Learn about all the types of African antelope in Africa. Complete guide covers every antelope species with tons of facts, photos, and videos. Full list by subfamily and tribe. And we’ll answer all your antelope questions.
African Antelope Guide
To get started, lets cover some important facts about African antelopes.
Following this section, you’ll find the full species and subspecies list of African antelopes.
How many types of antelopes in Africa?
There are 74 species of antelopes in Africa, according to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). And there are another 56 subspecies of antelopes.
In addition to the 74 types of antelope, IUCN also includes another 4 types of animals in their African Antelope Database.
These other animals include giraffe, okapi, water chevrotain, and African buffalo. So while these are ungulates that live in Africa, they are not antelopes.
Their inclusion in the database has created some confusion among travelers and many consider there to be 78 species of African antelope. Even this number is inaccurate, even if they were all antelopes. For example, there are actually 4 species of giraffes, not one as the database suggests.
How many species of antelopes are there?
Globally, there are 91 species of antelopes with the majority native to Africa.
You can also find antelopes on the Arabian Peninsula (Dorcas gazelle and Arabian oryx), Russia (Tibetan antelope and saiga), and India (blackbuck, chinkara, four-horned antelope, nilgai, and the Tibetan antelope).
There are no native types of antelopes in Australasia, America (more on the pronghorn below), Europe, or Antarctica.
What is an antelope?
Antelope is a miscellaneous species group (wastebasket taxon) in the Bovidae family. They are ruminants with even-toe hooves.
What is the most common African antelope?
The blue duiker (Philantomba monticola) is the most common African antelope, by population.
Blue duiker population is 7,000,000 and is considered conservative.
What about impalas? By contrast, the larger (and more famous) impala population is just 2,000,000. The springbok (2,000,000+) and Maxwell’s duiker (2,137,000) both have a higher population. But there are more blue duiker than the 3 next most common species combined.
The blue duiker is extant (resident) in the following countries: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo; Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
What is the smallest antelope in the world?
At just 6 lb (2.7 kg) the Royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus) is the world’s smallest antelope and ruminant. It is also the smallest ungulate in Africa.
It stands just 10 inches (25 cm) high and resembles a rabbit more than a typical antelope. Royal antelope population is just 62,000.
You can find the Royal antelope in western African, including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Learn more about the smallest African antelopes.
What is the largest antelope in Africa?
The giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus) is Africa’s largest antelope. Its length ranges from 7.2 to 9.5 ft (2.2 to 2.9 meters). And stands between 4.3 to 5.9 ft (1.3 to 1.8 meters) at the shoulder.
Giant elands are sexually dimorphic, with males being larger than females.
- Males: 880 to 2,200 lbs (400 to 1000 kg)
- Females: 660 to 1,320 lbs (300 to 600 kg)
Giant elands are spiral horned antelope. They can be found in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and Chad.
Learn more about the biggest African antelopes.
What are male and female antelopes called?
Male antelopes are called “rams” and females are called “ewes”. Some species are also known as “buck” (male) and “doe” (female).
Some larger antelopes, like the kudu, are called “bulls” and “cows”.
What is a baby antelope called?
Baby antelopes are called calves.
What is a bearded African antelope called?
A gnu is a bearded African antelope. It is also known as a wildebeest.
What is a group of antelopes called?
A group of antelopes is called a herd.
6 Most Endangered Antelope Species
More than a quarter (25 of 91) antelope species are threatened with extinction, according to IUCN. There are five species of antelope are in the highest category of threat, Critically Endangered,
- Dama Gazelle (Nanger dama)
- Aders’ Duiker (Cephalophus adersi)
- Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica)
- Hirola (Beatragus hunteri)
- Addax (Addax nasomaculatus).
- Scimitar Horned Oryx (Oryx dammah) is Extinct in the Wild. There are ongoing efforts to reintroduce it from captive populations.
The Dama Gazelle and Addax are both reduced to tiny remnant populations and highlight the dire situation for wildlife in the Sahelo-Saharan region.
What is the difference between pronghorn and antelope?
While having a similar appearance, pronghorn and antelope are taxonomically distinct.
Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) are even-toes ungulates native to central North America. Pronghorn are often known as American antelope, prong buck, pronghorn antelope, prairie antelope, or simply antelope.
Antelope are native to Africa, central Asia, India, and the Arabian Peninsula.
- Difference: Pronghorns shed their horns each year, making them more like antlers.
- Difference: Antelope don’t shed their horns.
- Similarity: Both are even-toed ungulates (hoofed animals).
- Similarity: Pronghorns resemble antelopes in appearance.
- Difference: Taxonomically speaking, antelopes are more similar to North American mountain goats than pronghorn.
There are no wild antelope in North America. The only place to see a true antelope in North America is at a zoo.
What is the difference between antelope and deer?
Antelopes below to the family Bovidae (along with sheep and cattle). Deer belong to the family Cervidae.
Male deer grow and shed antlers every year. Antelopes grow horns that are permanent. Deer antlers are branched while antelope horns aren’t.
Deer are found on all continents, with the exception of Australia and Antarctica. Antelope are found only in Africa and Eurasia.
Learn about the 6 differences between horns and antlers.
What is an African deer called?
The Barbary stag is the only native deer in Africa. It is also known as Atlas deer.
The Barbary stag is a subspecies of the red deer, found in North Africa and across Europe. The Barbary stag isn’t an antelope. It has antlers that are shed each year.
8 Antelope Subfamilies
Here is the breakdown of the eight antelope subfamilies.
- Subfamily Bovinae: Spiral-horned antelopes
- Tribe Tragelaphini: 9 Species, 4 Subspecies
- Subfamily Reduncinae (Rhebok, reedbucks, and waterbucks) 8 Species, 11 Subspecies
- Subfamily Peleinae: 1 Species
- Subfamily Alcelaphinae (Sassabies, hartebeests, and wildebeests) 7 Species, 19 Subspecies
- Subfamily Hippotraginae (Grazing antelope) 7 Species, 4 Subspecies
- Subfamily Aepycerotinae (Impala) 1 Species, 2 Subspecies
- Subfamily Antilopinae (Gazelles, dwarf antelopes)
- Tribe Antilopini: 10 Species, 4 Subspecies
- Tribe Ammodorcadini: 1 Species
- Tribe Neotragini: 13 Species, 4 Subspecies
- Subfamily Cephalophinae (Duiker) 17 Species, 7 Subspecies
All 74 African Antelope Species: Complete Guide
All antelopes fall under the Family Bovidae. This family classification also includes African buffalo, sheep, and domestic cattle.
Spiral-horned antelopes (Tribe Tragelaphini)
- Mountain Nyala
- Lesser Kudu
- Greater Kudu
- Common Eland
- Giant Eland
- Western Giant Eland
- Eastern Giant Eland
- Lowland Bongo
- Mountain Bongo
Rhebok, reedbucks, and waterbucks (Subfamily Reduncinae)
- Bohor Reedbuck
- Southern Reedbuck
- Mountain Reedbuck
- Western Mt. Reedbuck
- Chanler’s Mt. Reedbuck
- Southern Mt. Reedbuck
- Buffon’s Kob
- Uganda Kob
- White-eared Kob
- Ellipsen Waterbuck
- Defassa Waterbuck
- Red Lechwe
- Kafue Lechwe
- Black Lechwe
- Nile Lechwe
- Grey Rhebok
Sassabies, hartebeests, and wildebeests (Subfamily Alcelaphinae)
- Common Hartebeest
- Western Hartebeest
- Lelwel Hartebeest
- Tora Hartebeest
- Swayne’s Hartebeest
- Kenya Hartebeest
- Coke’s Hartebeest
- Red Hartebeest
- Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest
- Bontebok & Blesbok
- Tsessebe, Topi & Tiang
- Tsessebe (also known as sassaby)
- Coastal Topi
- Blue/White-bearded Wildebeest
- Blue Wildebeest
- Western White-b. Wildebeest
- Eastern White-b. Wildebeest
- Nyassa Wildebeest
- Cookson’s Wildebeest
- Black Wildebeest
Wildebeest is also called the Gnu, and belongs to the family Bovidae.
