How to Watch Out for Mating Impala

Aug 8 2016
Ask anyone who has been to the Kruger National Park what their most common sighting was? And I believe the standard answer would be impala! “However seeing them mate is not all that common”, says Safwanah Guman, qualified field guide and photographer.  In fact this is her first time of such a sighting. A regular Latest Sightings app user (iPhone/iPad or Android) she was travelling on the S25 between Malelane Gate & Crocodile Bridge Gate when she approached a snorting male impala.
“Being the rutting season my mom suggested we wait as a female also appeared. We waited approximately 10-15 minutes as the male followed the female. And it was then he mounted her and they were mating”, says Safwanah. Perhaps it is in our hastiness of moving on from common sightings that we miss out on these miracles.  “We continued to watch them for approximately 30 minutes and in this time they mated about 4 times.”
During the rutting (roar) season impala rams will start fighting for territory and female dominance. Once a male wins over, he snorts and growls (which can often be mistaken for predators, and can be heard from a distance away) to maintain his territory. It is possible for males to lose dominance and stronger males to then take over.
By one years of age male impala have reached maturity, although successful mating only really occurs after 4 years. Mature males will establish territories and try to gain access to females. Females can conceive at about one year of age, and oestrous lasts for 24 - 48 hours, and occurs every 12-29 days. Gestation generally lasts 6-7 months after which the impala calf will be born. 
So, the next time you are in a game reserve during early winter months listen and watch out for snorting impala. 
Photography and commentary by Safwanah Guman

Instagram @safwanahguman

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