Impalas: 10 fun facts

1. Impalas are synchronised breeders. At the beginning of the wet season, around November, the females will all start to give birth – usually within a few days of each other. This gives the impala calves the best chance at survival, not only because there is plenty of food and water around, but also due to the sheer safety in numbers.

2. They can leap as high as 10 meters. For an animal that is just over 1. 5 meters long, that is pretty impressive! This ability and agility is really helpful when they need to escape from predators.

3. The name impala comes from a Zulu word which means antelope.

4. Male impalas advertise their status to other rams through a scent gland on their foreheads. Impala rams fight throughout the breeding season for status and territory and when they lose rank, they produce less scent form this gland.

5. Impalas are one of a kind. They are the only members of the genus aeryceros which falls under the bovidae family including buffalo, cows, goats and sheep, to name a few.

6. Only Impala rams have horns. They boast magnificent lyre-shaped ring horns which can reach up to 75cm in length. It takes many years for these horns to reach full height which is when the rams can begin to fight for dominance.

7. Impalas form 3 types of herds; female herds (at times, dominated by a single ram who may change), bachelor herds, and family groups led by dominant males.

8. Rams only become territorial for 4 months of the year. During this period, they will fiercely protect their females and youngsters. However, if they lose their dominant position to another male, they will be forced to join a bachelor herd.

9. There are more females than males. Twice as many females are born than males every year.

10. Impalas release a scent from glands on their heels to help stick together. They have extremely good eyesight, hearing and sense of smell. When danger approaches and they have to flee, they release a strong scent form small glands in their heels which help the herd follow one another.

Tanda Tula - Impala male in the Greater Kruger, South Africa