger. Africa, however, is another thing entirely.

Our second day in Victoria Falls is a good example…

We’re walking down the Main Street on our way to Victoria Falls Bridge, passing a quite plush looking hotel with a wide grassy verge between its boundary wall and the road. Not word for word, but the scenario played out a bit like this


Oh look! There’s a monkey…

Actually, it looks like a baboon. Yes, I think it’s a small baboon.


Will it come near us?


No. Of course not…

The baboon wanders casually along the grass doing whatever baboons do…








Look at that big one over there!

Which big one? Where?

There. Sitting on that pillar.

What pillar?

Over there…



He’s just jumped down…


Oh, that big one! S###!

And with that, this very large baboon heads over the grass at a rate of knots, heading straight for us. We decided a controlled retreat was in order so we sprinted back up the road. (Sorry, no photos of this, too s### scared to stop…!!!)

Said baboon then wandered over the road and casually sat down in the shade. He was obviously hot. Or could tell we were new and wanted to establish the hierarchy…

Later, after we’d plucked up the courage to walk past the hotel again, we ended up near the Falls.

By the entrance to the Falls; small monkeys sitting on the fence
Walking up to the border post on the bridge; warthogs running up and down the road.
Through the boarder post; more baboons, jumping down from the trees into the road

Then that night, as we were leaving the hotel to walk over the road to a lively looking pub/restaurant the guy on reception says to us; ‘be careful, there’s an elephant outside’.

Yeah, right.

But really, there was. Maybe 15 meters across from the entrance. A young bull, he’d trashed the bins and was now ripping branches from a tree to get the leaves. Apparently he’s there quite often. And in summer, according to the waitress in one of the Main Street cafes, it’s not unknown for them to be seen walking down the main road.

Never seen that before…

And as it turns out that seems pretty normal for Africa. When we met with the rest of the group for our trip there were monkey and mongoose running around the site. At border controls there are monkey and baboon jumping on the trucks and warthog wandering around. Same at truck stops and shops beside the roads.

Even in Windhoek, Luise who runs the guest house we’re staying in, says that about once a month there’s a ‘big’ baboon that wanders around and sits on the roof.

The frightening thing about this is that many of these creatures are not only dangerous, but are also used to humans so are not afraid of us, and can be quite aggressive.

So far, apart from some small scorpions, we’ve been spared the big scary insects and spiders….

Probably all to come!!!

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3 thoughts on “Living with the animals 🇿🇼”

  1. Jo Massingham

    Looks like you’ve been having an amazing time. So sorry that Helen injured her back. Hope she’s on the mend.
    You’re giving me a taster of what to expect next year when we holiday in South Africa. ? xxx

  2. Hilary Sharman

    Really enjoyed reading this! Aren’t warthogs the sweetest things! I regret not buying an metal one but, as you know, it is not possible to buy everything you like, especially if they are large. Hope your recovery is continuing well. Hilaryx

  3. June whittle

    Very interesting reading. Must be lovely seeing all those animals so close too. Can just see you and Helen making a very hasty retreat must have been quite scary. Take care hope helen is improving. Enjoy xxxj

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