Chacma baboons inhabit an exceptional wide array of habitats from woodlands, grasslands, acacia scrub and semi-desert habitats including small hills, seaside cliffs and mountains up to 2980m, near to a fresh water source. They spend most of their daylight hours on the ground, but they also forage in trees, and they sleep in trees, cliffs or high rocky outcrops where they are safe from predators.
Chacma baboons have been on the Cape Peninsula for over 1 million years. However, unless trends change, the remaining 250 Chacma baboons of the Cape South Peninsula face extinction within 10 years. In 2005, 50% of baboon deaths were caused by humans and by 2008, this had increased to 70%. Most of these deaths were from vehicles or guns.
When baboons are predated on, the carcass becomes food for the predator as well as scavengers who come for the scraps. Baboon meat is the most favourite prey of the leopard and in a healthy eco-system, a top predator like a leopard has sufficient natural prey so that it is not necessary to turn to livestock killing for survival.
Baboons spend most of their time foraging on the ground. They climb trees to escape predators, get food or to sleep. A favourite place to sleep is tall rocky outcrops but sleeping sites can also be cliffs, trees and sometimes caves or under rock overhangs. Baboons have cheek pouches where they store their food. They rely on others in the troop for food and water. Everyone contributes to this task.