The Savanna grassland and rainforests of the African continent are the residences of the biggest species of antelopes, deer, and wild goats. Type of Antelope in Africa consists of Suni, Nyala, Eland, Kudu, Blackbuck, Sable, Scimitar oryx, Grant’s gazelle, Lechwe, Gerenuk, Topi, Hartebeest, Bontebok, and Bongo antelope.
There are around 30 genera and 90 species of antelope, of which 15 are threatened. Visitors go on a fantastic experience on an African safari. The desire to see Africa’s big five species and maybe the great wildebeest migration is a common starting point for a tour. Antelopes, a common species of animals on the African plains, are frequently disregarded. Africa is home to a diverse and robust population of antelopes, ranging in size from the small dik-dik to the giraffe-necked gerenuk.
There are 91 different antelope species present in Africa, and at least 16 of those species may be found there, contributing significantly to the continent’s environment.
It might be difficult to distinguish all of the many antelope species that live throughout Southern Africa.
For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of the most prevalent antelope species so you can recognize these stunning creatures on your upcoming game drive. We’ve presented some of the most fascinating information on antelope in Africa, including specific characteristics, habitat kinds, and more.
What is an antelope?
In Southern Africa, it is uncommon to go on a wildlife drive and not spot an antelope, one of the region’s most common animals.
A species of animals known as antelopes inhabit Africa’s wide plains. Although the size and appearance of each species of antelope vary, they have a light build, thin limbs, tiny cloven hooves, and a short tail.
Their horns, which may be straight, curved, or twisted, are a defining characteristic. Only the male antelopes of some species have horns.
The majority of antelope are sociable creatures that live in herds. The herds use a range of noises and scent cues to communicate with one another. Their odors may linger for several days.
In Southern Africa, antelope may be found in a variety of environments, including broad savanna, woods, marshes, and even deserts. The majority of antelope species are herbivores, meaning they graze on grass or eat leaves, buds, fruits, and bulbs. They are clever creatures that migrate each year during the Great Migration in search of new grass as the rains fall.
Due to the fact that they are a target for predators like cheetahs, lions, leopards, and wild dogs, antelopes must continually be on the lookout for danger. They are protected from predators by their keen hearing and vision as well as their powerful horns.
What is the difference between a deer and an antelope?
Despite having a similar appearance, antelopes and deers differ significantly, with their scientific categorization being the most important. Deer belong to the Cervidae family, while antelope are members of the Bovidae family, which also includes goats, sheep, and buffalo (as do elks and moose).
The physical characteristics that set antelope and deer apart the most are their outward attributes. Antelopes have permanent horns, but male deers have antlers that seem like they are branching outward and are shed annually. Their horns are formed of keratin, a tough substance also present in fingernails.
Type of Antelope in Africa
In this article, I am going to give an overview of the Type of Antelope in Africa that made this continent unique and abundant.
The Suni is a small antelope. It happens in dense underbrush from central Kenya to KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
Suni is round 12–17 inches excessive on the shoulder and weighs 10–12 kilos. They’re often reddish-brown, darker on their again than their sides and legs.
Small antelopes known as suni are unique to Africa. Typically reddish-brown in color, with their backs being darker than their sides and legs. Rams of this little antelope weigh barely 5 kilograms and measure only 350mm tall at the shoulders.
Ewes are 5.4 kg heavier and somewhat bigger. Habitat loss and overfishing by humans are the biggest threats to this species. Conservationists are striving to manage the species’ remaining habitat to protect it, and the suni hunting season is only allowed for six months of the year.
Nyala Antelope is center-sized antelope and one of many extremely prized game animals of Africa. The spiral-horned nyala is bigger than bushbuck but smaller than Kudu and live primarily in the morning and afternoon.
In comparison to other antelopes, nyala is medium-sized, with a distinct size difference between the sexes. Males are above one meter tall and weigh between 98 and 125 kilograms. The Nyala are nomads. They are the antelope world’s nomads. Despite having a maximum population of 30, herds often consist of four or more animals.
