Vervet Monkey in our garden in Kruger National Park

Dear Monkeys in the garden. We need to talk.

We have been neighbors for almost six months now. When we first moved here, it initially looked like we would be getting along just fine. I mean, you have not attempted to break into our house and you are quite respectful to my babies, which I appreciate a lot. But. There are some urgent matters that we need to discuss…


First of all, there is the matter of your poo. It is everywhere. There is poo at the front gate, therefore, there is poo under my shoe. There is poo on my clean washing, poo under the washing line, poo on the furniture under the lapa, poo on the children’s trampoline, and I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but one of you even pooped on my head. Which is NOT COOL! Could I kindly ask you to refrain from using our garden as your personal toilet? Or if you have to, then please find a communal spot, away from the house, gate, and washing? Thank you.


Then there is the early morning noise on our roof. Our children are early risers. But sometimes, we all just need a bit of a sleep in. The sound of you and your whole extended family using our roof as a highway to get to work (or where ever it is you need to get to in a hurry at 4 ‘o clock in the morning) wakes up the whole house. Could you possibly find another route? Say on Tuesdays, Thursdays and on weekends when the children don’t have to go to school? I would really appreciate it.


The children’s trampoline was not put there for your enjoyment. Neither was the furniture under the lapa. I normally would not have a problem with you using the trampoline to play on or the furniture to relax on. It is, after all, a lot of fun, but do you really then have to poo all over it? Can we just come to the agreement that you are welcome to use the amenities in our garden on the condition that you keep it clean?


Lastly, I would like to tell you this. The vegetables planted in our veggie garden were panted there for human consumption. I really do not mind sharing. You are welcome to help yourself to SOME. But please leave some of the tomatoes (yes, I know that was you!) for us. And if you feel the need to grab something, then make sure you eat all of it. Please don’t rip something up just for the sake of ripping something up.


Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.


Yours sincerely,


Linda Oosthuizen

House 355

Malelane Gate


While we were living in Letaba, we also had quite a few naughty monkeys around. I wrote a blog about them called ‘Vervet monkeys – the Staff Village delinquents‘.

21 thoughts on “Dear Monkeys in the garden. We need to talk.

  1. Hi Linda.
    You made my day 🙂
    It seems that you have very invasive neighbors 😉 After the elephants, the monkeys …

  2. Ja hulle is stout . ‘n Keer in my tent gekom by Skukuza en die kids se vitamiene pille gesteel. Dink hulle was hypper active daarna. Lekker dag.

  3. My oh my! I had to giggle but do sympathize with you. They are so cute, but oh so naughty when they make themselves at home amongst us.
    A fantastic write-up of life in Kruger. Thanks Linda.

  4. Hello Linda,
    Hope you have made another day with them around!
    Naughty buggers! But I do love to sit and watch them. They are better than any comedy show!
    Enjoy your day.

  5. Dear Linda,
    Thank you for you letter. We would really like to live in harmony with you . Sadly our intestinal action is beyond our control. When we gotta go, we REALLY gotta go . . . . And you have had the most delicious maroela fruit in the park growing from your trees – hey – tummy disaster . . . . The one on your head was a mistake though. My friend, who only saw you from above, thought you were a melanistic leopard. We always poo on leopards.
    As for the roof – we try to keep above the ground as much as possible, and your roof is the most wonderful playground for the kids en route to a hard morning’s harvesting. Sadly, no one is willing to stay behind and look after them and they do need such a lot of entertainment. . . . Er . . . I suppose . . . well . . . we wondered . . . um – OK, maybe not. You do,after all, have two of your own.
    Re. the veggies – they are sooooo delicious. Much nicer and more easily obtainable than thorny fruit and dry bark and digging up roots . May I say – “yum’ – on behalf of us monkeys?
    Well O.K., in the interests of peace: CROW suggests (sob) that you spray us with water. If you keep doing it, we may stay away. Then you’ll miss us. They also suggest hanging reflective things like shiny CDs around. If they are anything like a leopard, we’ll certainly stay away. But maybe there is something else about them we wont like . . . . Maybe make a chicken-wire cage over your veggies, spread a few rubber snakes around and keep moving them to different places .

