Thick-tailed Bushbaby

Otolemur crassicaudatus

Also known as the Greater Galago, the Thick-tailed Bushbaby is a noctural primate named for its loud call that sounds very much like a crying human baby. Including their tail they can grow to 80cm in length, and weigh just over a kilogram.

Thick-tailed Bushbabies are found in riverine thickets, dense woodland and forests, mostly in areas of high rainfall. They subsist mainly on wild fruits and berries, seeds, flowers and tree gum, but will also eat insects, small reptiles and mammals, eggs and birds up to the size of guineafowls.

Groups of 2 – 6 are usually made up of related females and their young accompanied by a single mature male. Home ranges are marked by urinating on their hands and feet. Group members forage singly at night but sleep together in hide-aways like thick vegetation, densely leaved trees or self-constructed nests during the day. They’re mostly searching for food up in the trees, being capable of jumps over two meters far, though they spend more time on the ground than other kinds of bushbaby.

Most females give birth to 2 babies in spring and summer. The female carries the babies along on her back or hanging from her stomach when she goes in search of food. Greater Galagos fall prey to owls, pythons and leopards and other predators capable of climbing trees, though they are feisty and can dish out a nasty bite. Many die in bush fires. They have a life expectancy of up to 14 years.

The Thick-tailed Galago occurs widely over Central and Eastern Africa, but is restricted to the wetter eastern parts of Southern Africa. In South Africa they occur only in the north of Kwazulu-Natal and the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province. It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.


31 thoughts on “Thick-tailed Bushbaby

  1. John

    Wonderful pictures! 🙂 Another great and beautiful animal I never seen before. You show us the real animal life you have, not just the “usually” animals that you see in tv. If I did´t know that it´s in South Africa I could never guess that! hanks for sharing your pictures, facts and your experiences. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      We slept like logs in uMkhuze’s safari tent, Maurice – did not even know that the lions passed through camp and past our accommodation in the middle of our last night there! Obviously, bushbabies on the roof is the least worrisome of the things you need to watch out for at night in Mantuma camp!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. iAMsafari

        Haha, it must be all that healthy fresh air 😉
        You’re right, bushbabies are the least you’d worry about, tho I remember a few sleepless nights in Sinamatella up in Hwange…

        Liked by 1 person


        We’ve just spent 3 nights at uMkhuze Mantuma camp and we had a Bush Baby in the tree at our camp fire. It came down the branches and sat on the back of a chair and watched us braai. Very tame, though we didn’t try and go near it at all, or feed it. Then we woke at 4am with loud crying and short sharp howling noises and realised it was the bush baby calling. It went on for about an hour and a half until sunrise. We were used to the smaller bush babies in Kruger, not the thick tailed bush baby which was surprisingly large. A lovely experience indeed! And my grandchildren ages 4 and 2 loved it too. Lorna

        Liked by 1 person

      3. de Wets Wild Post author

        Hi Lorna!

        The bushbabies are one of Mantuma’s great joys, even if they may wake one with a fright in the middle of the night! Unfortunately their unusually relaxed nature is a direct result of being fed and learning that humans = food, so I am glad to read that you didn’t provide them a snack.

        Also great to read that you and the children had such a nice time at uMkhuze – it is one of our favourite destinations as well!

        Next time you visit Kruger, you can look our for the large Thick-tailed Bushbabies in Letaba and Skukuza as well.

        Thanks for the kind contribution, and best wishes!


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