Also referred to Damaliscus lunatus jimela, the Topi is one of the popular antelope wildlife species viewed by travelers on wildlife safaris in Uganda. Physically, they share a lot in common with the Hartebeest but they possess a dark coloration and do not have sharp angled horns.
topis are marked with elongated heads, hump at the base of the neck,
mask like dark coloration in the face, reddish brown bodies while the
upper legs feature dark purple patching. The coats of Topis feature
shiny short hairs as viewed on Uganda Safaris and tours.
In terms of size, the Topi stretch from 68 – 160kg while the body
length can be 150 – 210cm and the tail is 40 – 60cm. Their shoulder
height is 100 - 130cm making them tall species.
thrive in grassland habitats which include open plains, savannah
woodland and arid landscapes. They prefer to feed on green grass of
medium height and would dwell more in places where such green grass push
into the dry season especially close to water. They are selective
feeders and thus they utilise their elongated muzzle and the flexible
lips to extract the freshest plants and while foraging, they take in
small quantities but at a very fast rate. These antelopes are common in
lowland areas below 1500m and normally stand on termite moulds to gain
view of the surroundings including their predators. They exist in herds
and thus would be many in the area or absent as scattered individuals
are prone to death. Topis also migrate for pasture as it has been
observed in the East Africa Safari tour destination of Serengeti National Park moving along with Wildebeests, Gazelles and Zebras.
the social organisation, Male Topis establish territories which pull a
range of females to join them and the size can stretch to 4km2.
The Males are always determined to defend their territories and the
female prefer to mate with the dominant males and those that they had an
intimate relationship before but for males, they aim at mating with as
many new females as possible.
The Topis tend to give birth from
October to December but it is much common in the month of October. The
calf can follow the mother at the point of birth like the blue
wildebeest but can also separate from their mothers and find secure
The Topis are listed as least Concern on the red
list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and
apparently thrive in countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and
Democratic Republic of Congo. The predators of Topis include; Lions,
Spotted Hyenas and Jackals which majorly prey on newborn. Topis can
easily be explored in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo
National Park while on a safari in Uganda.