Sawari Game Lodge

Plains Game

Here are some of the Plains Game you can expect see at Sawari



The Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all land living animal species. Males can be 4.8 to 5.5 metres (16 to 18 feet) tall and weigh up to 900 kilograms (2000 pounds). Females are generally slightly shorter and weigh less. Native to Africa, the Giraffe is related to deer and cattle, but is placed in a separate family, the Giraffidae, consisting only of the giraffe and its closest relative, the Okapi. Giraffes are famous for their long necks which allow them to browse on the leaves of trees, and elongated forelegs (which appear much longer than the hind legs, but in reality, are only 1/10th longer). The bony structure of the neck is essentially unchanged from that of other mammals: there are no extra vertebrae, but each of the seven bones is greatly enlarged. Bone constitutes the bud-like horns called ossicorns, which are covered with the Giraffe's skin like the rest of the skull.


Large Plains Game - Giraffe



Plains Zebras are mid-sized and thick-bodied with relatively short legs. Adults of both sexes stand about 1.4 metres high at the shoulder, are approximately 2.3 metres long, and weigh about 230 kg. Like all zebras, they are boldly striped in black and white and no two individuals look exactly alike. Plains Zebras are highly social and usually form small family groups consisting of a single stallion, one, two, or several mares, and their recent offspring. Groups are permanent, and group size tends to vary with habitat: in poor country the groups are small. From time to time, Plains Zebra families group together into large herds, both with one another and with other grazing species, notably wildebeests. Plains Zebras prefer but do not require short grass to graze on. In consequence, they range more widely than many other species, even into woodland, and they are often the first grazing species to appear in a well-vegetated area. Only after zebras have cropped and trampled the long grasses do wildebeests and gazelles move in. Nevertheless, for protection from predators, Plains Zebras retreat into open areas with good visibility at night time, and take it in turns standing watch. They eat a wide range of different grasses, preferring young, fresh growth where available, and also browse on leaves and shoots from time to time.


Large Plains Game - Zebra


Blue Wildebeest

The Blue Wildebeest belongs to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, and other even-toed horned ungulates. Wildebeest grow to 1.15–1.4 metres (3'9"–4'7") at the shoulder and weigh between 150 and 250 kilograms. (330 and 550 pounds) They inhabit the plains and open woodlands of southern Africa, especially the Serengeti. Wildebeest can live for more than 20 years. The principal foodstuff of wildebeest are grasses. The seasonal nature of the African grasslands forces wildebeest to make annual migrations. The main migration is in May, when around 1.5 million animals move from the plains to the woods; they return in November as summer rains water the plains.


Large Plains Game - Blue Wildebeest



The Eland is the world's largest antelope. Males have twisted horns which are thick and tightly spiralled, growing up to 25" in females and to 50" in males. Herbivorous, browsers and grazers, Eland usually feed in areas where shrubs and bushes provide the leaves they prefer. Eland use their horns to bring twigs and branches into reach. They are also known to consume large bulbs and tuberous roots. Elands belong to the same group as kudus, nyalas and bushbuck. Size: About 70 inches. Weight: 1,300 to 1,500 pounds.


Large Plains Game - Eland


Kudu (Greater and Cape)

The greater kudu is considered by many to be the most handsome of the tragelaphine antelopes, which includes the bongo, eland, nyala, bushbuck and sitatunga. Kudus, both the greater kudu and its close cousin the lesser kudu, have stripes and spots on the body, and most have a chevron of white hair on the forehead between the eyes. Greater and lesser kudu males have long, spiral horns; occasionally a female will have small ones. The greater kudu's horns are spectacular and can grow as long as 72 inches, making 2 1/2 graceful twists. These beautifully shaped horns have long been prized in Africa for use as musical instruments, honey containers and symbolic ritual objects. Female greater kudus are noticeably smaller than the males. By contrast, lesser kudus are even smaller, about 42 inches at the shoulder; males weigh around 220 pounds while females generally weigh about 50 pounds less. Lesser kudus have smaller horns than the greater kudus and conspicuous white patches on the upper and lower parts of the neck. Although both species are bluish-gray, grayish-brown or rust color, the lesser has five to six more lateral white stripes, for a total of 11 to 15. Both species have a crest of long hair along the spine, and greater kudus also have a fringe under the chin.