Grazing antelope (Subfamily Hippotraginae)
- Roan Antelope
- Sable Antelope
- Common Sable
- Giant Sable
- Beisa & Fringe-eared Oryx
- Beisa Oryx
- Fringe-eared Oryx
- Scimitar-horned Oryx
Impala (Subfamily Aepycerotinae)
- Common Impala
- Black-faced Impala
Gazelles, dwarf antelopes (Subfamily Antilopinae)
- Dorcas Gazelle
- Slender-horned Gazelle
- Red-fronted Gazelle
- Nominate Subspecies
- Heuglin’s Gazelle
- Thomson’s Gazelle
- Nominate Subspecies
- Mongalla Gazelle
- Speke’s Gazelle
- Grant’s Gazelle
- Soemmerring’s Gazelle
- Dama Gazelle
Dwarf Antelopes (Tribe Neotragini)
- Royal Antelope
- Bates’ Pigmy Antelope
- Cape Grysbok
- Sharpe’s Grysbok
- Salt’s Dikdik
- Silver Dikdik
- Guenther’s Dikdik
- Kirk’s Dikdik
- Haggard’s Oribi
- Other Subspecies
- Western Klipspringer
- Other Subspecies
Duiker (Subfamily Cephalophinae)
- Maxwell’s Duiker
- Blue Duiker
- Aders’ Duiker
- Bay Duiker
- Peters’ Duiker
- Nominate Subspecies
- Weyns’ Duiker
- White-bellied Duiker
- Ogilby’s Duiker
- Nominate Subspecies
- Brooke’s Duiker
- White-legged Duiker
- Black-fronted Duiker
- Rwenzori Black-fr. Duiker (found the Rwenzori Mountains)
- Other Subspecies
- Harvey’s Red Duiker
- Natal Red Duiker
- Black Duiker
- Red-flanked Duiker
- Zebra Duiker
- Abbott’s Duiker
- Yellow-backed Duiker
- Jentink’s Duiker
- Grey Duiker
4 Antelopes that Aren’t Actually Antelopes
As mentioned at the first of the post, the IUCN included some animals in their African Antelope Database that aren’t actually antelopes.
These animals are ungulates (hooved mammals) but not antelopes. I’m including these for comparison, but please remember that these are distinct from the above 74 African antelopes.
- Giraffe. Although listed as one in the database, these are actually classified as four distinct species. Here’s our guide to baby giraffes.
- Water Chevrotain
Family Bovidae > Subfamily Bovinae > Tribe Bovini
- African Buffalo
- W. African Savanna Buffalo
- Cen. African Savanna Buffalo
- Southern Savanna Buffalo
- Forest Buffalo
Watch African Antelopes in 4K
Watch more than three hours of 4K footage of a variety of antelopes from across Africa.
African Antelope Crossword Clues
Working on your crossword and need an answer for African antelope?
Here are some possible answers for the crossword clue: African antelope
- 3 letter answer: Gnu, Kob.
- 4 letter answer: Oryx, Puku.
- 5 letter answers: Eland, Nyala, Oribi, Bongo, Addax.
- 6 letter answer: Impala, Lechwe, Dikdik, Duiker.
Planning to spot these in the wild? You’ll want a solid camera setup. Here are my recommendations for the best safari camera.
Antelopes are some of the fastest animals on the planet.
Have a question about African antelope? Or maybe a fact to share? Join me below!
- About the Author
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Hi, I’m Bryan Haines. And I’m a co-founder of Storyteller.Travel. I’m a traveler and photographer.
I also blog about photography on Storyteller Tech.
How to Edit Blog Posts You Didn't Write (6 Steps) Format, SEO, Readability - Storyteller Media
Monday 17th of January 2022
[…] seen this happen many times. For example, the color of hippo milk (no, it isn’t pink) and the types of antelopes (there are just 74, not 78) are frequently cited incorrectly. One inaccuracy gets perpetuated by […]
Sunday 29th of August 2021
Thanks for taking the time to note the distinctions. Helpful!
Monday 30th of August 2021