Facts About Impala

Interesting Facts About Impala

Facts About Impala – While many safari enthusiasts eagerly seek encounters with the famed Big 5, spotting any of these majestic creatures remains a rare delight. Thus, encountering the more common species, such as antelopes, often constitutes the bulk of a game drive.

As you traverse through the African wilderness and catch sight of a figure amidst the bush, excitement may momentarily rise, only to be followed by a resigned exclamation: “Over there! Look!” Yet, this enthusiasm may quickly wane with the realization that it’s “just an antelope.” Such reactions are commonplace among seasoned safari-goers, particularly if it’s not their inaugural expedition. And more often than not, the “just an antelope” in question is the elegant Impala.

Fascinating Facts

  1. Impalas exhibit synchronized breeding, typically giving birth at the onset of the wet season around November. This coordinated birthing period increases the calves’ chances of survival, as abundant food and water are available, and safety in numbers is ensured.
  2. Impalas showcase remarkable leaping abilities, capable of jumping as high as 10 meters. Despite their relatively modest size of just over 1.5 meters, this agility serves them well in evading predators.
  3. The name “impala” originates from a Zulu word meaning antelope.
  4. Male impalas assert their status to other rams through a forehead scent gland. Throughout the breeding season, impala rams engage in territorial fights for dominance and territory. Diminished glandular scent production occurs when they lose rank.
  5. Impalas are unique members of the genus Aepyceros within the Bovidae family, which also includes buffalo, cows, goats, and sheep.
  6. Only male impalas possess horns, boasting magnificent lyre-shaped ring horns that can grow up to 75cm in length. It takes several years for these horns to reach full height, enabling rams to compete for dominance.
  7. Impalas form three types of herds: female herds, which may be dominated by a single ram who can change; bachelor herds; and family groups led by dominant males.
  8. Rams become territorial for only four months of the year, fiercely defending females and young during this period. If they lose their dominant position, they must join a bachelor herd.
  9. Female impalas outnumber males, with twice as many females born annually.
  10. Impalas emit a scent from glands on their heels to facilitate herd cohesion. Possessing excellent eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell, impalas release a strong scent from small glands in their heels when fleeing from danger, aiding herd cohesion.

Where to find the Impala Antelope

Impalas can be found in east Africa, South Africa and in Namibia to Mozambique. They stay in open woodland often near water.

You will easily be able to see the Impala antelope in Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda.


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