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The Foundation was established when an orphaned baby Vervet Monkey was discovered in 1989. This brought to light that there were no facilities in the area to provide care for these creatures. It was suggested that the monkey be killed as the animals were known as vermin. A group of environmentalists and humanitarians decided that rather than euthanasing these primates, there was a need for an organisation to be established where investigations could be conducted to establish what was happening to the Vervet Monkey.
As the species was regarded to as vermin, there was inconclusive research done on the Vervet Monkey, the indigenous primate species. Conservationists involved in the programme decided that the killing of the monkeys needed to stop and there was a necessity for research the lifestyle and environment of the species; rehabilitation of orphaned and injured monkeys; damage and destruction caused by the Verment Monkeys and a solution for co-existence; an informative programme to for the public to outline the role of the Vervet Monkey in the eco system and a sanctuary for primates who would not adapt to a natural setting, but were manageable enough for educational purposes.
The Vervet Monkey Foundation has seen the successful rehabilitation of over six hundred primates over the past decade.
Visit http://www.vervet.za.org/index.asp for more information.
Avid bird watchers who visit Magoebaskloof will be pleasantly surprised at the advancement of the recreation. Bird guides in the region are ranked among the finest in the world and the scientific literature generated by the bird specialist is of world class. The Magoebaskloof Hotel is proudly Birder Friendly certified by Southern Africa's Ornithological Organisation- Bird Life.
Southern Africa is poorly endowed with true forests. Since the country is generally arid, most of our forest patches occur in highly restricted areas, mainly on coastal plains, remote mountain gorges and in areas of consistently high rainfall. The key environmental factors that limit the spread of these beautiful forests are firstly water, but they would certainly extend somewhat if it were not for grassveld fires in the surrounding areas. The rainfall of these forests range from 700-2000mm per year, occurring through all seasons depending on the area where they occur. In some areas they extend to altitudes where winter snow falls.
Samango monkeys are rare because they are confined to the evergreen Afromontane forests of Southern Africa, which covers less than 1% of the land area of the sub-region (see Afromontane Forests on this site). Unlike the ubiquitous Vervet Monkey, which commonly occurs in the vast stretches of Savanna Woodland, tourists and nature lovers rarely see the Samango.
Only in a few unique places does one have the rare opportunity to come face to face with these graceful little apes. One such place is the Magoebaskloof Hotel in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Because the hotel management is committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly management practices, they have lived in harmony with these monkeys for many years now and Samangoes can be seen around the hotel on a daily basis. Samangoes are active, gregarious, noisy and curious, like most primates around the world.
They are also very intelligent, and this makes them successful survivors in rapidly changing environment. But, unfortunately, since the Samango is totally restricted to moist forests, they have little chance of surviving when their habitat is destroyed or overexploited.