Name: the impala (Aepyceros melampus) is a medium-sized antelope found in eastern and southern Africa.
Appearance: impalas are slender antelopes with large curling horns. Their arch-like shape allows them to lock horns during fights which protects their skulls. There are two subspecies that differ in appearance. Common impalas are reddish-brown with white stomachs, while black-faced impalas are larger and darker with a distinctive dark stripe on either side of their noses.
Size: they reach around 90 cm at the shoulder and weigh up to 75 kg. The horns of male impalas can grow to over 90 cm long.
Diet: impalas feed on grasses and occasionally fruits, preferring places near to water sources where the vegetation is rich.
Did you know: they are an important prey species for several large predators including cheetahs, leopards and lions. To escape they have evolved some extraordinary abilities. Thanks to their long legs they can lep up into the air, clearing vegetation, other impalas, and distances of up to 10 metres! If that doesn’t work they can also leap in a series of erratic jumps, kicking out their legs and rapidly changing direction to confuse predators.
Location: impalas are found in woodlands and savannah edges within eastern and southern Africa. The black-faced impala is confined to southwestern Angola and northwestern Namibia, while the common impala is widespread across the range.
Where to see Impalas
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see impalas in the following places:
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Photo credit: matrishva under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay