The impala is a medium-sized antelope found in eastern and southern Africa. This is the most common antelope of the bushveld regions of South Africa. A very graceful, rufous-fawn antelope, with white underparts, measuring approximately 900mm at the shoulders. Rams weigh around 60 Kg and ewes 40 Kg.
A black stripe extends from the top of the rump down the back of each thigh. The lower hind legs have glands beneath tufts of black hair. Only the rams have horns which are lyre-shaped, and reach a length of 700mm.
Impala are graceful, antelope-like animals with reddish-brown fur and white underparts. They have long, slender legs and a pair of lyre-shaped horns that are carried by the males. Impalas are herbivores and their diet consists of grasses, leaves, fruits, and flowers.
Impalas are social animals and live in herds of up to 50 individuals. Herds are led by a dominant male, and they typically consist of females, their young, and a few young males. Impalas are very vocal animals and use a variety of sounds to communicate with each other, including snorts, bleats, and grunts.
Herds seldom wander more than eight km from permanent water supply. Renowned for their spectacular leaps over shrubs and bushes, when alarmed. Rutting occurs during early winter months. Young rams live in bachelor herds, and those strong enough to be successful in establishing territories, become solitary within their respective domains during the rut. Females live in breeding herds.
Impalas are a popular tourist attraction in Africa, and they can be seen in a variety of game reserves and national parks. They are also a popular game animal, and they are hunted for their meat, hide, and horns.
Here are some additional facts about impalas:
- Impala have a top speed of 90 kilometers per hour and can jump up to 3 meters high.
- Impala are pregnant for about 8 months and give birth to a single calf.
- Impala can live for up to 15 years in the wild.
Impalas are a beautiful and graceful animal, and they are an important part of the African ecosystem. If you are lucky enough to see an impala in the wild, be sure to take a moment to appreciate its beauty and grace. One of the more common antelope of the African savanna, Impala have been referred to as the Macdonalds of the bush as they are of the most common prey for predators. The distinction markings on the rump also resemble the company logo to a degree.