Large Plains Game - Kudu



An Oryx is one of three or four large antelope species of the genus Oryx, typically having long straight nearly upright horns. Newborn calves can run with the herd immediately after birth. Both males and females have permanent, narrow, straight horns. These horns are quite dangerous, and the oryx has been known to kill lions with them. The Oryx, when seen from the side, appears to have only one single horn which leads to speculations that it is probably the animal initially mistaken for Unicorn myths.


Large Plains Game - Oryx



The Nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) is a South African antelope. The male stands up to 3.5 feet (110 cm), the female is up to 3 feet tall. The male has loosely spiraled horns and a long fringe on throat and underparts, the female has no horns and no noticeable fringe. The male is dark brown, white on the face and neck, and vertical white stripes on the body. The female is reddish brown with clear striping. Nyalas live alone or in small groups in forests.


Large Plains Game - Nyala



The Sable Antelope stands 120 to 140 centimetres at the shoulder and weigh 200 to 270 kilograms, males being larger than females. Female Sable Antelope are chestnut to dark brown darkening as they mature while males are very distinctively black. Both sexes have a white underbelly, white cheeks and a white chin. They have a shaggy mane on the back of their neck. Sable antelope have ringed horns which arch backward, in females these can reach a metre, but in males they can reach over one and a half metres. Sable Antelope live in wooded savannah where they eat mid-length grass and leaves. They are diurnal but are less active during the heat of the day. Sable Antelope form herds of ten to thirty females and calves led by a single male. Sable Antelope males will fight among themselves; they drop to their knees and use their horns.


Large Plains Game - Sable



Roan Antelope stand about a metre and half at the shoulder and weigh around 250 kilograms. Roan Antelope are a roan colour with a lighter underbelly, white eyebrows and cheeks and a black face, lighter in females. there is a short erect mane and a very light beard. The horns are ringed and can reach a metre long in males, slightly shorter in females. They arch backwards slightly. Roan Antelope are found in grasslands where they eat mid-length grass. They form harem groups of five to fifteen animals with a dominant male. Roan Antelope commonly fight among themselves for dominance of their herd, brandishing their horns while both animals are on their knees.


Large Plains Game - Roan



Waterbuck stand 190 to 210 centimetres at the shoulder and weigh from 160 to 240 kilograms. Their coats are reddish brown in colour and become progressively darker with age; they also have a white 'bib' under their throats and a white ring on their rumps surrounding their tails. The long spiral structured horns sweep back and up, they are found only in males. Waterbuck are found in scrub and savannah areas near water where they eat grass. Despite their name it seems that Waterbuck do not like to enter the water. Waterbuck are diurnal. Females gather in herds of between two and six hundred individuals. Males keep territories of around three hundred acres (1.2 km²) during their prime. They usually lose their territories before the age of ten.



Large Plains Game - Waterbuck


Red Hartebeest

The Hartebeest stands almost 1.5 m (5 ft) at the shoulder and weighs anywhere from 120-200 kg (265-440 lb). Male Hartebeest are a dark brown colour while females are yellow brown. The horns found in both sexes curve outwards, then forewards, and then backward. They can reach a length of 70 cm (27 in). Hartebeest live in grassland and open forest where they eat grass. They are diurnal and spend the morning and late afternoon eating. Herds contain five to twenty individuals but can occasionally contain up to three hundred and fifty.


Medium Plains Game - Red Hartebeest



The blesbok, or blesbuck, Damaliscus dorcas philippsi, is an ANTELOPE, in the family Bovidae, order Artiodactyla. It is about 140 cm (55 in) long and 85 cm (34 in) high at the shoulders, with a sloping back. The blesbok weighs about 113.5 kg (250 lb) and has a soft, reddish brown coat, a brown rump, and dark-brown legs. Both sexes have backward-curved, lyre-shaped horns. Blesboks are native to arid grasslands of southern Africa and are one of the fastest antelope in Africa, running low off the ground.


