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 open now

User menu
Sable antelope
Asset 15

Sable antelope

Where to see Sable antelope in Zimbabwe

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.


About image

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 Zimbabwe

Based on 54 reports by our travellers since Jun 2018, visitors at these camps in Zimbabwe 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.

image

Our best Zimbabwe holidays for sable antelope sightings

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


Itinerary image

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$4,810 - US$6,130 per person

Itinerary image

Great Egret Safari

12 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A wonderfully varied adventure to Botswana and Zimbabwe combining three fantastic safari areas, a luxury river cruise and the mighty Victoria Falls.

US$7,210 - US$11,600 per person

Itinerary image

Ground Hornbill Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO BULAWAYO AIRPORT

Two authentic wilderness camps in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, renowned for their guiding and excellent walking safari, before some culture, a little luxury and rhino tracking in nearby Matobo.

US$4,890 - US$6,820 per person

Itinerary image

Nyala Safari

10 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A superb luxury safari in iconic Hwange and Mana Pools National Parks staying in a pair of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe, with a grand finale at Victoria Falls.

US$8,950 - US$12,070 per person

Itinerary image

Grysbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

Discover three of Zimbabwe’s most iconic destinations in style, flying between Hwange, Mana Pools and Lake Kariba on this varied safari adventure staying at authentic yet luxurious camps.

US$6,640 - US$9,160 per person

Itinerary image

Bat Hawk Safari

7 days • 2 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO JOHANNESBURG AIRPORT

Explore two areas revered by safari enthusiasts with some of Africa’s best walking and some superb guiding – even by Zimbabwe’s high standards – for a varied and wonderfully immersive wilderness experience.

US$6,820 - US$7,840 per person

Itinerary image

Pygmy Mouse Self-drive Safari

18 days • 10 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A truly epic southern African self-drive safari adventure from Namibia’s mountains and deserts, along the lush Caprivi Strip to Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe staying at luxury lodges throughout.

US$4,950 - US$6,830 per person

Itinerary image

Buffalo Safari

9 days • 3 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Combining Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools and Hwange National Parks with stays at intimate six-tent safari camps offering excellent walking, canoeing and game drives. Superb wildlife viewing and a real wilderness-focussed experience.

US$5,410 - US$7,220 per person

Itinerary image

Side-striped Jackal Safari

6 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Get an in-depth experience of Zimbabwe’s colossal Hwange National Park, staying at two experience-focused camps with excellent guiding in contrasting areas. An adventurous safari for the real enthusiast.

US$3,180 - US$4,220 per person

View all holidays to Zimbabwe

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.


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