On the Road with Dombeya

by Grant Dodd, June 30 2009

Baboon D'or

Some days you get just get more than you bargained for. Took the family for a drive down to Cape Point on Saturday, the southernmost tip of Africa. Ostensibly, this was to see penguins and other kid friendly creatures, but in the back of my mind I was keen to see where the vineyards of the excellent Cape Point brand were planted. Sorry, but when you are a wine junkie, you are always looking for the next fix.

Penguins were found. Views were found. It is a magnificent part of the world, the landscape both rugged and majestic at the same time. We'd spent some time with the penguins and then headed off to see the Cape Point lighthouse.

Rounding a corner in the road, we found a large troop of baboons asleep on the road. Right in the middle of the road actually, which necessitated bringing the car to a stop and waiting for the crowd to disperse.

Anyway, they were in no hurry to go anywhere. A couple of them got up to wander over and have a look at the car. We started taking pictures. Somewhere amongst all this (unbeknowns to me) I happened to lean on the central locking button. I'm not sure whether this was a cue or not, but soon after the biggest male baboon walked over to the back right hand door of the car, opened it, and climbed in to where my four year old daughter was sitting.

To say that life flashed before my eyes would be an understatement of some proportion. I yelled, then reached around behind the drivers seat and shoved the baboon in the chest. It lost balance backwards, but snarled and growled like it was ready for a fight. If you have ever seen baboon teeth, well, this is not a sight that fills you with optimism. I'm not sure what the next step was going to be if it came again. I quickly reached for the door, shut it, locked it, and then took a few very deep breaths.

My four year old thought it was a great lark. We just counted our lucky stars. It simply shows that with nature, you should take nothing for granted. It may be the 21st century, but much of Africa is still wild and untamed. The rules that we play by in the west do not apply. If you fail to observe that then you are taking liberties that may have serious consequences for you and those around you. Lesson learned.

Click here to go to Dombeya Wines website.