Tag Archives: Southern Reedbuck

Finding Mopani’s rare antelope

The Kruger National Park‘s Satara Rest Camp is known for its abundance of predators, but when you visit the Mopani area, you should keep your eyes peeled for some of South Africa’s rarest antelope species, which are regularly seen here. Along the roads to the east of the camp, past Mooiplaas and Tinhongonyeni waterholes and along the Nshawu marshes, there’s always an excellent chance of encountering Tsessebe, Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, Southern Reedbuck, Eland and Roan Antelope, while Sable Antelope is regularly reported from the Shongololo Loop and H1-6 tar road to the west and north of camp.

Southern Reedbuck

Redunca arundinum

As its name suggests, the reedbuck is an antelope with very special habitat requirements; occurring in reedbeds and areas of long, often flooded, grasslands, always within easy reach of a permanent water source.

Reedbuck (8)

Rams are slightly larger than the ewes, standing approximately 90cm high and weighing as much as 80kg. Only the males carry horns, that normally reach lengths of around 38cm.

Reedbuck live alone, in pairs or in small family groups within a territory defended by a mature ram, while the ewes dictate where and when the group moves. They graze mostly from dusk to dawn, preferring to hide in shady reedbeds and patches of long grass during daylight hours. They are not very fast nor agile, and rely heavily on camouflage to evade predators (all of Africa’s large meat-eaters prey on reedbuck). Ewes give birth to single lambs, mostly in the rainy season, and hide them away for two to four months before joining up with the family group again.

In South Africa, the reedbuck occurs mostly in the wetter eastern part of the country. While there’s a small population of reedbuck in the Kruger National Park (sightings there are special treats), the country’s (and probably the continent’s) biggest concentrations can be found along the shores of Lake Saint Lucia, in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in Kwazulu-Natal Province. We’ll share some photos from our December visit to the Western Shores of Lake St. Lucia with you in our regular Friday post this week.

Reedbuck (2)