window spacer


The roan (Hippotragus equinus, Korongo) is one of Africa's lesser known antelopes, although among the most spectacular. It is the second biggest antelope (only the eland is bigger), averaging about five feet (30cm) at the shoulder. Color is variable, depending on location. Dry area populations tend to a pale honey color, whereas those in wetter areas are more reddish. The horns are robust, arcing back about three feet in mature males.

Roan herds are relatively small, averaging ten related females. These range in a territory accompanied by a lone dominant male. Unlike other antelopes individuals within a herd tend to maintain a distance from each other, avoiding large aggregations.

Dueling males bash horns together, and may drop to their knees while delivering the blow. Gestation of young takes nine to ten months, and during birth the mother leaves the herd. After about a week she returns, with the calf who receives attention from other females.

The roan favor mixed savannas with grassy areas among rolling uplands interspersed with bush and forest. They favor grasses, only rarely browsing.

The roan is rarer than other antelopes, and their numbers have diminished in recent years. It appears they do not respond well to disturbance, and if moved, find it difficult to recolonize new territories. They are especially prone to loss of habitat due to cows and goats, which are spreading with the growth in Africa's population. However, the roan is widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa and appears safe from extinction for now.


Top of page

back to the roan photo

Click for the roan photo

Back to African animals

© Jungle Photos 2000-2014

window spacer