Black Impala at KMIA

On my return from South Africa last July as I entered Kruger Mupalanga International Airport outside of White River I was excited to see a Black Impala. On researching Black Impalas I found that the first Black Impala lamb was born at KMIA in December 2020 to the airport herd and the one I saw was born in early 2022.

Impalas are one of the most common antelopes in South Africa but a black one is quite rare. The black color is a genetic mutation known as melanism that prohibits the regulation of melanin, causing an overproduction of pigment turning the animal’s coat and skin black. The Black Impala is not a sub species but a color phase of the Southern Impala caused by a recessive gene.

There are some farms that breed for color variations in various species but, to find Black Impala in the wild is extremely rare. This example I saw at the airport is the second one born to this herd which makes it even rarer. Though by the looks of it it is not a large herd and maybe the same male and female mated again producing the same phenomena.

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