The impala is an animal that every hunter has to take in Africa. This elegant medium-sized antelope is found in an array of habitats and makes for an exciting yet challenging hunt. There are three recognized subspecies of impala which are the Southern Impala, the East African impala and then the Black-faced Impala. Impala are very acrobatic animals; they are easily leaping 10meters at a time and 3 meters in height. Impala And Kudu occur in the same type of habitat so the methods used to hunt Impala are also very similar to those of Kudu. Both Impala and Kudu are often taken on the same safari.
The Southern impala has a very wide distribution throughout the southern parts of Africa. They can be hunted in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Southern Tanzania. These animals have done extremely well on protected reserves and ranches in South Africa and thus occur in large herds. Excellent trophies have come out of the Limpopo and North West regions in South Africa, never mind the fact that they can be hunted in all of South Africa’s provinces.
The East African impala is slightly bigger than the Southern Impala in both horn length as well as body size but other than size their habits and appearance is identical. The East African impala can be hunted in North East and South West Uganda as well as in Tanzania. Interestingly there is a 100-mile impala free zone which begins just north of the Mozambique border heading up north into Tanzania.
Blackface impala are recognized by having black markings on their forehead and snout. They are essentially identical to the southern Impala besides their black face markings and smaller horns Blackface impala can only be hunted Namibia where they have been introduced onto game ranches. They are however not importable into the USA.
Impala are medium-sized antelope and weigh in the region of 100 pounds. Only the males carry horns, the horns are lyre shape and ridged up until the last few inches. The make impala is also bigger and heavier set than the females. They are found in anywhere from five to fifty animals and younger makes often form bachelor herds.
A good trophy will have thick horn bases and good horn length. Often Impala works down the tips of their horns, so look for a specimen with sharp points, which are pointing straight up and not inwards. In the younger makes their horns point inwards until about the age of five years. The majority of the very high scoring impala that has been taken over the years have actually been specimens with deformed horns, so if out in the field and you come across an animal with abnormal horns, one should consider taking him as it those specimens with the most character.
Impala inhabits a multitude of terrains in Africa. The best specimens coming from areas with a mixture of dense thicket and open grasslands. They graze on a variety of bushes and fresh green shoots. Impala are predominantly browsers and tend to remain in a particular area to feed for a couple of days, but will always remain close to a water source.
Walking and stalking in areas that are likely to hold impala is the most common method of targeting these animals. They can also be spotted grazing from a long way off and then stalked into shooting distance. Impala are reliant on water and drink at least once a day good starting point will be around water points .impala are most active early morning and late afternoon but can be targeted right throughout the day.
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