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Sable antelope
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Sable antelope

Where to see Sable antelope in Tanzania

The sable is one of Africa’s most handsome antelope and renowned for its combative nature, able even to face down lions. Shy, and restricted in range, sightings of this species are always special.


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Quick facts about Sable antelope

Scientific name: Hippotragus niger Habitat: Savannah woodland
IUCN status: Least Concern Adult weight: 220–235kg

The sable belongs to the ‘horse-like’ antelope tribe (Hippotraginae), along with oryx and the slightly larger roan. Scientists recognise four subspecies, among which the giant sable of Angola is Critically Endangered.

Adult males are a striking glossy black, with a white belly and badger-like white face stripes. Their majestic profile is accentuated by a powerful neck and long, backward-arching horns. Females and young are slimmer and chestnut-brown, with shorter horns.

Small herds of females and young, accompanied by a single bull, frequent moist savanna woodland, where they both browse and graze. Males defend the herd against predators, going down on their knees to strike sweeping blows with their horns. They are known to have killed lions.


165cm

Record horn length (male)

3 years

Age at which young male leaves natal herd

11

Range countries

50–60,000

Estimated population (IUCN, 2017)

The top camps for seeing sable antelope in Tanzania

Based on 7 reports by our travellers since Aug 2018, visitors at these camps in Tanzania have the best chances of sighting sable antelope.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for sable antelope

% of travellers who saw sable antelope

Top 10 camps for sable antelope

% of travellers who saw sable antelope

Where to see sable in Africa

Sable range from south-eastern Kenya to northern South Africa. Always quick to retreat from disturbance, they are among more prized antelope sightings on safari.


Top tips for viewing sable

Sable are never easy to find. The largest populations occur in the miombo and mopane woodland belts of southern Tanzania, western Zambia and northern Zimbabwe and Botswana. Top spots include Selous (Tanzania), Hwange and Matopos (Zimbabwe), Moremi (Botswana) and Liwonde (Malawi), while a small herd in Kenya’s Shimba Hills National Reserve also offer reliable viewing.

Like roan, their close cousins, sable seldom linger in the open, but their daily visits to water offer an opportunity to observe the herd, with youngsters shepherded carefully among the adults. Be content to watch from a distance, as the noise of vehicles will often send them retreating towards cover. Lone bulls may be confident enough to allow a closer approach.

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Our best Tanzania holidays for sable antelope sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Tanzania safaris are likely to give the best sable antelope sightings


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Jackal Fly-in Safari

8 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Enjoy a range of activities during this ultra-luxurious fly-in safari. Explore the remoter regions of Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve with phenomenal guides during stays at two impressively comfortable camps that remain perfectly in-keeping with their surroundings.

US$6,460 - US$7,910 per person

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Turaco Safari

12 days • 4 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

This top-value holiday idea combines two safari areas with a week on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. Photograph lions and elephants, then relax under the palms on a powder sand beach.

US$4,550 - US$5,030 per person

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Dwarf Mongoose Fly-in Safari

6 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Stay in two eco-friendly, rustic bush camps in the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park. Remote wilderness, a diversity of habitats and a good range of activities are available in these two wildlife havens.

US$4,100 - US$4,550 per person

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Red Colobus Monkey Safari

11 days • 3 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

This luxury holiday suggestion combines a wildlife safari in Ruaha National Park with a week on Zanzibar, exploring Stone Town’s narrow streets and relaxing on a palm-shaded beach.

US$5,260 - US$6,510 per person

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Marabou Stork Fly-in Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Four luxurious camps enable exploration of Tanzania’s north and southern regions. With a range of land and water-based activities available throughout, decidedly comfortable accommodation and applicable long-stay discounts, this adventurous safari is excellent value.

US$13,390 - US$18,440 per person

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Chimpanzee Fly-in Safari

8 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Combining two of the remotest parks in Tanzania, this safari can deliver extraordinary wildlife viewing in Katavi, and East Africa's best chimp treks, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

US$8,450 - US$11,770 per person

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Topi Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Explore Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park from two luxurious, colonially styled camps. Chosen for their access to good game viewing and thrilling remoteness, these camps also offer a range of varied safari activities.

US$5,460 - US$5,460 per person

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Spotted Hyena Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Stay in one of the Selous’s best safari camps before experiencing a truly authentic tented camp in Ruaha. Remote locations, superb guiding and a range of activities await guests during this comfortable fly-in safari.

US$6,360 - US$8,730 per person

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Yellow Baboon Fly-In Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Two authentic bushcamps offer access to Ruaha’s remote wildernesses. Explore the heart of the park’s best game-viewing as well as its largely untouched eastern fringes in almost utter isolation. Walking safaris, day and night 4WD drives, fly-camping and superb guiding heighten your immersion in nature.

US$6,630 - US$7,320 per person

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Superb Starling Fly-In Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Two smartly luxurious sister-camps allow exploration of the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park. Situated in wildlife-rich locations, the camps offer a range of land and water-based activities, a superb standard of guiding and access to beautifully contrasting landscapes.

US$6,930 - US$9,310 per person

View all holidays to Tanzania

More information about sable antelope in our other destinations

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


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