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On safari we always tend to look at the bigger animals and miss the smaller ones.

On our way back to the lodge last night, we drove down the road and saw a set of red eyes reflecting in the light, we drove up to a knob thorn and there it was, a Bush Baby.

The bush baby is one of the smallest primates, about the size of a squirrel. Despite its size, it is exceptionally vocal, producing loud, shrill cries surprisingly like those of a human baby. The plaintive cries and “cute” appearance may account for the name “bush baby.”

As we watched the bush baby travelling through the trees in literal leaps and bounds. In mid-flight it tucked its arms and legs close to the body and as it lands, brings them forward, grabbing a branch with its hands and feet. In a series of leaps a bush baby can easily cover 10 yards in seconds. The tail (longer than the length of the head and body) powers the leaps made to catch prey, escape from enemies or get around obstacles. The bush baby’s other methods of locomotion are kangaroo like hops or simply walking or running on four legs, it vanished into the bush to start catching prey and going on doing its business , so next time you are on safari always look out for the smaller animals, you never know what you will find around the next corner.

  Story by: Roan Ravenhill-Ranger Kapama River Lodge

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