Loading

PLAINS GAME AT XIMUWU PART 1

This week I like to introduce the more common animals on Ximuwu. The Impala, the Kudu the Steenbok and Waterbok. In another episode I will handle the other part of our plains game the Zebra's, the Giraffe's and the Wildebeests.
Rush hour

.

IMPALA

The most common antilope here is the impala in Afrikaans Rooibok, there are hundreds of them around here at Ximuwu. These athletes of the bush are fantastic to watch how elegantly they jump and run through the bush, they have a topspeed of 60 km/hr and can jump 3 meters high and 10 meters far.

  • Impala's measure between 70 and 92 centimetres at shoulders and weigh between 40 and 75kg. The horns of a male are 45-90 centimeters.
  • Impala's get one calf and gestation lasts 6-7 months. Usually the impala's here are born around beginning of December. Right then when the new grasses have developed.
  • The Impala's are jokingly named savannah lunch or Mac Donalds for predators. Wild dog, lion, hyena and even eagles will hunt them. A loud grunt alerts the group for predators
  • If they are not been eaten before they die, they can live up to 7 years.

Impala have three different kind of herds, the female herds, the male territorial herds and the bachelor herds. The territorial males hold territories where they may form harems of females. He keeps busy to keep other males out and keep all females in the group. Bachelor herds are groups of around 30 males where young and old males keep some distance from each other except to spar. Female herds can vary between 6 and 100 impala's are loosely organised due to lack of leadership. Impala's are very territorial, usually their home ranges between 100 and 200 hectares.

  • The athlete of the bush
  • Two males sparring
  • Approximately 1 month old

the Kudu

The kudu type we have is the greater kudu, this is the largest antelope we see around here. Not every day but most of the times we see them. Males with their long corkscrew horns and elegant movement form an almost royal appearance. The males her are mostly solitary or a small group up to 3, and females in slightly larger groups up to 6-7. Where impala stay often in the open plains the Kudu usually likes to stay more between the trees, nibbling on leafs and roots.

Royals?
  • Male Kudu can weigh up to 320 kgs and measure uo to 150cm high at the shoulder.
  • Horns only by males and can grow up to 180 cm
  • Gestation up to 9 months,, calves get independent after 6 months and life expectancy 8 years
  • They can run up 90km/hr
  • Predators: lions, wild dogs, leopard and when smaller hyenas
  • Often hunted as trophy for their horns

Rutting male sometimes impact each other with such force that the horns become interlocked resulting in an easy pray for predators.

Steenbok

Steenbok is a very small antilope, with some remarkable behaviours. A steenbok freezes and remain motionless when faced with danger, when getting too close the steenbok explosively emerges from the hiding place and starts to run in a zig zag manner. Steenbok forms monogame couples but usually living apart from each other and gather during mating season. Nothers often eat the baby's feces and burry the urine to conceal all odors.

Don’t move
  • Only males got short sharp horns
  • Weight up to 13kgs, height approximately 60cm
  • Excellent hearing and eyesight
  • Feeding on grass, berries and seeds
  • Steenbok rarely drinks water, able to absorb all the moisture from the foods.
  • Gestation lasts 170 days with one baby, drinking mother's milk 3 months
  • life expectancy 7 years

waterbok

The waterbok is unfortunately not that often seen here, they mostly stay around riverbeds but sometimes they show up around our dams. These large fluffy antelopes have a characteristic white ring around on their rump often called by rangers as toilet seat. Dominant males defend their territory with fights, sometimes so violent that the opponent meets its dead due to severe wounds.

Unfortunately seldom here
  • Male waterbok can weigh up to 250kg and measure up to 125cm high at the shoulders
  • Horns only by males and can grow up to 80cm
  • Gestation is around 8 months and life expectancy up to 18 years
  • Diet mostly grasses but also leafs in dry season
  • Herds up to 30 animals
  • Predators: lion, leopard and wilddogs
The Afrikaans name for Waterbok is kringgat;)

Interested in other stories from Ximuwu please press the lost tracks button

Credits:

Patrick Suverein