Monday, November 16, 2009

South African Sasquatch

*** UPDATE ***
There has been a correction made to this post. Originally we had spelled Waterbobbejaan with a single "a". Thank you to Brian for the correction. He also alerts us to the book written by Ben Venter titles Waterbobbejann.

We celebrate two things in this post.
1. Our AKA Bigfoot World Map has been up for only six months and we have broken the 1000+ hits mark.
2. We have added our 46th pin to the AKA Bigfoot World Map, the Waterbobbejaan AKA the African Bigfoot.

I guarantee you this was not an easy find. Most sightings and myths of giant undiscovered primates are outside the continent of Africa. This is an irony, that has not escaped us here at Bigfoot Lunch Club. Did this mean there are no stories or even tribal myths in Africa? The short answer is no; enter the Waterbobbejaan.

The name Waterbobbejaan literally means "water baboon," and it has been described as everything from pygmy sized to seven feet tall. Its fur is sometimes red, sometimes as black as scorched earth. There are numerous eyewitness sightings of the beast from the deep woods to the rural outskirts of African cities.

Unlike it's herbivorous American cousin, the "Waterbobbejaan," as it's come to be know in South Africa has been accused of terrorizing people (even killing a few), as well as all kinds of livestock terror -- Ripping cattle, goats, chicken, and anything else it could catch.

Native South African Roland Jaffe, 35, is the primary researcher for the Waterbobbejaan. He is quoted in an interview:

This creature is all over the country in some form. The best known ones are reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and the Congo Basin. I've heard stories in Namibia, Kenya, and as far north as Egypt.

We at Bigfoot Lunch Club are only slightly concerned Mr.Jaffe refers to Africa as a country, especially since he is a native. You can read the rest of his interview here.

View AKA Bigfoot World Map in a larger map


  1. Note: The correct spelling is Waterbobbejaan, i.e. two As in the "-jaan" bit.

    I first heard of this creature when I was a kid; the Afrikaans children's author Ben Venter wrote a short novel about it, that is alternately gruesome and hilarious, although in the story it eventually turns out that Waterbobbejaan is a peaceful vegetarian. I don't know to which extent Venter based his story on folklore or witness interviews, and how much of it he cut from whole cloth.

    The book also relates that amongst native Africans, there is a belief that if you ever find it, you should not kill it because then it will not rain for many years. Hopefully Mr. Jaffe will keep this in mind... ;-)

  2. Thanks Brian, we have made the correction!

  3. The waterbobbejan is a creature reported in South Africa and nowhere else unless the creature mentioned in Egypt and the Sudan is the same thing. In that case we have its tracks which are like big monkey tracks, with the opposed big toe, looking like hand prints. The rest of the continent of Africa is fulled with a very large number of different legendary hairy humanoid creatures, some more humanlike and a few more apelike (including the Waterbobbejan proper)ALL of these he has run together without a care including the Agogwe (which from prior mention is a pygmmy and not a giant) I would suggest that this classification should be examined very ythorougly with someone better acquainted with the different varieties reported from different parts of the continent: I strongly feel than an independant assay will turn up several species where this person identifies only one. And the Waterbobbejan will not be the name of the type which is most widely reported over the continent, nor yet will it go with the fur samples which were mentioned in the interview. The more widely reported forms are not especially associated with the water, are bigger and have more human-looking tracks.

    1. Thanks Dale! If you have suggestions for my a/k/a Bigfoot Map I would appreciate it, I would love to fill Africa out. By the way, people should know you have an excellent blog, Frontiers of Zoology.


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