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Gerenuk in Africa

With its slender frame and extraordinarily long neck, this unmistakable East African antelope superficially resembles an attenuated impala. A specialist browser, it often stands on its back legs to extend its reach.

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Quick facts about Gerenuk

Scientific name: Litocranius walleri Habitat: Flat, dry thornbush
IUCN status: Near Threatened Adult weight: 28–52kg

Gerenuk are closely related to gazelles, and have a similar tawny and fawn coat, but belong in a separate genus.

Occurring only in East Africa, these slender, large-eyed antelope inhabit dry bush country, where they use their specialised physique – notably long legs, and an exceptionally long neck – to browse at a height that other similar-sized herbivores can’t reach. They will even use their front legs to drag foliage down within nibbling reach.

Gerenuk are diurnal and generally form groups of two to six. Adult males – distinguished by their lyre-shaped horns – usually keep to themselves, marking their territory using their pre-orbital scent glands. The hornless females produce a single calf after seven months, giving birth in a secluded spot.


Length of male’s horns


Home range


Max browsing height


Countries in which it occurs

Africa's top camps for seeing gerenuk

Based on 89 reports by our travellers since May 2018, the camps below have the best chances of sighting gerenuk. Simply follow the key below.

Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

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Top 10 camps for gerenuk

% of travellers who saw gerenuk

Top 10 camps for gerenuk

% of travellers who saw gerenuk

Where to see gerenuk in Africa

Gerenuks (pronounced with a hard g) are relatively easy to find in the few East African reserves where they occur. Once spotted, their build and behaviour renders them unmistakable.

Top tips for viewing gerenuk

To find a gerenuk, you should search the reserves of northern/central Kenya, notably Samburu and Meru. Smaller numbers also occur in the Laikipia region, Tsavo East and south to Tanzania’s Tarangire.

Where present, gerenuk are not hard to find – small groups typically browsing among thorny thickets and often performing their signature trick of standing on their back legs. It is always worth double-checking any glimpse of what appears to be a half-concealed impala. There is no point staking out waterholes, however, as gerenuk get all their water from their food.

Spend time around these antelope and you may find that they are surprisingly vocal, making alarm whistles, bleats and other communication calls. Today some 95,000 gerenuk remain; habitat loss is their greatest conservation threat.


Holiday ideas to see gerenuk

Based on our travellers experiences, these are the holidays which will give you the best chances of good gerenuk sightings

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Black Kite Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations

Explore Kenya in-depth with visits to Nairobi and Meru national parks, the Mara Conservancies and Amboseli. Nestled in remoter regions, four camps provide fantastic access to rich game, a range of activities and beautifully diverse landscapes.

US$9,260 - US$11,960 per person

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Gabar Goshawk Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations

Experience Amboseli, the Maasai Mara ecosystem and Laikipia during this economically priced safari. Two simple camps offer adventure before a stopover in Nairobi and a final stay in the charming, wildlife-rich Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge.

US$5,800 - US$6,090 per person

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Elephant Safari

10 days • 3 locations

This example of a mid-range Kenya safari and beach trip explores the wildlife of Tsavo West's volcanic plains and woodlands, Tsavo East's immense plains and the white-sand beaches and lush environment of Diani Beach.

US$5,110 - US$5,770 per person

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Lanner Falcon Fly-In Safari

8 days • 3 locations

Three sister camps offer access to wonderfully remote regions across northern Kenya and the Maasai Mara ecosystem. Enjoy an exclusive safari experience focused on great wildlife, superb guiding and considerable comfort, with a range of activities.

US$6,620 - US$8,400 per person

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Steppe Eagle Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations

Two comfortable tented camps overlooking the Ewaso Nyiro and Mara River put you at the heart of the action. Experience spectacular diversity in species and habitat with safari in Samburu and the Masaai Mara National Reserve.

US$5,680 - US$8,620 per person

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Peregrine Falcon Fly-In Safari

6 days • 2 locations

Discover two of Kenya’s quieter wildlife havens with visits to Meru National Park and Mara North Conservancy. Top-quality sister camps provide considerable comfort and a range of activities by which to explore the game-rich surroundings.

US$6,910 - US$8,320 per person

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Golden Weaver Fly-In Safari

6 days • 2 locations

A rustic, adventurous week on safari with great community involvement that offers incredible value for money in two very different locations – the Amboseli and Maasai Mara ecosystems.

US$3,280 - US$3,440 per person

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De Brazza Monkey Fly-in Safari

9 days • 3 locations

Enjoy a range of activities in the remote wilderness of northern Kenya before exploring the wildlife-rich plains of the Mara ecosystem. Private vehicles and guides heighten the personalisation of this highly immersive safari.

US$12,310 - US$16,320 per person

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Our top destinations for gerenuk

Click below for detailed information about gerenuk in these countries, including our latest sightings data from the camps and lodges there.

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