This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu
Roan antelope
Asset 2

Roan antelope

Where to see Roan antelope in South 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.


About image

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

The top camps for seeing roan antelope in South Africa

Based on 1 reports by our travellers since Jun 2018, visitors at these camps in South Africa have the best chances of sighting roan antelope.


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.

image

Our best South Africa holidays for roan antelope sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for South Africa safaris are likely to give the best roan antelope sightings


Itinerary image

Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

19 days • 10 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Journey from South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town to central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve during this self-driven safari. The route passes through a stunning variety of landscapes, offering access to this beautiful continent’s rich diversity.

US$3,450 - US$3,540 per person

Itinerary image

Leopard Safari

13 days • 4 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town – a classic southern African itinerary combining luxury, wilderness, safari and culture. We can't think of a better way to spend two weeks.

US$8,120 - US$11,080 per person

Itinerary image

The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$12,520 - US$15,130 per person

View all holidays to South Africa

More information about roan antelope in our other destinations

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


Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team