Samango Monkey

Samango Monkey - Appearance

Males are larger than females, males have a mass of 7 to 9 Kg and females 4 to 5 Kg. The tail is a third longer than the body. The coat of the head and the shoulders is dark grey to black. Facial skin, feet, hands and lower limbs are black. Upper limbs and flanks are paler than the shoulders. Belly and throat are a creamy white. The muzzles of males protrude to accommodate the enlarged canines.


The diet of the Samango Monkey include fruits, insects, flowers, leaves and insects. The Samango male consumes more fruit than the female. While foraging for food it would appear that Samangos start the day by selecting for fruit, and will later in the day take leaves, whereas the day is finished with a combination of fruit and leaves.


This primate is a seasonal breeder. Females give birth during the onset of the warm, rainy season. A single young is born after a gestation period of 140 days. Young are carried by their mothers for two to three months, and are finally weaned at the age of nine months. Males compete for the attention of oestrus females. In Samango troops, oestrus is unsynchronised.


Samango Monkeys have a harem social structure, that is a single dominant male lives with his females and their infants and subadults. The social core is formed by related females, who will also defend their territory.


Can survive in relatively depauperate swamp forests, inclusive of the deciduous sand forests of northern KwaZulu-Natal, although it is mainly confined to evergreen indigenous forests. Seldom ventures into forest patches smaller than 50-100 ha.

Where they are found

Not widespread or common in South Africa, occurring only in the coastal forests north of St Lucia estuary in KwaZulu-Natal, and in the Afro-montane forests of Mpumalanga. The range extends into similar habitats in neighbouring countries. Another, more southern subspecies, is found in Afro-montane and coastal scrub forests of central and southern KwaZulu-Natal, extending into  the Eastern Cape to just north of the Knysna forest. Higher population densities occur at the north coast. The two South African subspecies are only distinguished by colour variances.

Latin Name

Cercopithecus mitus.
Kruger National Park - South African Safari