Sounds & Calls

Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus)

Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus)

Baboons are large monkeys found throughout the African continent. Six species are currently recognized –  Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus), Guinea Baboon (Papio papio), Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas), Olive Baboon (Papio anubis), Yellow Baboon (Papio cynocephalus) and Kinda Baboon (Papio kinda).

Baboon troops have complex social dynamics, and vocalizations play an important role in communication. Baboon calls can convey a range of different messages, and include predator warnings, establishing hierarchy, signaling anger or frustration, and conveying friendly intention and submission.

What does a baboon sound like? One of the most familiar baboon sounds in southern Africa is the loud ‘wa-hoo’ call of the male Chacma Baboon (other baboon species make similar calls). These calls are often given in alarm when a predator is detected, but are also used in aggression to compete with rival males and to re-establish group contact when a male wanders from the troop.

Listen to some examples of baboon calls and sounds below.