This very big antelope lives in deep forests and thickets near bodies of water that are always present. It is quite secluded and is easier to notice at night. The lovely spiral-horned antelope known as the nyala is indigenous to southern Africa. In females and young animals, the coat is maroon or rufous brown, but it eventually turns dark brown.
The blackbuck, often known as the Indian antelope, is an antelope present in India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
The blackbuck is the only extant member of the genus Antilope. The species was described and given its binomial title by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758.
Two subspecies are acknowledged.
Kudus are huge antelopes that may weigh more than 200 kg and stand 1.5 meters tall at the shoulder. Kudus, despite their size, are thin and designed to jump over tall objects. Kudus are easily identified by their distinctive horns, which curve upward.
The majority of the females and their calves make up the tiny herds that the kudus reside in. Their lifted tails flash a white signal for the rest of the herd to follow as they run from danger. When attacked, kudus are known to defend themselves by using their horns.
Their preferred environment consists of dense forests, riverine forest regions, lowland bushes, mountains, and hills.
The kudu has two identified species generally referred to as lesser kudu and Larger kudu. Greater Kudu is among the very tallest and longest-horned antelope in Africa, present in southern Africa.
The hartebeest is reddish fawn antelope inhabiting dry savannas, wooded grassland, and open plains.
A huge antelope with an unusually formed horn, a broad forehead, a short neck, and sharp ears is known as a Coke’s hartebeest. It has a huge face, broad chest, lengthy black patterns on its legs, a lustrous brownish coat, and a sharply sloping back. These characteristics aid in separating it from other antelopes. Female hartebeests have somewhat smaller horns than males do.
There are 20 to 300 hartebeests in a herd, and grass makes up the majority of their food. With a top speed of more than 70 km/h, it is one of the swiftest antelopes. The Kenyan highland hartebeest, a cross between the lelwel and Coke’s hartebeest, is also found in Kenya. West-central Kenya, the Laikipia Plateau, and Mount Kenya are all home to Coke’s hartebeest.
Hartebeests are standard sport and trophy animals with uncommon bracket-shaped horns.
Large and powerful, the common waterbuck is an antelope. Waterbuck was largely discovered near Waterland in the savanna and is one of many massive antelope broadly distributed in Saharan Africa. The waterbuck inhabit grassland areas alongside rivers and lakes in southern and eastern Africa.
Male waterbucks have ringed horns that may reach a height of 100 cm, are widely spaced, and curve up and backward. Fighting for territory with their horns may be harmful to both males in waterbucks. Common waterbucks are named waterbucks because of their brown coats, which secrete an odorous material that is thought to be waterproof and deters predators. They are frequently found in moist settings.
It is known that waterbuck live in herds of six to thirty animals, often divided into nursery herds, which contain only females, and young and male bachelor herds. The majority of the waterbuck’s diet—between 70 and 90 percent—consists of grasses. They rely heavily on water. In Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park and Tsavo National Park, visitors have the best chances of seeing waterbuck.
Saiga antelopes, also known as saiga, are severely endangered antelopes that formerly occupied a sizable portion of the Eurasian steppe, extending from the northeastern Mongolian steppe to Dzungaria in the southeast and the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in the northwest.
Saiga antelopes are easily recognized by their peculiarly enlarged snout, which is supposed to filter out dust during the dry summers and warm the chilly air in the winter.
According to the IUCN, the saiga is severely endangered. Kalmykia, three regions of Kazakhstan, and two remote regions of Mongolia are home to an estimated 50,000 saigas.
8. Thomson’s Gazelle
Thomson’s Gazelle is the commonest sort of gazelle in Africa and the second quickest animal on earth. Thomson’s gazelle lives within the Serengeti area of Kenya, Tanzania, and Africa’s savanna grassland.
Red-fronted gazelle subspecies known as Thomson’s gazelle were given that name in honor of explorer Joseph Thomson. The ear points of these gazelles’ bent, backward-curving ringed horns point forward.
They have a buffy, yellowish-brown coat with black patterns on both sides and a white belly. They eat seeds, bushes, and dry grass. They are present in Nairobi National Park, Nakuru National Park, Amboseli National Park, and Masai Mara National Park.
