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Vervet Monkey

Vervet Monkey

Cercopithecus aethiops

English: Vervet Monkey
Afrikaans: Blou aap
Tswana: Kgabo

RW: Not scored
SCI: Not scored


The vervet monkey is lightly built and has long arms and legs. The body is pale grizzled grey with yellow down the centre of the back. The underside and inside of the limbs are white and the hair around the anus and base of the tail is reddish brown. The face is black with a cream/white band across the forehead and down the cheeks. Adult males have canines of up to 3 cm.

Visible male / female differences:
Adult males have a bright blue scrotum and a scarlet penis. Females have one pair of nipples on the chest.

Vervet monkeys eat a wide range of vegetable foods but also insects, birds’ eggs and small vertebrates.

Behaviour & Habits:
They are active during the day and sleep in trees or on cliffs at night. They are highly social and live in female-bonded troops including more than one male, typically with 20-30 members. Females stay in the troop that they were born in. Males move at puberty and move from troop to troop, spending about three years in each. Males and females have separate dominance hierarchies and only high-ranking males have access to receptive females. A female’s rank depends on alliances with her female relatives. Social bonds are cemented by grooming. Troops have territories with well-defined boundaries.


Vervet monkeys have excellent eyesight and it is extremely difficult to stalk them to within bow range. There are always at least one of the troop on lookout for danger.
The most successfull method of hunting these animals is to wait for them at a waterhole within the troop’s territory. Either shoot from a blind or find a good ambush point near the water which will give sufficient cover so as to avoid detection. When shooting from a blind, stay as far back in the blind as possible and keep movement to a minimum. They can also be ambushed at fruit-bearing trees that shows signs of being frequented by

Shot placement:
Vervet monkeys are small, thin skinned and light boned animals and do not pose any problems for arrow penetration. A shot directed towards the vitals can be taken from virtually any angle.

They usually do not go very far when hit well, but they do not leave a very good blood trail due to their small size and low blood volume. Wait at least 15 minutes before following up unless the animal went down within sight.



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