Length (without tail) 35cm. Weight 1–1.5kg.
The bushbaby is Zambia's commonest member of a group of small and generally indistinguishable nocturnal primates, distantly related to the lemurs of Madagascar. In Zambia they occur throughout the country, though are very seldom seen during the day. At night their wide, endearing eyes are often caught in the spotlight during night drives,
Bushbabies are nocturnal and even around safari camps they can sometimes be seen by tracing a cry to a tree and shining a torch into the branches; their eyes reflect as two red dots. These eyes are designed to function in what we would describe as total darkness, and they feed on insects – some of which are caught in the air by jumping – and also by eating sap from trees, especially acacia gum.
They inhabit wooded areas, and prefer acacia trees or riverine forests. I remember once being startled, whilst lighting a barbecue, by a small family of bushbabies. They raced through the trees above us, bouncing from branch to branch whilst chattering and screaming out of all proportion to their modest size.Similar species
Lesser bushbaby Galago senegalensis
Length (without tail) 17cm. Weight 150g.
The lesser bushbaby, or night ape, is half the size of the bushbaby and seems to be less common than its larger cousin. Where it is found, it is often amongst acacia or terminalia vegetation, rather than mopane or miombo bush.