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Where to see Sitatunga in Zambia

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.


Length of front hooves


Range countries


Plant species recorded in diet


Record horn length

The top camps for seeing sitatunga in Zambia

Based on 5 reports by our travellers since Jan 2019, visitors at these camps in Zambia 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.


Our best Zambia holidays for sitatunga sightings

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

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Fruit Bat Safari

6 days • 2 locations

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$4,980 - US$5,530 per person

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Purple Roller Safari

8 days • 2 locations

Explore the varied habitats and terrain of Kafue National Park with stays in two wonderfully remote bushcamps: sister camps that offer access to both the centre of the park and the wildlife-rich Busanga Plains.

US$8,790 - US$9,320 per person

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Defassa Waterbuck Safari

9 days • 3 locations

Stay in three intimate, owner-run camps during this exploration of Kafue National Park. Remote locations, true wilderness and a range of activities make for a real adventure off the beaten track.

US$8,240 - US$8,670 per person

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Puku Safari

11 days • 3 locations

Discover South Luangwa’s prolific wildlife before exploring the wildly remote pans of Liuwa Plain National Park and relaxing in one of the Livingstone area’s most romantic and exclusive hideaways. A safari of luxury, style and impressive diversity.

US$13,200 - US$18,440 per person

View all holidays to Zambia

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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