Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Geladas and Friends

My, what big teeth you have!
 This is one of my favourite photos, a male gelada showing off his big pointy canines. I got this printed in Addis Ababa and I've been showing it off whenever people ask me what I'm doing in Ethiopia. Most people in the city have never seen geladas and don't know much about them. Some popular questions:

Does that live in Ethiopia? (Yes, they are actually endemic to Ethiopia.)

Aren't they dangerous? (No, but maybe the picture doesn't make the best impression. He's just yawning!)

Do they have males and females, like people? (Yes. I don't know why that seems strange, when most familiar animals come in two sexes, but I've been asked more than once.)

Geladas are indisputably Guassa's finest animals, but there are other species present. All the herbivores mostly get along, except for occasionally startling each other. The geladas just ignored these cattle.


The Ethiopian Wolf is the world's rarest canid so I'm really lucky to see them somewhat regularly. They have walked right through camp several times and they can often be heard howling at night. Contrary to what you may have seen on TV, the wolves eat rodents, not geladas. These pictures show a wolf hunting among the geladas, while the monkeys keep right on grazing.

 Guassa also has lots of birds. Tawny eagles are one of the most common.  There are also lammergyres and blue winged geese, but I don't have any good pics of these yet.

The flora of Guassa is as unique as its fauna. These giant lobelia plants grow taller than me. They kind of look like the truffula trees from The Lorax, but less soft and more spiky. When they bloom the flower makes a spike almost two feet long that grows up from the top of the leafy part.


  1. Gorgeous images!!!! I have never seen socks like that on a wolf!!!

  2. I like the yawning picture too. I've never seen a wolf with socks.

  3. Many thanks for the fun update., Sarah. Helps to make your surreal life more real in the middle of a snow storm. Love Sally

  4. It just looks like movie.all look great. The first monkey picture is amazing.