Antelopes and their varieties
When wildebeests migrate between Kenya and Tanzania, zebras join them in the tens of thousands, and even when wildebeests quietly graze (and unwittingly pose for our photos), zebras are often among them, making for a quite satisfying game viewing experience.
However, the two species are very distinct. The zebra looks like a horse but has a back too weak to be a beast of burden, and it barks like a dog. The wildebeest doesn’t look like many other animals, save the hartebeest, and the dominant male — seeking to keep his harem intact — makes a sound that I compare to belches crossed with bovine-like eruptions. Guides are fond of saying the wildebeest was created from whatever was left over after other animals were assembled.
Wildebeests are antelopes, putting them in a class with an abundance of well-designed creatures, ranging from the elegant eland to the spritely Thomson’s gazelle, aka, the Tommie. From my notes, I calculate I photographed 12 antelope species during about five days of Kenyan game viewing.
From here on, I will mostly let my photos do the talking. I have male Tommies in head-to-head combat, and a pair of impala males going at it, too.
On a different day, we eyed a large impala harem — the females frozen in place, whether because we were near or because the pacing male was even nearer, I don’t know.
I have the delicate dik-dik, one of the smallest antelopes (up to 16 inches tall, up to 11 pounds). We saw dik-diks on the Maasai Mara, but some had managed to get inside our fenced camp (near Amboseli National Park, our destination after the Maasai Mara). One dik-dik was munching on greens just outside my tent.
The topi, with markings that look tailored, were both sensible (I presume) and amusing when they perched themselves on tiny bumps in the terrain to survey the landscape.
Others of the antelope species simply looked grand, and that was enough.
This article and its photos are by Nadine Godwin, the author of Travia: The Ultimate Book of Travel Trivia, which was published by The Intrepid Traveler.
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