Impala – The Most Populous Animal

Impala are everywhere in Kruger National Park! They are by far the most common animal and if you spend a little time in the park, you’re bound to come across this beautiful antelope. They can often be the first animal you see once you’ve started your safari.

They live in open treed areas and denser forests, in herds which can get quite large in number.

A lot of people want to know how many of these buck are in Kruger National Park. At the last survey done in 2011, there were between 132,300 and 176,400 of them. Up to four times more than the next most populous animal – the buffalo!

There are a couple of types of these buck, the black-faced variety and the regular variety. Only the regular kind is found in Kruger National Park. They’re a reddish-brown colour on their top half, a light brown in the middle and whitish on the belly.

Female impalaThey’re able to run as fast as 80km (50 miles), but average 60km (37 miles) per hour.

Because there are so many of them, they’re nicknamed the “McDonald’s of the bush”, due to them being a readily available fast food snack for carnivores, like lions, and because they have a dark brown stripe on either side of their bottom and one down the middle of their tail. Put them all together and they look like an “M”.

Male impalaEven though we come across them often, we never get tired or bored of seeing these antelopes. They’re such beautiful creatures with such innocent features!

Enjoy watching males having a stand-off knocking their antlers together or pronking (a type of leap reaching 3 metres (10ft) high and 12 metres (39ft) long), females looking after their young and babies feeding and getting up to stand on their delicate long legs.

These buck are often in the company of zebras and wildebeest, so if you spot some, be sure to look for these other herbivores too!