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Oryx
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Oryx

Where to see Oryx in Kenya

Oryx are impressive antelopes, with a powerful physique and elegant markings set off by rapier-like horns. Adapted to arid habitats, they cut a distinctive dash in some of Africa’s harshest landscapes.


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Quick facts about Oryx

Scientific name: Oryx beisa and Oryx gazella Habitat: Arid savannah
IUCN status: Endangered (O.b) /Least Concern (O.g) Adult weight: 120–210kg (O.b) /180–240kg (O.g)

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to two species of oryx: the endangered East African oryx (O. beisa), which occurs in two subspecies; and Oryx gazella, the gemsbok (pronounced “hemsbok”), its slightly larger and more numerous south-west African cousin.

Both are sturdy, short-legged members of the Hippotraginae antelope tribe, with a pale grey or fawn coat, smart black markings and impressively long, straight horns that are slimmer but slightly longer in females. Gemsbok have more extensive black markings.

Adapted to arid savannah, both species generally form groups of 10–40, supplementing their grazing during the dry season by digging up tubers and other underground plants. Dominant bulls clash horns in jousts with territorial rivals.


1.25m

Record horn length

3.5 months

Age calves develop adult markings

3 weeks

Duration mothers hide new-born calves

45%

Gemsbok population on private land

The top camps for seeing oryx in Kenya

Based on 24 reports by our travellers since May 2018, visitors at these camps in Kenya have the best chances of sighting oryx.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for oryx

% of travellers who saw oryx

Top 10 camps for oryx

% of travellers who saw oryx

Where to see oryx in Africa

Gemsbok are easily seen in the Kalahari regions of southern Africa and abundant on private reserves. The East African oryx takes more finding, but occurs in suitable habitat across Kenya and Tanzania.


Top tips for viewing oryx

A line of gemsbok cresting the apricot dunes of the Namib desert is one of Africa’s picture-book wildlife spectacles. This antelope is synonymous with the thirst-lands of the southwest, ranging from Namibia east across the greater Kalahari. Top spots include the Etosha and Namib-Naukluft national parks (Namibia), Central Kalahari Game Reserve (Botswana) and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Botswana/South Africa).

Look out for their distinctive large-hooved tracks in the sand. Habituated gemsbok are surprisingly approachable, and you should take care on foot, as some individuals can be aggressive.

The East African fringe-eared oryx (O.b callotis) occurs as far south as Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, while in Kenya, the Laikipia conservancies, Samburu Reserve and Meru National Park are home to the endangered northern subspecies (O.b. beisa), known as beisa oryx.

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Our best Kenya holidays for oryx sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Kenya safaris are likely to give the best oryx sightings


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Gabar Goshawk Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

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$4,790 - US$4,790 per person

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Lanner Falcon Fly-In Safari

8 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

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

US$6,170 - US$8,220 per person

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Steppe Eagle Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

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$4,020 - US$6,430 per person

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Golden Weaver Fly-In Safari

5 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

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$2,830 - US$2,830 per person

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Black Kite Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

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$8,380 - US$9,630 per person

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Martial Eagle Fly-in Safari

9 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

This stylish fly-in safari visits two of Africa’s most iconic parks, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

US$10,500 - US$14,310 per person

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Peregrine Falcon Fly-In Safari

6 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

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$5,710 - US$6,550 per person

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De Brazza Monkey Fly-in Safari

9 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

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$9,700 - US$11,350 per person

View all holidays to Kenya

More information about oryx in our other destinations

Click here for detailed information about oryx in other countries, including the places for sighting oryx.


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