Antelope of the Kruger National Park
When driving around the Kruger National Park, one of the first things you probably will see are the various antelope that call the Kruger Park their home. Here are some of the Kruger Park’s most famous antelope…
The Impala is the most common antelope in the Kruger national park and probably the first animal you see when entering the Kruger Park. The Impala is a social animal that lives in herds up to 40. Their fur color is duotone, with reddish-brown on their back and half of their sides and the rest is a cream colour. The Impala is both a grazer and a browser and feeds on grass, leaves twigs and even fruits and acacia pods. Impala aren’t shy animals and will go and explore camp sites and even walk up to your porch.
The Lichtenstein Hartebeest is a rather large and rare antelope. Both the females stand 1.25m tall at shoulder height with the males weighing up to 200kg. They have a dark brown ‘saddle’ on the back that stretches from the tail base to the base of the shoulders. Unlike the Red Hartebeest, the Lichtenstein Hartebeest has very short, stubby horns and it also has a much longer face. The Lichtenstein Hartebeest is a very rare animal that can only be found in the Kruger National Park (where originally thought to be extinct) in small numbers. The herds of the Hartebeest are rather small ranging around 10 members.
The Waterbuck is also a rather well-known antelope that can be found in the Kruger National park. It is a robust antelope that stands 1.4m and can weigh up to 260 kg. They have a grey colored coat with white rings around the eyes and nose and a white patch on their necks. The Waterbuck has very prominent ears that stick out under the horns of which the males are the only ones with long forward-facing horns). Another unique feature of the Waterbuck is the fact that their shaggy coat has a very unpleasant, musky smell that can linger at resting sites. Waterbuck are very strong swimmers and will retreat to very deep water when seriously threatened.
The Kudu is surely the most popular and iconic of the antelope in the Kruger. The Kudu is a massive antelope that show very strong Sexual dimorphism, with the bulls bearing massive record-breaking spiral horns that can reach 1.8 meters. With a shoulder height of 1.4m and weighing an average of 300kg, the Kudu can be crowned the king of the antelope. The Herds of Kudu usually consist of 20 members, with young bulls forming groups with older bulls after sexual maturity and young cows staying with their mothers. The hierarchy of kudu herds are size based, with the largest bull being the on in charge. All Kudus have beards and manes but the length depends on the age of the kudu. Both the male and female kudus have a light grey coat with white stripes on their sides.
The Black Sable is a very large and muscular antelope that is characterized by its glossy black fur, white face and long curved horns. The males are rather large, weighing in at 270 kg and about 1.4m at shoulder height. The horns on young antelope are only visible from two months old. Black Sable is primarily a grazer, feeding on grass and other plant life found on the grass. The Black Sable also chews on the various carcasses found in the Kruger Park that help them counter Phosphorous deficiencies. The Herds of Black Sables are varied in size and are usually active during the early mornings and late afternoons. When young bulls are sexually mature, the Territorial bull will evict them from the herd.