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Sitatunga
Asset 16

Sitatunga

Where to see Sitatunga in Tanzania

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

The top camps for seeing sitatunga in Tanzania

Based on 2 reports by our travellers since Aug 2018, visitors at these camps in Tanzania have the best chances of sighting sitatunga.


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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Our best Tanzania holidays for sitatunga sightings

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


More information about sitatunga in our other destinations

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


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