Monkey Mischief

100mm, f/4.5, 1/400s, ISO250

I don’t lose my temper very often, but this was an exception. Baboons are intelligent, unafraid and — if not shown plenty of respect — potentially aggressive. The small group on the road between Kabale and Kisoro are often fed from passing cars, and so are even less scared than most of their kind. Stopping here with a group of guests I was guiding, a few of us got out of the minibus, staying close to the open door, when the driver started throwing crackers out of the window. Throwing very poorly, unfortunately — landing right next to us. The baboons went for the food, and very nearly for one of the frightened clients, though all ended well.

Feeding wild animals is never a good idea — hopefully that goes without saying. When going gorilla tracking, as Emma would tell you, food and drinks are kept well away from our large cousins. Still, semi-habituated animals can make for fun photography subjects, if done responsibly and respectfully. In this photo, I wanted the viewer to feel close to the baboon — but I also wanted to show where it was taken. I like low angles for photographing wildlife, but that meant making the road less visible. Luckily the roadside post was there, making the location fairly obvious.

Don’t miss our extensive interview with Marcus and head to his website for even more.