Many scientists, taxonomists and experts in the evolutionary field consider the Impala the archetypical antelope; with it’s body form bearing resemblance to many other bovids. A hugely successful antelope remaining almost unchanged since the Miocene (6.5 million years). One stratergy, amongst many, which the Impala uses is to breed en masse at a very specific time of the year.
We are merely days away from this very special and exciting time of the year…Impala lambing season. Already the first little Impala has been seen walking hesitantly around following it’s mothers every step. Afraid to leave mom’s shadow and still daunted at the prospect of the life ahead. Possibly just an outlier but rest assured the rest will shortly follow suite.
So many obstacles lie in the way for these little creatures but with them they bring huge hope, joy and inspiration. They are delightful to watch and every sighting of an Impala lamb brings a tingle of happiness and a blessing to each drive.
Rangers, trackers and guests alike are all hoping to witness a remarkable birthing event…an event which is truly mind-blowing, life changing and unforgettable. It reminds me of this time a year ago.. I had the most gifted experience in being fortunate enough to watch not only the birthing but the first steps of an Impala. The exquisite introduction to a whole new world. Have a look at the footage captured on that drive back in November 2010.
A scene like this is a once in a lifetime event, it requires hours of patience, perfect timing, massive respect and most of all… barrel loads of luck. Gary Player, arguably South Africa’s greatest ever golfer once said “the more you practise the luckier you get”…I change these words slightly… “the more time you spend in the bush watching animals, the luckier you get”. To get the rewards you have to do the time… to give yourself the slightest of chances of seeing an impala giving birth you have to be here!
Written by Adam Bannister
Photographed by: Adam Bannister
Filmed by: Steven Foreman (Londolozi Guest)
Very lovely pictures!!!! Doesn’t the Impala lambing season also signal a time of plenty for the predators of Londolozi (in particular leopard and wild-dog)…? I’m sure that this season is not only a time that the blog team is anticipating but is also an important part in the cycle of life within the reserve itself. They (the impala lambs) are quite cute and all, but it’s a sobering fact to consider they might turn into someone’s meal…!!!
Their faces are hilarious and too adorable all at once. And not only is it a beautiful time for guests and guides alike – but the “lucky boys” entertaining a harem of females around the clock has got to be a highlight of their year 😉
Enchanting Adam, and as you say, so emotional and indeed a privilege to witness a new life ….
loved your footage of the impala’s first steps…nature is extraordinary. What a gift to be its witness…. and to notice. xxx