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Giving one of these animals a fright will either result in it sinking to the ground to lie flat or to bounding away from the ‘threat’. The interesting bushbuck is a familiar sight in the Kruger National Park, as they call the sub-Saharan and eastern parts of Africa home.  They’ve been given the Xhosa name ‘imbabala’ to distinguish it from another similar antelope.

What They Are:

The bushbuck is an antelope that is part of the Bovidae family, they are also the smallest Tragelaphines (spiral-horned antelopes). Despite their size, they are technically very dangerous due to their sharp horns. For the males, their horns can reach over a metre long with only one twist. They have a dark greyish-brown fur that is speckled with white spots on the flanks, though sometimes they’ll sport a reddish-brown fur as well.

What They Do

They are browsers but will adapt to any plant matter in order to survive. Further on this, they change their sleeping habits depending on their surrounds. For example, if they’re near human settlements, they’re likely to become nocturnal, however, if they’re able to comfortably and safely browse during the daytime, they’ll opt for that too. They tend to be solitary animals but have been witnessed living in pairs. The older males are especially solitary and will try their very best to avoid each other. This makes them the least social antelopes in Africa. Another astounding fact about the bushbuck is how far the new mothers are willing to go to protect her young. The female will clean and hide the newborn, eating its dung so that no scent will attract predators. Plus, the calf only accompanies its mother after four months.

Interesting Facts About The Bushbuck:

  • Their main predators include lions, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles and cheetahs.
  • They graze on grass but they also eat fruit, tree bark, flowers, herbs and shrubs.
  • They produce a deep and hoarse bark.
  • They can survive for up to 12 years in the wild and 15 years in captivity.
  • Their scientific name is Tragelaphus scriptus.
  • They choose a habitat that offers adequate cover such as forest edges and bushy areas.
  • They can grow to be up to 1-metre-tall and weigh up to 80 kilograms.
  • They’re able to stay hydrated from dew on plants if necessary.

Increase your chances of spotting the bushbuck with a visit to the Kruger National Park. Book your stay at Yingwe Lodge today.