Bushbuck is the smallest species of spiral-horned antelope, present in rainforests and bush savanna forests. The Bushbuck together with Imbabala and Kewell are two extra-recognized species and are intently associated with the Bongo antelope.
Bushbuck are medium-sized antelopes with unique coats and fierce temperaments. They have a thick coat that is deep chestnut brown with a few white patches and a white hair crest going down their backs. They are solitary browsers and are frequently seen moving alone through thickets of thorny vegetation.
Bushbucks reside in forests, in contrast to the majority of antelope species, which are found on savanna plains and open grasslands. Different regions’ bushbucks have varied coat colors and dietary preferences. Their primary food sources as herbivores include shrubs, buds, herbs, flowers, and fruit.
Impala antelope lives between woodlands and savannah and are much like Grant’s gazelle. This medium-sized antelope is diurnal and one of the sleek of all Africa’s antelopes.
Impalas are among the most prevalent antelope species. They have a medium stature, long neck, thin body, and colorful tan coat with a reddish-brown saddle. Only the males of the species have the biggest antelope horns in east Africa, which have a lyre-like structure. Impalas utilize their horns to defend themselves from predators and to fight other males. Impala females are more delicate and petite than male impalas.
The female herd can have 6 to 100 members, whilst the males can form bachelor herds of up to 30 individuals. One of the quickest antelope species in the world, the impala can run at speeds of up to 75 to 90 km/h. It can jump quite high because of its large legs, and it employs speed to avoid predators. They may consume both grass and leaves. In several of Kenya’s parks, including Lake Nakuru National Park, visitors may see impalas.
Gemsbok antelope is native to abandon areas of Southern Africa and belongs to the Oryx genus. The gorgeous Gemsbok is the largest and most well-known species of Oryx, additionally depicted on the coat of arms of Namibia.
A huge antelope belonging to the genus Oryx is called a gemsbok or South African oryx. It is indigenous to Southern Africa’s extremely dry, desert areas, particularly the Kalahari Desert. The East African oryx, also known as the beisa oryx, was once classed as a subspecies by certain authorities.
A huge antelope in the genus Oryx is the gemsbok, sometimes known as the South African oryx. It is indigenous to the arid, highly dry areas of Southern Africa, particularly the Kalahari Desert. The East African oryx, sometimes known as the beisa oryx, used to be recognized by certain authorities as a subspecies.
The Gemsbok are preyed upon by lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, and wild dogs, and calves are particularly vulnerable, which accounts for their extremely high death rate.
12. Roan Antelope
Roan Antelope is one of all Africa’s largest antelopes largely occurring in East and southern Africa. These savanna antelope are comparable in look to sable antelope and are primarily present in woodland and grassland savanna.
The Roan antelope is a large antelope that resembles a horse in shape. Its name, roan, refers to its reddish-brown appearance. It also has white eyebrows and a paler underbelly. The morning and evening are the coolest times of day for roan antelope activity. Unless they have been exhausted, they are not normally fearful creatures.
In savannah environments south of the Sahara Desert, there is a patchy distribution of the uncommon and endangered Roan Antelope. The biggest bovid to be found in Africa is the roan antelope. Their name alludes to the color of their roan coat, which is a reddish-brown.
The lengthy neck and lengthy, skinny legs of gerenuks are their defining options; these make them one of many world’s most simply acknowledged antelopes.
The coat is of brief, fantastic, shiny hair that’s evenly distributed over the entire physique. The pelage is a pale tawny brown with white alongside the breast, underbelly, and inside legs.
Because of their giraffe-like long necks, gerenuk is sometimes known as giraffe-necked antelopes. It stands on its hind legs to reach the upper branches of trees and has a short head and large ears. Its coat is a blend of red and brown. Gerenuk males have short, triangular horns, whilst females of the species lack these features.
The female gerenuks are extremely protective of their offspring. Gerenuks gather in tiny herds of five to six animals. They may be discovered in the national parks of Meru, Tsavo East and West, and Amboseli.
There are small, darkish patches of fur on the knees of the forelegs and on the finish of the tail. The top is lengthy and slender with medium-sized ears, and the cheek enamel and masseter muscle are decreased.
