Way back in March we visited Accra for a mental health weekend, and our driver Mohammed (a father himself) suggested we visit ‘the baboons’. After paying an entrance fee and a guide fee for a ranger to accompany us, we were off in search of baboons. Mohammed had the good sense to stop and buy some bananas before we arrived at the park.
It is totally fine to feed the animals. The ranger took us straight to the residential block of the park, and not surprisingly, the troop were hanging out there. We were encouraged to feed the animals.
Bill and I were apprehensive at first, after all, we had heard so many stories of baboons being quite vicious around food, but out of a troop of about 12, only 2 approached us, and they were so sweetly gentle. Their hands were remarkably small and humanlike, oh so gently taking the banana from our hands, and their little intent eyes like a childs.
Dad brooded in the trees to the side, but did not approach us.
The baboons live just outside of Tema (the port of Accra), at the Shai Hills Resource Reserve. The reserve is a 50 sq. km area. fenced off area of coastal savanna, where the wildlife is protected. Now, if you’re expecting scenes akin to the Serengeti, you’ll be dissapointed. But it is quite sweet, and should you find yourself in Accra, it might just be worth a visit. The reserve is protected by rangers, and is home to these Olive Baboons, in addition to antelopes, bats and 120 species of birds. There is also a ostrich breeding enclosure (man! They are gigantic and make emus look tiny).