The bushbuck antelope is a famous Uganda safari product that is widely spread in the Sub Saharan Africa thriving in the montane forests, rain forests, forest savannah mosaics along with woodland and bush savannah forest.
The genetic studies indicate that bush buck
feature two (2) phenotypically and geographically different species –
the Kwel and the Imbabala and the bull of the bushbuck is considered as
most dangerous antelope of the medium size by both Sport hunters and the
traditional African hunters. This is because if wounded would hide in
the bush and if the hunter comes looking for it would impale him with
its sharp horns.
Regarding the distribution, the kéwel is spread
from Senegal and the Southern Mauritania across the region of Sahel
stretching to the Ethiopia and the Eritrea and South to countries of
Angola and the south of DR Congo. Whereas the Imbabala is featured in
South Africa stretching to Angola along with Zambia moving through East
Africa to Somalia and Ethiopia. These two (2) bush buck Species thrive
together in north of Angola, South of DRC, areas around Lake Albert in
Uganda encountered on safaris in Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Regarding the description, the kéwel is notably a smaller animal which
is considerable yellow or red ground color. It is visibly stripped and
features patterns with no sexual dimorphism in terms of ground
coloration. Bushbuck was first described in 1766 by Pallas as Antilope
scripta from the nation of Senegal and it still features the initial
name for the bushbuck Species. The name kewel is extracted from the
Wolof dialect that is found in Senegal. It can be noted that most of the
bushbuck studies have centered Imbabala and little is known about the
kewel’s biology. The Imbabala derives its name from the language of the
Xhosa of South Africa.
The imbabala is notably larger that the kewel
and its coloration differ greatly with the habitat type and geography.
The imbabala populations with ancient genes found in Zambia, Angola,
north of Zimbabwe, Botswana and south of DRC feature significant
stripping. In the mentioned populations, the horizontal strip if it
happens to be present is pardoned by a range of spots. The thick
horizontal lining which exists in the Kewel is not featured in the
The Imbabala Species that thrive in the mountains
including the Elgon Mountain, the Gregory Rift Highlands, the Highlands
of Ethiopia and the Imatong Mountains are considerably larger featuring
dark ground color without patterning. The males tend to deviate from the
red brown ground coloration.
The Bushbucks are around 90cm high at
the shoulder, carry 45 – 80kg in weight and this varies in sex,
featuring light brown coat that carries up to seven (7) white stripes
along with side white splotches. The white patches of the bushbuck are
shaped geometrically and on the most body mobile parts like the ears,
the tail, chin, neck and legs. The muzzle is notably white while the
horns exist only in males and can reach half a meter on a single twist.
The young males sprout horns at ten (10) months of age. These horns are
twisted and form the first spiral loop at maturity
The Bush bucks
are majorly browsers and to complement their diet with other plant
matter which they can reach. The bushbucks tend to be active 24 hours
though greatly nocturnal near human settlements. They are greatly
solitary though some live in pairs.
The bushbuck thrives in a home
area which is around 50,000m2 on savannah and it is considerably larger
in the forested lands. These home areas can overlap the home areas for
other bushbucks. The Bushbuck is majorly solitary wildlife and the old
males keep away from each other. Normally, the bushbuck can be very
active in the early morning and section of the night.