Top Kenyan antelopes : A safari in Kenya takes tourists on an amazing adventure. Often, the desire to view Africa’s Big Five species comes first, followed by the possibility of seeing the epic wildebeest migration. Many people frequently ignore the antelopes, which are a common kind of animals in the Kenyan plains. There are several different species of antelope in Kenya, ranging in size from the small dik-dik to the giraffe-necked gerenuk. At least 12 of the 91 antelope species that make up Africa are located in Kenya and are essential to the country’s ecosystem.
The top ten antelope species in Kenya are listed here; many of them participate in the yearly big wildebeest migration.
Beisa oryx comprises four different subspecies. When examining closely, it is possible to distinguish between the male and female beisa oryx despite their similar appearance. The females have shorter, more slender horns. Black hair tufts extend past the ears of Beisa oryx, which have fringed ears. They have lengthy bodies, broad necks, and powerful, long legs. They are muscular and thick. The beisa oryx consumes a variety of vegetation, same like other antelopes. The Laikipia Conservancies, Samburu Reserve, and Meru National Park are good safari destinations to see this species.
Coke’s hartebeest is a huge antelope found in arid regions. It has a broad forehead, horns that are atypical in shape, a short neck, and pointed ears. Its coat is lustrous and brownish, with long black patterns on its legs. Its chest is large and its back slopes sharply. These characteristics aid in setting it apart from other antelopes. Female hartebeests have somewhat smaller horns than males. Twenty to three hundred hartebeests make up a herd, and grass is the main food source for them. This antelope is among the quickest, reaching a top speed of more than 70 km/h. The Kenyan highland hartebeest, a cross between the Coke’s hartebeest and the jewel, is also found in Kenya. The Laikipia Plateau, Mount Kenya, and west-central Kenya are home to Coke’s hartebeest.
The common eland, which may reach a height of 7 metres, is the second largest antelope in the world after the giant eland. With a few minor variations, the horns of both sexes are twisted. While the females have spiral horns, the males have rather larger horns. They use their horns as a defense against predators for both themselves and their young. A dewlap is the term for the loose skin that hangs from their necks. Their dewlap shields them from predators who typically aim for their throats. Common elands mostly eat leaves and flowers, and they can be heard communicating with one another by the sound of their hooves. Common eland is accessible to visitors in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Tsavo East and West National Parks, and Nairobi National Park.
The name “giraffe-necked antelope” also refers to gerenuk due to their giraffe-like long necks. Its coat is a blend of red and brown, and it has a small head and big ears. It uses its rear legs to reach the top branches of trees. The female of the species lacks the narrow, triangular horns that are present on male gerenuks. When it comes to the young, the female gerenuks are extremely maternal. With five or six members, gerenuks create tiny herds. Meru National Park, Tsavo East and West National Parks, and Amboseli National Park are the safari destinations where visitors can discover them.
One of the most common antelopes, impala are a medium-sized antelope species with a long neck, slender body and colorful tan coat with a reddish-brown saddle. The largest antelope horns in east Africa are found on males only in this species, and they are formed like a lyre. Impalas defend themselves and engage in combat with other males using their horns. Compared to male impalas, females are smaller and thinner.
Kirk’s dik-dik is one of world’s smallest antelope, which is strongly cautious. Its coat is yellowish-grey to reddish-brown on the back and greyish-white on its belly and have big eyes surrounded by white rings. The sound they make when frightened is why they were given the name “dik-dik.” The turfs of the male dik-dik conceal their horns, but the females lack horns. Because of their rapid metabolism, they eat a lot of food despite their little stature. They are able to control their body temperature and avoid overheating because to their extended nose, which resembles a little tusk. They are monogamous animals that coexist until one of the partners passes away. Visitors can find dik-diks in Nairobi National Park, Tsavo East and Tsavo West Park, Amboseli National Park, and Maasai Mara.
Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle.
The red-fronted gazelle subspecies known as Thomson’s gazelle bears Joseph Thomson’s name, the explorer. The points of the ringed horns of these gazelles face front and are bent backward. Their coat is buff, with black patterns on both sides and a white belly. It is yellowish-brown in colour. They eat bushes, seeds, and dry grass. Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Nairobi, and Nakuru national parks are among the places where visitors might find them.
There are three subspecies of Grant’s gazelle. Their coat is white underneath the belly and orange on the back. They have robust lyre-shaped horns that are ringed. The Grant’s gazelle is able to eat both vegetation and grass.
The topi is a swift antelope species that may reach speeds of up to 90 km/h when in danger. Topi resemble hartebeest in appearance, but they differ in two important ways: they are slightly darker and have less pointed horns. Their colour is reddish-brown with purple patches on the upper legs, and they have ringed horns shaped like a lyre. Both sexes defend their respective areas, however the males are bigger and darker than the females. In contrast to other antelopes, topis are aggressive females. They eat grass and reside in grasslands. Topi can be found in great quantities in Maasai Mara for travelers considering a safari to Kenya.
Large and powerful, the common waterbuck is an antelope. Male waterbucks have widely spaced, curved backward and upward ringed horns that can reach a maximum length of 100 cm. Waterbucks engage in territorial battles with their horns, which can be harmful to both male participants. Common waterbucks are named so because of their brown coats, which release an offensive odour resembling oil and are thought to be waterproof, deterring predators. They are frequently seen in damp areas. It is known that waterbucks inhabit herds of six to thirty individuals, which are often divided into young, male bachelor herds and nursery herds consisting of females. The majority of the waterbuck’s food, which makes up 70–90% of its total diet, is grass. They rely heavily on water. The best places for visitors to see waterbuck are Kenya’s Tsavo National Park and Lake Nakuru National Park.
The blue wildebeest is one of Kenya’s quickest antelope species that can sprint at a speed of 80km/h. They have a horse-like long tail, brown coat, large head, shaggy mane and pointed beard. Its Afrikaans name, which means “wild beast,” comes from its appearance. Men are heavier and bigger. Female blue wildebeests have smaller horns, and males have sharp, curving horns. Though they may also consume bushes and herbs when necessary, their preferred food is grass. All the wildebeest come together to form a super herd during the annual migration, which occurs as the herds begin to move northward from the southern plains. There are several blue wildebeests in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Park.
You may find out what happens on a normal Kenyan safari day by using our guide. The guide also suggests the best times to go on a wildlife tour to see these antelopes.