Medium Plains Game - Blesbuck



An impala is a medium-sized African antelope, weighing about 50 kg. Reddish-brown in colour with lighter flanks, it has a white underbelly. The male has lyre-shaped horns. Impala are among the most beautiful and graceful of the antelopes. They can normally be found foreging around the Butagee of South Africa. They are among the dominant species in many savannas. Exceedingly agile, impala are capable of leaping over 10 m in a single bound. They are gregarious creatures and are usually found in herds, often a male with many females. They are common throughout Southern Africa. Their food consists of a mixture of grasses and woody species. Many species of predators eat impala. This fact, and the distinctive M shape on the backside gave the impala its nickname as "the McDonalds of the African plains"



Medium Plains Game - Impala



The Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) is an antelope that is found in forest and woodland throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Bushbuck stand about 90 centimetres at the shoulder and weigh from 30 to 80 kilograms (depending on sex). Bushbuck have a light brown coat, with up to seven white stripes and white splotches on the sides. The muzzle is also white. Horns are found only on the males and they can reach over half a metre with only one twist. Bushbuck are found in all types of bush, from open forest to dense woodland. They eat mainly grass but supplement their diet with any other plant matter they can reach. Bushbuck are active around 24 hours a day but tend to be nocturnal near human habitations. Bushbuck tend to be solitary, though some live in pairs.



Medium Plains Game - Bushbuck



The warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) is a wild member of the pig family that lives in Africa. Warthogs are identifiable by the two pairs of tusks protruding from their mouth, which are used as weapons against predators. Warthogs derive their name from their short, almost wart-like, horns. They range in size from 0.9 to 1.5 metres (2.9-4.9 feet) in length and 50 to 150 kg (110-330 pounds) in weight. A grouping of warthogs is called a sounder. Common Warthog sounders are usually composed of 3 to 10 animals, although groups as large as 30 have been anecdotally reported. Warthogs are very fast runners and quite capable jumpers. They will often run with their tail in the air. Despite a poor eyesight, warthogs have a good sense of smell, which they use for locating food, detecting predators and recognizing other animals.


Small Plains Game - Warthog



A jackal is any of four small to medium-sized members of the family Canidae, found in Africa and Asia. Jackals fill a similar ecological niche to the Coyote in North America, that of scavengers and lesser predators. Their long legs and curved canine teeth are adapted for hunting small mammals, birds and reptiles. Blunt feet and fused leg bones give them a long-distance runner's physique, capable of maintaining speeds of 16km/h (10mph) for extended periods of time. They are nocturnal, most active at dawn and dusk.



Small Plains Game - Jackal



The Caracal, also called Persian lynx or "African lynx" (Caracal caracal, sometimes Felis caracal), is a medium-sized cat. Caracals are labeled as small cats, but are the heaviest of all small cats, as well as the fastest. The Caracal resembles a lynx and for a long time it was considered a close relative of the lynxes. Recent DNA research, however, has shown that the Caracal is not a close relative of lynxes at all, but is instead related to the Serval. The Caracal is 65 cm in length (about 2 ft), plus 30 cm tail (about 1 foot). It has longer legs and a slimmer appearance than a lynx. The colour of the fur is variable: it may be wine-red, grey or sand-coloured. Melanistic (black) caracals also occur. Young caracals bear reddish spots on the underside; adults do not have markings except for black spots above the eyes. The most conspicuous feature of the caracal are its long, tufted black ears, which also explain the origin of its name—"karakulak", Turkish for "black ear". Their ears are controlled by 20 different muscles, to help them find their prey. The tufts of fur help pinpoint their prey.



Small Plains Game - Caracal



All baboons have long dog-like muzzles (cynocephalus = dog-head), close-set eyes, heavy powerful jaws, thick fur except on their muzzle, short tail and often brightly coloured ischial callosities (rear-ends). There is considerable variation in size and weight depending on species, the Chacma Baboon can be 120 cm (47 inches) and weigh 40 kg (90 lb) while the biggest Guinea Baboon is 50 cm (20 inches) and weighs only 14 kg (30 lb). Baboons are terrestrial (ground dwelling) and are found in savanna, open woodland and hills across Africa. Their diet is omnivorous, but is usually vegetarian. They are foragers and are active at irregular times throughout the day and night. They can raid human dwellings and in South Africa they have been known to prey on sheep and goats.



