Impala Hunting in Africa

Interesting facts about the impala

  • Impala can leap up to 10 feet in the air and travel as far as 33 feet in a single bound which, for an animal with an average height of 3 feet and length of around 4 feet, is a considerable distance. This agility makes it easy for impala to maneuver over and around obstacles, which comes in handy when they need to escape predators.
  • Defending a territory requires much time and effort that the impala ram loses condition, so much so they can only hold a territory for up to eight days.
  • Impala undertake reciprocal grooming; one impala will groom a herd member who will return the favor by grooming in exactly the same spot for the same amount of time.
  • A rutting male impala will carry six times as many parasites as the females in his herd because he is too preoccupied to groom himself and too territorial to allow others to groom him.
  • Impalas in southern Africa are synchronous breeders, meaning they tend to mate and give birth around the same time each year. Impala breeding usually corresponds with the wet season—they usually mate in May, at the end of the wet season, and give birth in November, at the start of it. That predictable breeding schedule usually gives impala calves their best shot at survival. Impalas and other prey face more risk in the dry season, when dwindling food and water supplies force predators and prey toward the same geographic locations.
  • Three of the main prey animals on the southern African savanna (impalas, zebras, and wildebeests) can recognize one another's warning cries, according to researchers from the University of Minnesota. That works to everyone's advantage if a predator is close. If a zebra, for instance, sounds a warning call, then any nearby zebra, wildebeest, or impala know to flee.
  • Rumor has it pregnant impalas can delay giving birth for up to a month if the wet season is late. That belief is probably a fallacy.
  • Male impalas who fail to mate successfully form bachelor herds of five to 30 individuals.
  • Male impalas typically only become territorial for about four months of the year, during which time they'll jealously protect their harems of female impala and young. If one male impala loses a fight to another, they'll often be forced to surrender their herd and join a bachelor herd instead.

The difference between a male and female impala

Impala males are easily recognized as they have horns while females don’t. Females are also smaller.

Impala male with a horn

Impala Male

Impala female leaping

Impala female leaping

Background information for African Impala Hunting

The impala or Southern impala is found in woodlands and sometimes on the interface between woodlands and savannahs; it inhabits places close to water. The impala is diurnal (active mainly during the day), though activity tends to cease during the hot midday hours; they feed and rest at night. Three distinct social groups can be observed – the territorial males, bachelor herds and female herds.

The territorial males hold territories where they may form harems of females; territories are demarcated with urine and feces and defended against juvenile or male intruders. Bachelor herds tend to be small, with less than 30 members.

The impala is a medium-sized, slender antelope. The head-and-body length is around 51 inches. Males reach approximately 45–55 inches at the shoulder, while females are 35–45 inches tall. Males typically weigh 100 – 140 pounds and females 88–111 pounds. Females are hornless and smaller than males.

Males grow slender, lyre-shaped horns 18–26 inches long. The horns, strongly ridged and divergent, are circular in section and hollow at the base. Their arch-like structure allows interlocking of horns, which helps a male throw off his opponent during fights; horns also protect the skull from damage.

The glossy coat of the impala shows two-tone coloration – the reddish brown back and the tan flanks; these are in sharp contrast to the white underbelly. Facial features include white rings around the eyes and a light chin and snout.

Impala trophy ram. Where to place your shot when Impala hunting in Africa.

Shot Placement for Impala Hunting

Impala Hunting in South Africa

Your impala ram trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 46 inches, weigh about 130 pounds and have a horn length of approximately 22 inches. The Safari Club International score for an impala is 54. This is measured by adding the length of each horn as well as the circumference of the bases.

Another Trophy most hunters want to take on their first hunt. The smooth skin and two tone red coloration make for a striking trophy. Impala are very alert and a number of stalks may be required. Impala give a number of loud snorts whenever they have sensed danger. The stalk will likely be through scrub and brush.

Impala are wide spread across the Eastern cape. They jump sheep and cattle fences with ease and are free ranging outside the high fenced areas.

A 7mm, right on up to the 30 calibers are the best choice of calibers. As always, the bottom third of the animal up the front leg is where you should aim.

For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of having to bring a rifle in to South Africa Nick Bowker Hunting has available a 7mm custom made Remington Magnum fitted with a suppressor. The rifle is mounted with a Swarovski Z8 tactical scope. We have hand loaded Hornady ELD-X ammunition. This set up including ammunition is available as part of all hunting packages free of charge.

Where to place your shot when impala hunting in Africa. Vital organs of an impala for shot placement

Impala vital organs for shot placement

This graceful, medium-sized antelope is a sociable herd animal that frequents open woodlands and bushveld. Both a browser and a grazer, he will never venture far from water, as he must drink daily. The lyre-shaped horns are only carried by the rams, but the herd's propensity to bunch together in the dense brush can make it easy to make a mistake. Impala live in open woodland with sufficient water - especially thorn, also found in denser woodland areas along rivers, and on the edge of woodland and 'grassed' or floodplains.

IDENTIFICATION: Athletically-built, medium sized antelope. The upper body of the impala is a deep reddish brown that becomes lighter in color along the flanks, chest and belly. There are characteristic black bands on the tail and buttocks. Patches of black hair occur above the ankles. The throat and chin are white. The short, thin tail is white with a black line down the center. The ears have black tips.

An impala trophy hunted in South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting. One of Africa’s leading hunting safari outfitters

Impala Trophy taken with Nick Bowker. Your Professional Hunter and Outfitter

Black Impala Hunting in South Africa

Black impala is a color variant of the southern impala. A great trophy to hunt while on safari and a must for any collector interested in collecting both of the impala color variations.

The black impala is not a subspecies, but a color phase of the southern impala. Black impala was developed by selective breeding; the color of the skin is all black.

Black impala has all the same traits as the southern impala. Hunting the black impala is no different to hunting a southern impala.

Black impala male on the plains with southern impala females

Black Impala Male on the plains with Southern Impala Females

Black impala male on the plains with black impala females

Black Impala Male with Black Impala Females