Paula Gilhooley…Sable Antelope of Kruger National Park

have been going to Kruger National Park since 2007 and have visited the park over 180 times but I had never encountered the beautiful Sable Antelope until my most recent trip to South Africa and Kruger National Park inSeptember- October 2015.  IMG_0016

A friend and I were staying at Pretoriuskop Camp and were returning to the camp along H 1-1 when we saw a beautiful pair of Sable Antelope in the bush on the south side of the road. Although Sable Antelope prefer Savanna woodland, the bush was very dense where we encountered the pair,  making it difficult to photograph as the camera wanted to focus on the bush instead of the animal.  We were able to get a couple of shots that were clear.

Sable Antelope bulls are black on the upper parts with bright white underparts, cows and young browner.  The back of the ears are bright russet with russet on the forehead.  Contrasting black and white on the face, with a black band  down the top of the muzzle and a black stripe running through each eye to just above the mouth.  They have a upright mane from the top of the head to the shoulders. Both sexeIMG_0288s have  heavily ridged horns that rise from the forehead just above the eyes and sweep backwards in a long even curve.  Males are larger than females with heavier horns.

Sable Antelope are very dependent on water and are rarely found more than three kilometers frm it. They are selective grazers, they prefer re-growth of burned areas.  Most active in the morning, late afternoon and again from two to three hours after dark to midnight.  They rest in the shade during the middle of the day.




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