Of all large antelopes at Thanda Waterbucks are the shyest. They are specialized to live in wet environments like marshes and they secret a greasy, smelly substance into their pelt to repel water. It smells so bad that even Oxpeckers will never sit on Waterbucks! The ointment also helps with their hooves. Unlike other hoofed animals they do not get foot rot when staying on very wet ground for a long time. Only the males have beautiful straight horns.
Impalas are the most common antelope on Thanda Safari. They always look immaculate because they practice allo-grooming. This means that they groom each other with their special comb like teeth in places they cannot reach themselves.
Male and female look very similar except that the males are larger and have horns. We are currently in the rutting season when males fight for their mating rights. During that time they also make incredible loud grunting noises to get ride of rivals and – I assume 😊 – to attract the ladies.
Nyalas are predominately browsers which means they mainly eat leaves of trees. They are the most sexually dimorph antelopes on Thanda Safari. Once grown into adulthood the male changes its color from red-brown to grey. Female and male look so different from one another that it is hard to believe they are of the same species.
And the males usually do not fight with their horns, as most other antelope species do, but perform a slow walk with back arched and their white hairs standing up – almost a dance – around one another. I have never been able to determine why one of the two ‘dancers’ is the looser and the other the winner.
But as they often both mate with females after such dances it probably does not really matter 😊 Have a good day and stay safe.
On safari we talk a lot about the big five and most of the pictures we post are about them. In the next few days’ morning posts I would like to introduce all of Thanda Safari’s antelope species to you. From large to small and common to rare. So here we go.
Let’s start with largest of them, the *Greater Kudu*. A male can get up to 340kg (750lbs) and a shoulder height of 1.55m (5′). They love higher altitudes and thicker bush and will even stand on their back legs alone to reach up to get the very bitter new leaves of a Mountain Aloe. There main predators are Lions.