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gazelle

All You Need to Know About the African Gazelle

gazelle

African Gazelles are part of the antelope family and has various subspecies.

These small, horned creatures with their graceful hops can be found in different parts of Africa. Often found in groups, these animals graze peacefully on the grassy lands of Africa.

Gazelles are an endangered species due to hunting, loss of habitat, and farming.

Quick Facts

Average Lifespan

12 to 15 Years

Size

Up to 110 cm

Weight

Up to 25 kg

Main Predators

lions, cheetahs, leopards

Physical Characteristics

Gazelles are part of the antelope family, with slender limbs and long necks. Their bodies consist of a tan colour, a white belly and a dark coloured stripe along the side of its body.

Diet

The African gazelle feeds on leaves and grass which also helps them stay hydrated since they live in dry areas in Africa. They can stand on their hind legs to reach the leaves on high branches.

These mammals feed in herds on the grasslands, often near zebras and wildebeest to stay safe from predators.

Subspecies

African gazelle can be divided into a large variety of subspecies. Let’s look at them individually below:

Dorcas Gazelle

The most commonly found African gazelle in the Sahara desert is the Dorcas Gazelle. These gazelles have adapted to desert life and get their needed hydration from their plant-based diet.

Grant’s Gazelle (Nanger granti)

Named after the explorer, James A. Grant, is the Grant’s gazelle. These large antelopes can reach a height up to 1.6 metres and a weight of 66 kg.

Slender-horned Gazelle (Gazella leptoceros)

These gazelles and stand out with their pale brown fur covering their body and their long, slender horns. They are now also endangered due to hunting and habitat loss.

Speke’s Gazelle (Gazella spekei)

Named after John Hanning Speke, a British Indian Army officer who pursued many explorations through Africa is the Speke’s gazelle. The Speke’s gazelle stands out because of its distinctive nasal sac which gets inflated when the creature is excited or feeling threatened.

Thomson’s Gazelle (Gazella thomsonii)

Found in East Africa’s savannas are the Thomson gazelle, named after the Scottish explorer, Joseph Thomson. Most common in the Serengeti National Park area, these mammals can reach a shoulder height of 0.6 and a weight of up to 30 kg.

Dama Gazelle (Nanger dama)

The Dama Gazelle is the largest of these antelopes, reaching a height of 1.18 metres and weighs around 75 kg. The Dama gazelle has several subspecies ranging from reddish-brown to a complete red-brown coat. These gazelles are also critically endangered.

Soemmerring’s Gazelle (Nanger soemmerringii)

Named after a German-Polish scientist, Samuel Thomas Soemmerring is the Soemmerring’s gazelle. Reaching a height less than a metre and a weight of 44 kg with a red coat and white underbody.

Red-fronted Gazelle (Eudorcas rufufrons)

This gazelle has a red coat with a white belly separated by a thick black stripe. These gazelle need to drink water occasionally so they cannot just survive retaining water from plants.

Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri)

The Gerenuk means “giraffe-necked” in Somali, which refers to the mammal’s long, thin neck. These gazelles use their long necks to reach leaves on high branches, just like giraffes.

Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis)

The Springbok, (the national animal of South Africa) prefer to live in deserts, open plains and savannas. They have cinnamon coloured upper body coats, white bellies and lyre-shaped horns.

Cuvier’s Gazelle (Gazella cuvieri)

Also occasionally known as Edmis, mountain gazelles or Atlas, is the Cuvier’s gazelle with dark brown bodies with white underbellies and black stripes decorating their faces.

Dibatag (Ammodorcas clarkei)

Dibatag means “erect tail” in Somali as this gazelle holds its tail high and waves it as it walks or prances about. These gazelle are endangered due to habitat loss, droughts and poaching.

Predators

Among these predators are African Wild Dogs, cats like leopards and cheetahs, spotted hyenas, crocodiles, and jackals.

Infant gazelles are usually preyed upon by pythons, baboons and eagles.

Humans also threaten the existence of these animals by hunting them.

Interested in Seeing Gazelle in their Natural Habitat?

Would you like to see gazelles in person and watch as they graze the grassy fields of Africa? With Africa Travel Co, you’ll be able to see various wildlife in their natural habitat when you book a safari trip to Africa! Give us a call or visit africatravelco.com to book your safari trip.

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