    With best wishes from

    Monkey-around Group #436
    Malelane Gate

    1. Dear Monkey-around Group #436,

      Thank you so much for your quick reply. And thank you for your apology for pooping on my head. I really appreciate it and it shows that the will to peacefully co-exist is there from both parties.

      I also appreciate the suggestions about the veggie patch. I understand that the temptation to eat everything is sometimes too much. I can relate. When I start on a slab of chocolate, I cannot help but have the whole thing. So I will try a few of your suggestions. And I will leave the few marulas there are left just for you, ok? No more jelly making until next season.

      I understand your need to stay off the ground. That leopard has been around. I have heard you scream at him yesterday morning. Maybe you could use the trees all around our house? Or… why don’t you have a sleep in as well! Let’s say one morning a week. You should try it. It is the best and it gives you so much energy. Especially if you have to look after the little ones. Trust me. I can relate to that part too!

      The poo, however, is a little bit of a dealbreaker. If bowel control is a serious issue, maybe a doctor should check it out? I am just concerned for your well being, you know? But, a solution might be if you would sleep in the trees on the other side of the house and not on either side of the gate. The view of the river there is magnificent. I am sure you can find a nice sleeping spot there too.

      I am sure we can work together to find a solution that is satisfactory for us all.

      Have a lovely day!

      Kind regards,

      Linda Oosthuizen
      House 355
      Malelane Gate

  6. Hi Linda, the joys of living in Kruger! Wouldn,t give it up for the world. Thanks for the blog. Best Regards, Ray

  7. Dear Linda,
    What is chocolate? Is it something we would like? We’re always on the lookout for new foods and are really beginning to enjoy human cuisine.
    In order that we have no further mis-understandings about accidental head-contamination, may we suggest you use one of those big scary shelter things that shoot suddenly out from the top of a curved stick if we are all in the garden together? You seem to use them when it the water falls and we understand that – we don’t like getting soaked to the skin either.
    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with our bowels. Its just the way we are. Loose with juice and tight with bite – and boy! -there’s a lot of juice around at the moment. But thanks for your concern. Thanks, too for the marulas! The thing is, you have a lot of stuff around. Its difficult to miss sometimes.We’ll think about moving river-side, but honestly – we feel safer on the gate-side of your territory. See the leopard sometimes wanders along the river, and it climbs trees very quickly and quietly in the dark.
    See you around
    Monkey-around Group #436
    Malelane Gate

    1. Dear Monkey-around Group #436

      I am pretty sure you know what chocolate is. Your cousins stole some from our house in Letaba. They probably told you all about it during a family vacation up North. Please don’t get too used to our human cuisine. It really is not good for your health.

      I am very pleased to hear there is nothing wrong with your intestines. With the amount of poo produced on a daily basis, I really was starting to get worried. I will keep the suggestion of an umbrella (that is what we call those things we use in the rain) in mind.

      And please give moving to the riverside another thought. I am not kicking you off the premises, there are two very nice trees still in our territory. So you will be safe from the leopard, I promise.

      I will see you later this afternoon.

      Kind regards,

      Linda Oosthuizen
      House 355
      Malelane Gate

      1. ?LOL humanized monkeys ? lovely communication. Hope they stay away when you and the boys are outside eating chocolate ? ??you can also have a chat with the leppie to chase them away….?

  8. One of your most entertaining posts ever. What a lovely story to read and re-read. You simply have to start writing children’s books. They will love your stories.

    1. Ah, thank you, Aunty Patty! I must admit the whole ‘negotiations’ with the monkeys was very entertaining for me too!! xxx

  9. This was soooo entertaining! Thank you Linda for making us part of your daily life in our favourite place. It feels as if we live there too!

  10. Love your work, thanks. Living in UK now and KNP is what I miss most, so your wonderful, evocative writing is always great to read. One day when you have gathered a bookfull’s worth of anecdotes, and had it published, I’ll definitely add it to our collection of similar works (like Kobie) and bring it for signing when we get back there again.
    Thank you for the pictures you paint.

    1. Thank you for your beautiful compliment, Kevin!
      I would love to write a book one day… Till then I will keep collecting our stories in my blog!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *