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Roan antelope
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Roan antelope

Roan in Africa

The roan is Africa’s second largest antelope and one of its most handsome, with a powerful build and distinctive markings. Wary of people, it is renowned for its bravery in fighting off predators.


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Quick facts about Roan antelope

Scientific name: Hippotragus equinus Habitat: Savannah woodland
IUCN status: Least Concern Adult weight: 180–300kg

The roan is the largest of the ‘horse-like’ antelope (Hippotraginae) and is indeed horse-like in stature, with a fawn coat and stiff mane. A relative of the slightly smaller sable antelope, it has a similar black-and-white face, but is paler, with shorter horns and tasselled ears.

Roan inhabit woodland savannah, where they graze on tall grasses and visit water daily to drink. A bull presides over a group of five to fifteen females and young, which he defends vigorously from rivals, going on his knees to strike sweeping blows with his horns – a technique also used against predators such as lions. A female keeps her single calf concealed in thick bush for the first month of its life.


1m

Max. horn length

1.4m

Bull’s shoulder height

1km2

Min. bull’s territory

±75%

Calf mortality

Africa's top camps for seeing roan

Based on 230 reports by our travellers since May 2018, the camps below have the best chances of sighting roan. Simply follow the key below.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for roan antelope

% of travellers who saw roan antelope

Top 10 camps for roan antelope

% of travellers who saw roan antelope

Where to see roan in Africa

Although the roan enjoys a wide distribution, it is relatively seldom seen. Shy and reclusive, this handsome antelope is most conspicuous when visiting waterholes. Allow it plenty of space or it may disappear.


Top tips for viewing roan

Roan occur widely but sparsely across Africa: to the north, they roam across the Sahel; further south, they occupy a discontinuous range from northern Tanzania to northern South Africa.

Nowhere are they numerous, however, and this remains one of the rarer antelopes seen on safari. Typically, small groups are seen when venturing warily out of cover to drink at a waterhole, often at mid-morning, before departing the same way. Roan are shy, so be prepared to enjoy your sighting from a distance rather than scare them away.

Good areas for sightings include Moremi (Botswana), Hwange (Zimbabwe) and Kafue (Zambia). Perhaps the most reliable viewing is on Malawi’s Nyika plateau, where larger herds graze the montane grasslands and are more approachable than usual.

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Holiday ideas to see roan

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


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Rock Hare Self-drive Safari

20 days • 12 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

An in-depth look at Namibia from the Namib Desert to Victoria Falls and everything in between. This three-week self-drive adventure includes unrivalled mix of environments and great value.

US$5,070 - US$6,430 per person

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Defassa Waterbuck Safari

9 days • 3 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Stay in three intimate, owner-run camps during this exploration of Kafue National Park. Remote locations, true wilderness and a range of activities make for a real adventure off the beaten track.

US$7,480 - US$7,500 per person

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Gorillas and migration

9 days • 3 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

This luxury safari combines two iconic wildlife experiences, firstly trekking the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, then flying to the northern Serengeti in search of the wildebeest migration and spectacular river crossings.

US$14,770 - US$19,300 per person

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Pied Kingfisher Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.

US$5,250 - US$7,070 per person

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Reedbuck safari

8 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Focussing on the Okavango Delta and combining the crème de la crème of Botswana’s camps – Zarafa, Vumbura Plains and Mombo – this is one of the finest safari experiences in Africa.

US$14,490 - US$27,160 per person

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Purple Roller Safari

8 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Explore the varied habitats and terrain of Kafue National Park with stays in two wonderfully remote bushcamps. Two sister-camps offer access to the park’s centre as well as the wildlife-rich Busanga Plains.

US$7,800 - US$7,800 per person

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Tsessebe safari

7 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit three sister-camps in and around Moremi Game Reserve during this thorough exploration of the Okavango Delta. A range of activities provide excellent opportunity to observe the local birdlife, mammals and fauna.

US$4,760 - US$8,880 per person

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Fringe-eared Oryx Fly-in Safari

7 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Stay in three superbly positioned camps during this exploration of Tanzania’s famous Northern circuit. Excellent views over the surrounding area, remoter locations and game-rich habitat make for an exciting and varied safari experience.

US$6,520 - US$10,870 per person

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Longclaw Fly-in Safari

7 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Explore the varied habitats of Tarangire National Park and the Serengeti from three luxurious and remote bush-camps. Enjoy bush walks and night drives, and keep watch for the great migration as you explore the iconic grasslands.

US$8,080 - US$10,470 per person

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Our top destinations for roan

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


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