Top 10 Largest Antelope In Africa (Species Types)

One of the most beautiful animals in Africa is Antelope. However, unknown to many, there are various species of antelope scattered across several parts of the continent. Actually, all antelopes are not the same – but these various species have their own preferred habitat and way of life. 

Antelopes are free animals that enjoy moving all around in open places in droves. When a novice encounters an Antelope, the only thing known about it is that it is an antelope, while an enlightened person will be able to distinguish between the various species of antelopes available. 

Although there are several species of antelopes available out there, here are the ten largest types of antelopes you can find in Africa. 

Top 10 Largest Antelope In Africa 

  •  Giant Eland Giant Eland is one of the rarest antelopes in Africa, and you don’t come across them easily. They are quite beautiful and tall, and it is being said that a normal Giant Eland Antelope can weigh up to one ton. 

These Spiral horned animals are adorned with short red coats and are pretty difficult to find in the wild. You likely come across one majorly in the forests of West Africa. Interestingly, they are very fast too and can run at high speed when the need arises. 

  •  Common Eland

 The Common Eland shares some features with the Giant Eland – but both are not the same. One of the differences is that these particular species are not as scarce as their counterparts – they are seen in large numbers particularly in the East and Southern parts of the continent. 

These animals are also pretty heavy (can weigh up to 900 kg), and they can actually live anywhere (they easily adapt). In the Southern part of the continent, it is not uncommon to see these antelopes grazing freely by the side of the road. One other interesting thing about them is how intelligent they are, and how they have a way of communicating with one another through their hooves. 

  •  Bongo

The Bongo Antelope is not a common one in Africa, as they can’t be easily found. Adorned in a pretty mahogany striped coat, these beautiful animals majorly stay in dense forests and they are actually nocturnal. They are mainly seen in Kenya and can be as tall as 3 metres in length. It is not too tough to identify and differentiate the male Bongo from the female. While the latter are usually slender, the former is big and fat and heavy. 

  •  Greater Kudu

One of the things that made these species outstanding is their beautiful longhorns. They are majorly found in the Eastern and Southern parts of the continent and are pretty heavy too (they can weigh over 300 kg). It is easy to spot the bulls, but harder as far as the females are concerned. 

  • Roan Antelope

These are pretty big and huge (bigger than kudu). Their appearance is like that of horses – both males and females have almost the same size. These species are unique in several ways, with a chestnut colour striking face of white and black features. However, their horns are not as long as that of the sable antelope. You will likely see them in South Africa and Zambia. 

  •  Sable Antelope

The Sable Antelope is the sixth-largest of its kind in Africa. They are a dramatic animal that fights while on their knees, and their unique spiraling horns are being used from a prone position. As far as the horns are concerned, there is no difference between males and females. As far as largeness is concerned, a female Sable Antelope is almost as big as her male counterpart. These antelopes are usually seen in Botswana and Zambia. They are pretty heavy (some can weigh up to 270 kg) and the females are easily identified with their brown colour.

According to the report, the number of giant sable in the wild is not more than 1,000, but are still more than common sable. It was also made known that it is only in Angola that these animals are found in the wild. Indeed, the Sable Antelope is one of the largest of its kind out there. 

  •  Waterbuck

The seventh is the Waterbuck – one of the largest species of antelopes out there. Actually, this is one unique type of antelope, in the sense that it still has various other kinds. Nevertheless, generally, they appear like domestic cows and loves water so much (which should give you a clue about the ‘water’ in front of their name). 

These species are majorly seen in different parts of Africa (particularly the Southern, Central and Eastern parts of the continents), and are majorly seen close to rivers and lakes. One interesting thing that should be added is that as a result of their familiarity with water, they can swim swiftly, and so, have an edge over some other species. When predators are being spotted, they easily jump into the water and swim to escape (despite that they are thick animals that weigh up to 260 kg). 

  •  Gemsbok

One unique thing about these animals is their unique horn (which is pretty straight and long). Unfortunately, their beautiful horns make it easier to get spotted by hunters. 

Gemsbok is quite famous and popular and they can be found in their thousands in countries like Namibia. You can also find them in droves in different parts of Botswana and South Africa. There are some differences between male Gemsbok and a female. One of the notable differences is that the males are usually bigger than females. While the males weigh between 180 to 240 kg, the females are between 100 to 210 kg. 

  •  Scimitar oryx

The next is the scimitar oryx. However, it is unfortunate to note that these animals can’t be found in the wild again due to various factors. There was a time when many of them are usually seen around the northern Sahara – unfortunately, things have changed. 

They can weigh up to 210 kg and are very brilliant animals that can adapt to very dry conditions. They know how to get most of the water needed from the plants they chew on. 

Keen on having a glimpse physically? You can check-in standard zoos in Africa (or in some private ranches in the United States of America).

Nevertheless, if you are not interested in searching for them in zoos, it has been made known that there is still the possibility of seeing a smaller subspecies of these animals in the wild (known as the beisa oryx). You are likely to see these ones in Tanzania and Kenya. 

  •  Hartebeest

Last on the list is the Hartebeest, another unique antelope that can be easily seen, but tough to go close to. The Hartebeest is a slow animal who knows its weaknesses (particularly the fact that they do not have a good defense against predators). Therefore, they are mainly seen in the open plain – which made them know when predators are coming. 

Irrespective of what your motive is, you should know that these animals won’t allow you to get close to them before they flee and run for safety. It should also be added that there are nine subspecies of Hartebeests. The unfortunate thing is that one of these subspecies has now gone into extinction, while the others are heavily threatened by predators. 

These animals are so big and massive and weigh up to 200 kg. They are majorly found in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.

Here we go. Antelopes are very beautiful animals that have been constantly threatened by hunters and predators in the wild. Hopefully, more measures will be put in place to protect some of these species from going into complete extinction. 


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