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Sitatunga
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Sitatunga

Sitatunga in Africa

The sitatunga is the most aquatic of Africa’s antelopes and specially adapted to its swampy habitats. Though widespread across the continent, only a handful of places offer reliable sightings.


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Quick facts about Sitatunga

Scientific name: Tragelaphus spekeii Habitat: Swamps and swamp forest
IUCN status: Least Concern Adult weight: 24–119kg

The sitatunga belongs to the spiral-horned antelope tribe (Tragelaphini) and somewhat resembles a plainer, shaggier nyala. The size of a large goat, males are dark brown with twisted horns, and females and young are rufous, patterned with white spots and stripes.

Sitatunga differ from their relatives in their uniquely semi-aquatic lifestyle: they inhabit swampy wetlands and may partially immerse themselves to browse on water plants or escape from predators. Their long fur is water resistant, and their exceptionally long, splayed hooves help them negotiate boggy terrain.

A reclusive species, sitatunga feed in small family parties largely at dawn and dusk, resting up in hidden clearings during the middle of the day.


18cm

Length of front hooves

25

Range countries

±40

Plant species recorded in diet

92cm

Record horn length

Africa's top camps for seeing sitatunga

Based on 26 reports by our travellers since Jun 2018, the camps below have the best chances of sighting sitatunga. Simply follow the key below.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for sitatunga

% of travellers who saw sitatunga

Top 10 camps for sitatunga

% of travellers who saw sitatunga

Where to see sitatunga in Africa

Much of Africa’s sitatunga population inhabits inaccessible equatorial regions. Visit the right locations, however, and you might get a lucky glimpse of these shy antelope.


Top tips for viewing Sitatunga

The equatorial swamp forests of central Africa that harbour much of the continent’s sitatunga population remain off the map for most safari-goers. However, sightings are possible in several special locations. These include Saiwa Swamp (Kenya), Bigodi Wetlands (Uganda) and Kasanka National Park (Zambia). The last of these has viewing hides, from where you can observe sitatunga venture into the open at dawn and dusk. Botswana’s Okavango Delta is also a stronghold. Here, sightings are most likely when exploring the waterways by mokoro.

Good photographic opportunities are rare – your encounter may just be a splash or a brief glimpse of a retreating shaggy rump – but in a few tourist areas the animals have become more habituated. Ask your guide for advice.

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Holiday ideas to see sitatunga

Based on our travellers recent observations, these are the holidays which will give you the best chances of sitatunga sightings


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Fruit Bat Safari

6 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Offering a highly specialised experienced, this safari uses two simple bases for access to South Luangwa and Kasanka National Parks. Visit between October and December when you will witness the world’s largest mammalian migration of millions of fruit bats.

US$4,520 - US$4,780 per person

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Ground Squirrel Safari

7 days • 2 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Experiencing the wilderness with an engaging guide whilst staying in a private mobile camp is often the highlight of a safari. Combine that with a charming camp overlooking the Okavango Delta and you’re onto a winner!

US$5,370 - US$7,300 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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Steenbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A classic Botswana safari exploring the Moremi, Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta. Excellent wildlife viewing and a variety of activities from three of our favourite traditional tented camps.

US$6,110 - US$9,500 per person

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Wild Dog Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KASANE AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

An in-depth discovery of northern Botswana’s wilderness, from Chobe and the private Kwando Reserve to the Moremi and iconic Okavango Delta with a great variety of activities and wildlife.

US$9,180 - US$15,600 per person

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Porcupine safari

11 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit dramatically contrasting landscapes boasting a variety of species during this exploration of Botswana’s top-safari destinations. A combination of national parks and private reserves allows for a range of activities.

US$9,000 - US$13,570 per person

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Large-spotted Genet safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A luxury safari exploring the Okavango Delta and Linyanti-Savuti, two of the best wildlife viewing areas in Botswana, staying at three top camps renowned for their guiding for a first-class experience.

US$8,470 - US$16,610 per person

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Mopane Squirrel Safari

6 days • 2 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit two wildlife-rich private reserves in an exploration of the Okavango and Kwando regions. Sister-camps Splash and Lagoon camp provide a range of immersive activities, and their long-stay discounts make for an excellent-value safari.

US$4,660 - US$8,320 per person

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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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Our top destinations for sitatunga

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


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