Small Plains Game - Baboon
Vervet Monkey

The vervet monkeys or green monkeys are medium-sized primates from the family of Old World monkeys. The top side of the fur of the vervet monkeys varies by species from pale yellow through grey-green brown to dark brown, while the lower portion and the hair ring around the face is whitish yellow. The face, hands, and feet are hairless and black, although their abdomenal skin is bluish. Vervet monkeys reach an adult size of from 40 to 43 cm for males and 34 to 39 cm for females, with a tail measuring 30 to 50 cm long. Males weigh from 4 to 4.5 kg and females weigh from 2.5 to 3.5 kg. Unlinke the closely related guenons, vervets are not primarily forest dwellers, rather, they are semi-arboreal and semi-terrestrial, spending most of the day on the ground feeding and then sleeping at night in the trees. However they must drink each day and are dependent on water, so they are never far from rivers or lakes. Like most other members of the Cercopithecoidea superfamily, they have cheek pouches for storing food. They are diurnal, and are particularly active in the early morning and in the later afternoon or early evening.


Small Plains Game - Vervet Monkey



The ostrich (Struthio camelus) is a flightless bird native to Africa. It is the only living species of its family, Struthionidae, and its genus, Struthio. They are distinct in their appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at speeds of about 65 km/h (40 mph). Ostriches are considered the largest living species of bird and are farmed all over the world. Ostriches usually weigh from 90 to 130 kg (198 to 286 pounds), although some male ostriches have been recorded with weights of up to 155 kg (342 pounds). The feathers of adult males are mostly black, with some white on the wings and tail. Females and young males are grayish-brown, with a bit of white.


Small Plains Game - Ostrich


Grey Duiker

A duiker is any of about 19 small to medium-sized antelope species native to sub-Saharan Africa. Duikers are shy and elusive creatures with a fondness for dense cover; most are forest dwellers and even the species living in more open areas are quick to disappear into thickets. Their name comes from the Afrikaans word for diver and refers to their practice of diving into tangles of shrubbery. With a slightly arched body and the front legs a little shorter than the hind legs, they are well-shaped to penetrate thickets. They are primarily browsers rather than grazers, eating leaves, shoots, seeds, fruit, buds and bark, and often follow flocks of birds or troops of monkeys to take advantage of the fruit they drop. They supplement their diet with meat: duikers take insects and carrion from time to time, and even stalk and capture rodents or small birds. The Blue Duiker has a fondness for ants.


Small Plains Game - Duiker



The steinbuck is a small antelope weighing about 24 lb (15 to 35 pounds). The female is usually slightly heavier than the male. The length of its head and body ranges from 70 - 95 cm. The shoulder height varies from 45 - 60 cm. The tail is very short, with total length ranging from 4 - 6 cm. Horns are only found on males and are 9- 19 cm long. The steinbuck is reddish-fawn, with a white throat and belly. They have large, white lined ears. Their hooves are sharp and serve a variety of functions.


Small Plains Game - Steinbuck



The Klipspringer (literally "rock jumper" in Afrikaans), Oreotragus oreotragus, is a small African antelope that lives from the Cape of Good Hope all the way up East Africa and into Ethiopia. Reaching approximately 58cm (22 inches) at the shoulder, Klipspringers are relatively small animals compared to some of their larger antelope cousins. Only the males have fragile horns that are usually about 20-25cm (4-6 inches) long. They stand on the tips of their hooves. With a thick and dense speckled "salt and pepper" patterened coat of an almost olive shade, Klipspringers blend in well with the koppies (rock outcrops) on which they can usually be found. Klipspringers are herbivores, eating rock plants. They never need to drink, since the succulents they subsist on provide them with enough water to survive.


Small Plains Game - Klipspringer


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