The Roan Antelope is one of impressive wildlife that world travelers find interesting while undertaking Africa safaris including safaris in Uganda. The Roan Antelope also referred to as Hippotragus equinus is a savannah dwelling antelope that is spread in the East, Central, West and South of Africa
The Roan antelope is notably among the large antelope
species that is exceeded in bovines by the African Buffalo and eland
measuring 190–240 cm stretching from the head to the tail base while the
tail alone measures 37–48 cm. The male Roan Antelope weighs about 242 –
300kg while the female Roan Antelopes carry 223–280 kg as their body
weight. The Roan Antelope Species shoulder stands at 130–140 cm and the
antelope itself derives its name from the roan color of its coat that
appears reddish brown. Their underbellies is lighter, the eye brows are
white while the face is black though darker in males than females. The
Roan Antelopes always encountered on Uganda safaris
feature erect mane that appear short, light beards and protruding
nostrils. The Roan Antelopes feature ringed horns extending to 1m in
length in the male Roans and a bit shorter for the females and these
horns curve backwards.
Regarding habitat, the Roan antelope is
majorly found in woodland habitat along with grassland savannah which
greatly exist in the savannahs, sub-tropical and tropical grasslands,
shrub lands biome that range in density of trees from the forest
featuring grassy understorey like the central Zambezian Miombo woodlands
stretching to grasslands that are marked with few tree counts where the
Roan antelopes consider mid length grasses. It can be noted that they
like feeding on grass but would at times consume shrubs, acacia tree
pods and herbs. They like drinking and thus would thrive in an area
where water is within reach.
These Uganda safari wildlife
Species thrive in harems of 5 – 15 animals that feature a leading male.
The Roan antelope tend to fight among themselves for who should
dominate in the herd and their fighting involves brandishing their horns
while on their knees.
The Roan Antelope breed throughout the year
but the births tend to be common in the wet season. The mother Roan
Antelope would conceal a calf in a tall grass and do not wander far from
it. They feature a gestation of about nine (9) months.
span of a Roan antelope is about 17 years and their main predators
include the Spotted Hyenas, the African Leopard, the humans who hunt
them both for bush meat and sports and the wild dogs.
Antelopes can run to 35 miles per hour and are listed as least concern
under the IUCN red list with the population of about 76,000 remaining in
the world. In Uganda, they are found in the country’s north eastern
savanna protected area of Kidepo Valley National Park where they can
always be encountered by travelers on Uganda safari tours.