On the head, there’s a darkish patch across the eyes that pales because it goes outward till it kinds a white rim. Solely males of this species have head ornamentation within the type of scimitar-formed horns starting from 25 to 44 centimeters in size.
The Springbok species is a medium-sized antelope that inhabits the dry land of southwestern Africa. The Springbok additionally referred to as leaping buck and gerenuk antelope species might be intently associated with Springbok.
Springboks are recognizable by their eye-catching body color and petite frame and are mostly found in South Africa. They have white underparts, light brown top coats, and a dark brown stripe along the length of their bodies.
The ability to leap is a well-known trait of springboks. With a rounded back and all four feet off the ground, they can effortlessly leap four meters into the air. The springbok is both the national animal of South Africa and the emblem of our rugby team.
Because they are picky eaters, springboks like young leaves, flowers, and new grass. After the rainy season, when the grass is new and lush, they love to graze.
15. Sable Antelope
Sable Antelope inhabits Southern African wooded savannah grasslands and shares options with Roan antelope.
The sable antelope is the national animal of Zimbabwe and one of many plains sport species in Africa.
Big Eland Antelope is species of the household Bovidae and the biggest species of savanna antelope in Africa.
The common eland, which may reach heights of 7 meters, is the second-largest antelope in the world after the gigantic eland. With a few minor variations, both males and females have twisted horns. The females have spiral horns, while the males have slightly bigger horns. They utilize their horns as a defense against predators for both themselves and their offspring.
The large eland is additionally spiral-horned antelope and the largest species of antelope on the earth.
A dewlap is a loose skin hanging from their necks. The dewlap shields them from strikes that normally aim at their necks by predators. The sound of a common eland’s hoof may be heard within a short distance, and leaves and flowers make up the majority of its food. Nairobi National Park, Tsavo East, and West National Parks, and Masai Mara National Reserve are among the places where visitors may see common eland.
17. Beisa Oryx
Beisa oryx has four different subspecies. The horns of the female Beisa oryx are shorter and thinner than those of the males, making it difficult to distinguish between the sexes from a distance. Beisa oryx have black ears with fringes and black hair tufts that extend past their ears.
They have long, lean bodies, broad necks, and powerful, long legs. They are dense and muscular. The beisa oryx consumes a variety of vegetation like other antelopes do. The Laikipia Conservancies, Samburu Reserve, and Meru National Park are good places to see this species.
18. Kirk’s Dik-Dik
The Kirk’s dik-dik is one of the tiniest antelopes in the world and is quite wary. Its large eyes are ringed by white rings, and its coat is yellowish-grey to reddish-brown on the back and greyish-white on the belly. Because of the sound they make when startled, they were given the moniker dik-dik. The horns of male dik-diks are hidden by their turfs, whereas those of the females are not present.
They are little, but because of their fast metabolism, they eat a lot. Their long, thin snout, which resembles a little tusk, helps them control their body temperature and keep from overheating. They are a monogamous species that remain married till the death of the other spouse. In Nairobi National Park, Tsavo East and West Park, Amboseli National Park, and Masai Mara, visitors can see dik-diks.
19. Grant’s Gazelle
There are three subspecies of Grant’s gazelle. Their coat is white underneath the belly and orange on the back. Their horns are ringed and lyre-shaped, with a thick base. The Grant’s gazelle may consume both plants and grass.
They don’t require a lot of water to be hydrated since they get plenty from the plants they eat, which helps them avoid dehydration during the dry season. In Kenya’s Amboseli and Nairobi National Parks, you may see Grant’s gazelles.
When in danger, the swift Topi antelope may run up to 90 km/h. Topi and hartebeest share a similar appearance, but there are two key distinctions: they are somewhat darker, and their horns are less pointed. They have reddish-brown fur with purple spots on the upper legs and lyre-shaped horns with rings.
While both sexes protect their areas, males are bigger and darker than females. The female topi is aggressive when compared to other antelopes. They eat grass and reside in grasslands. Topi are plentiful in Masai Mara and are available to travelers considering a vacation to Kenya.
