Roan Antelope | Botswana Wildlife Guide

Roan Antelope. Richard Miller

Roan Antelope [Hippotragus equines]

Best places to see Roan Antelopes in Botswana

Small groups of roan antelopes are found in the Chobe and Linyanti areas. They prefer wooded grassland with access to water. Occasionally some will wander as far as the drier parts of the Okavango Delta but that is something of a rarity.

Observations

The roan is the largest African antelope after the eland and could be confused with the regal sable antelope but it is more reddish in colour and the horns are not as long. The social structure of the roan antelope involves herds that vary in size according to the availability of food.

Roan antelope herds are usually led by an adult bull. Cows and calves occupy home ranges and dominant bulls will protect the herd from other intruding bulls. The roan bull does not defend a territory but rather the herd that he controls.

They are grazers of medium to long grass but have been seen to browse on occasions when conditions are bad. Calves are born throughout the year although seasonal peaks are known in some areas. The calf remains hidden for about two weeks during which time the mother will feed it in the morning and afternoon. The Roan is truly one of the most striking animals in Africa and are a highlight on any Botswana safari.

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