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Antelope of Africa

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Asiaticlion2015, 7 Nov 2016.

  1. Asiaticlion2015

    Asiaticlion2015 Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Next Summer I am hoping to go on a month long holiday to Africa (Not sure whereabouts yet) and one thing I'd really love to see is different species of Antelope and I'm asking you all the African Antelope species you know of and which you think are the best to see. Thanks.
     
  2. DragonDust101

    DragonDust101 Well-Known Member

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    That's a hard question, but whatever you do, try to make sure you get to see the Hirola, they live on the far southern border of Somalia and Kenya, and are critically endangered. Otherwise, maybe Tanzania/South Africa/Botswana
     
  3. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

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    Kenya would be a good place to go. The
    have many animals, including loads of antelope. I reckon seeing a gemsbok out in the desert would be quite a sight.
     
  4. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Unless you're Kenyan, or have a large bodyguard contingent, the border between Kenya and Somalia is not a place you want to visit. The Somalis regularly cross the border and have attacked or kidnapped Westerners in the recent past. This may or may not be Al-Shabaab activities, although they have targeted interests in Kenya.

    Gemsbok are found in South Africa, not East Africa. You're thinking of Beisa Oryx.

    My recommendation would be Tanzania - when I was there a couple of years ago I saw 17 species of antelope, plus another five species of non-antelope ungulate.

    Although I haven't been there, South Africa should also be good for antelope.

    :p

    Hix
     
  5. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    Having spent quite some time in especially Eastern Africa and in total also a month in southern Africa, I have seen about 40 species of antelope during that time.

    As you have only a month, I would advise you to stick to only 1 or 2 countries. Travelling in Africa takes time and the faster (less slow) modes of transport (own 4x4 / plane) are expensive. In addition to that lodging is often expensive and entrance fees for the national parks as well....

    Depending on how much you have travelled and how much hassle you can stand, I would advise you either going to South Africa ( with a possible extension to Botswana) or Kenya (you could add Uganda to this, northern Tanzania does not have different species then most of Kenya). South Africa is much easier to travel around and more hassle free.

    For South Africa, I would start in Cape Town and making your way to Kruger from there. Along the route you could pick up many Cape and Karoo & Highveldt specials like Cape grysbok, Grey rhebok, bontebok, black wildebeest etc. Where Kruger has many of the more standard savannah species, but also nyala which is rather restricted in it's range. If time allows it would be worth to travel to northern Botswana and visit Moremi and/or Chobe, these places hold Tsessebe, red lechwe and Chobe even has some puku.

    Hirola can be seen in Tsavo east in Kenya, which is a safe area, though these are an introduced group... The Tsavo ecosystem also holds some east African specialities like lesser kudu, gerenuk & Beisa/Galla/Fringe-eared oryx and multiple dikdik species. Combine this with the species of the southern Kenyan savanna like Coke's hartebeest, wildebeest, steenbok, grant's & thomson gazelle. Mountain bongo are found on Mt. Kenya and in the Aberdares range, though they are tricky to find apparently. If you would be able to add Uganda, you add the possibility of Ugandan kob and several duiker species (weyns, yellow-backed, rwenzori).

    A good starting point would have been the book "the Antelope of Africa", but this is currently being reprinted and unavailable... The Kingdon field guide to African mammals is another good starting point as is "the bovids of the world", but due to oversplitting it is easy to get lost in this book...
     
  6. Asiaticlion2015

    Asiaticlion2015 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all the ideas you have given me.
     
  7. jibster

    jibster Well-Known Member

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    I echo what lintworm said about South Africa. If you have the time to travel around the country, you can probably see the greatest variety of species if you hit four particular areas: something in the fynbos (mostly in the southwest) - for the Cape specialty species (notably Cape grysbok;also reintroduced bontebok, grey rhebok, etc.); something in the Highveldt (black wildebeest, etc.); something in the arid north around the Kalahari (gemsbok and other arid specialties); and something in or around Kruger (to get the best variety, you may need to hit two or more areas of Kruger, as the park is very different in different areas). I saw the largest number of species in southwestern Kruger, and some of the private reserves even have some (introduced) Highveldt species, including Black wildebeest. South Africa is one of the easiest countries in Africa to get around, with a very well-developed infrastructure.

    I also spent a week in Zambia, which I believe is often underrated. It's much less developed than South Africa and harder to see on your own (very undeveloped - to get to a camp I stayed at required a flight to a tiny dirt airstrip in the park followed by a three hour drive!) In terms of sheer number of species, the northern areas of Kafue National Park (around the Busanga plains) can't be beat - if you're lucky, you can probably catch close to 20 species relatively easily (in three days, I caught 18, including red lechwe and puku). In terms of numbers of animals, South Luangwa National park is a real treasure (especially for puku, impala, and kudu) besides which it features some endemic subspecies (including Cookson's wildebeest - a beautiful animal). The Zambian parks, being more remote and less developed, also give you a much greater sense of being in the true "wilderness," but it also tends to be more expensive to see these parks easily.

    Happy trip planning - and be sure to let us know if, when, and where you end up going!