The steenbok is one of the lesser antelope species found in Southern Africa. These little creatures have a y-shaped marking on their snout, a reddish-brown coat, and white underparts.
Steenboks are usually solitary browsers, occasionally found in monogamous pairs, unlike other antelope species, which congregate in groups. They reside in the wide savanna where they may find sufficient protection from plants and long grass.
Steenboks are able to live without access to fresh water because of their picky dietary habits. These animals consume moisture-rich plants and roots to satisfy their water needs when there is a lack of available water.
The yearly migration of wildebeests across the African plains is well-known. Numerous antelope species, including thousands of wildebeest, travel from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara every year in search of new grazing areas. The Great Migration is the name given to this occurrence in nature. Many wildebeest will perish while crossing the Mara River during the Great Migration or are killed by nearby predators.
The black and blue wildebeest are the two types of wildebeest found in Southern Africa.
Blue wildebeest species travel via many locations and investigates a range of habitats. They occupy wide grasslands, wooded places, and arid regions. One of Kenya’s swiftest antelope species, the blue wildebeest can run at 80 km/h. They have a huge head, dark coat, long tail that resembles a horse, shaggy mane, and pointed beard. Its name, which is taken from Afrikaans, derives from this aspect of a “wild beast.” Males tend to be heavier and bigger. The horns of the blue wildebeest are pointed and curled, and those of the females are smaller.
Black wildebeest only travel small distances during their migrations and prefer to reside in open meadows. Although they prefer eating grass, they may also consume plants and bushes on occasion. All of the wildebeest congregate to create a mega herd during the yearly migration, which begins when the herds begin to migrate from the southern plains to the north. Black wildebeests are abundant in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park.
Another huge antelope species is the sable. These beautiful animals are a joy to observe on a game drive since they have unique black bodies with white patterns and long horns. The mixed savanna forests where sable antelopes reside are particularly prominent in Pretoriuskop, Southern Kenya, and South Africa.
Their social system is rigidly hierarchical, with a dominant male in charge of the herd. Sables are aggressive toward predators, and the males use their horns to send out warning signals. Sable antelopes have a reputation for charging adversaries like lions, wild dogs, and cheetahs. Predators are hesitant to confront these valiant warriors.
24. Common duiker
Slim creatures with arched backs and shiny coats are duikers. The Afrikaans word “duiker,” which means to dive, is the source of their name.
Due to their cautious nature, duikers frequently hide in bushes when threatened. Most of the time, these little antelopes are active at night, when they eat grass, leaves, and fruit. However, they have also been observed to consume small insects and even fledging birds.
Duikers are widely dispersed throughout Southern Africa and may be found in grasslands, deserts, and woods. Only the male duikers have small horns, and they are tiny creatures. Adult males weigh between 15 and 18 kg, while females weigh between 16 and 21 kg.
The reedbuck is a tiny, thin, and timid antelope with a tail that is fluffy white and mostly grey in color. Most of the time, reedbucks sleep in the grass beds during the day and graze at dawn and dusk, or occasionally at night.
For this type of antelope to live, there must be enough water available. They frequently reside in regions that are near water sources. Although they occasionally exist in small herds of three to ten animals, they often live alone or in pairs. Reedbucks live in tall grasses and damp forests where there is enough cover and water nearby.
The oryx often referred to as the gemsbok, is a huge type of antelope that resembles a cow and is incredibly resilient and strong. The oryx thrives in environments that are close to deserts or the huge, arid desert.
They can go for extended periods of time without drinking because their bodies have evolved to withstand the harsh African sun. Oryx in the desert eat succulents, nourishing leaves, and roots despite the lack of access to drinking water.
The formidable horns of both sexes of this species have been used to pierce and kill charging predators.
Animals called antelopes are elegant creatures that may be found all throughout Southern Africa. On a single safari game drive, you’ll probably come across hundreds of antelopes. They can occasionally be seen on open meadows in cities or by the side of the road near rural areas.
Being cautious by nature and quick to flee, these creatures are rare to see unexpectedly. This tutorial will teach you how to identify several antelope species based on their horn size or coat color. I hope this article on the type of Antelope in Africa was worth reading.
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