Game Warden

Show us your sable.

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Please include when and where taken, tech specs and any other pertinent details about the sighting. Matt.

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Posted (edited)

I have photos of 3 different races of sable.

 

First, "Roosevelt's" sable (Hippotragus niger rooselvelti) - found in Kenya (Shimba Hills) and Tanzania (coastal area including the Selous Game Reserve). They are smaller (adult male horns rarely exceeding 40 inches), have clear white stripes running from the muzzle to the eyes, males are jet black and females are chestnut brown.

 

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Shimba Hills National Park, Kenya - September '95

 

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Shimba Hills National Park, Kenya - July '11

Edited by Safaridude
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Posted (edited)

Now, "Kirk's" sable (Hippotragus niger kirkii)... found in western Tanzania and Zambia north of the Zambezi. Adult male horns routinely go 45 inches or longer. Females are chestnut brown/brown. Males are jet black to dark brown. In some adult males, the white side facial stripes are abbreviated like you see in the giant sable.

 

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Ugalla Game Reserve, Tanzania - September '06

 

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Exhibiting the classic giant sable face (clipped white stripes) (though it is not a giant sable) - Nchila Wildlife Reserve, Zambia - September '09

 

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Chestnut brown females and young with the herd bull - Nchila Wildlife Reserve, Zambia - September '09

 

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Nanzhila Plains area of Kafue National Park, Zambia - September '11

 

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Nanzhila Plains area of Kafue National Park, Zambia - September '11

 

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Bachelor herd (likely 3 - 5 year olds) - Nanzhila Plains area of Kafue National Park, Zambia - September '11

 

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Nanzhila Plains area of Kafue National Park, Zambia - September '11

Edited by Safaridude
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Posted (edited)

Finally, the "black" sable (Hippotragus niger niger) found south of the Zambezi in southern Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and the Caprivi Strip of Namibia. Males are jet black to dark brown with clear white facial stripes. Females are nearly as dark as the males. Similar in size to the "Kirk's" sable.

 

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Makalolo area of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe - August '97

 

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Note the dark females - Vumbura, Okavango Delta, Botswana - August '08

 

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Vumbura, Okavango Delta, Botswana - August '08

 

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Female - Vumbura, Okavango Delta, Botswana - March '11

 

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Kwando (near Lagoon Camp), Botswana - September '11

Edited by Safaridude
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@@Safaridude

 

Great posts and pictures!

 

I have been puzzled a bit by the race to whom the sable living in Gorongosa, in Mozambique, belong.

 

I have only see males, and to me they looked very much like the "black" sable. However, pictures I saw of the females (there are some impressive herds, numbering over one hundred individuals) showed them to be quite chestnut.

 

Could they be the "anselli" race found in Malawi too?

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@@Safaridude

 

Great posts and pictures!

 

I have been puzzled a bit by the race to whom the sable living in Gorongosa, in Mozambique, belong.

 

I have only see males, and to me they looked very much like the "black" sable. However, pictures I saw of the females (there are some impressive herds, numbering over one hundred individuals) showed them to be quite chestnut.

 

Could they be the "anselli" race found in Malawi too?

They could be. The race "anselli" is not totally recognized as a separate race by "them" yet.

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our first sable sighting....Hwange, August 2010.

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Thank you @@Safaridude and @@marg for some amazing photos of my favourite antelope - although I've seen sable in Kwando and Ruaha, I've never managed to get a decent photo or video.

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Thank you @@Safaridude and @@marg for some amazing photos of my favourite antelope - although I've seen sable in Kwando and Ruaha, I've never managed to get a decent photo or video.

 

Wow, if you saw them at Ruaha, you are very lucky. They are nearly impossible there. May you be lucky in your next safari for some good photos...

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Thank you @@Safaridude and @@marg for some amazing photos of my favourite antelope - although I've seen sable in Kwando and Ruaha, I've never managed to get a decent photo or video.

 

Wow, if you saw them at Ruaha, you are very lucky. They are nearly impossible there. May you be lucky in your next safari for some good photos...

We dedicated a whole afternoon looking for sable with the guides from Mdonya River Camp, who seemed to know the best areas. We were driving along a track with thick tall bush on both sides, when suddenly a Sable bull cleared track in front us in a single effortless leap. We stood up in the vehicle to see where he landed and saw the heads of the bull and numerous females bobbing through the bush away from us. On my next safari, my only chance of seeing sable is in Katavi but I think that will be very difficult.

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Posted (edited)

. On my next safari, my only chance of seeing sable is in Katavi but I think that will be very difficult.

@@africapurohit

Yes, I saw sable in Katavi, on the foothills of the Mlele Escarpment, at Chorangwa (where you find them on a somewhat more regular basis). However, you could access that area only with a mobile camp or fly camping. Now they have built a road running along the edges of the escarpment, so you might try, but i think it would still be at least 4 hours (one way) from the central area of the park where you will be based.

 

You should see roan far more easily.

Edited by Paolo
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Has anyone seen or photographed the Giant Sable of Angola, the Palanca Negra?

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. On my next safari, my only chance of seeing sable is in Katavi but I think that will be very difficult.

@@africapurohit

Yes, I saw sable in Katavi, on the foothills of the Mlele Escarpment, at Chorangwa (where you find them on a somewhat more regular basis). However, you could access that area only with a mobile camp or fly camping. Now they have built a road running along the edges of the escarpment, so you might try, but i think it would still be at least 4 hours (one way) from the central area of the park where you will be based.

 

You should see roan far more easily.

Thanks @@Paolo, do you have any links to some good maps of Katavi NP? It would be great if ST had a map section, where members could post links or scans of maps - something for @@Game Warden to consider?

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Thanks @@Paolo, do you have any links to some good maps of Katavi NP? It would be great if ST had a map section, where members could post links or scans of maps - something for @@Game Warden to consider?

@@africapurohit

 

Thre used to be a decent map on Katavi NP's official website. I do not know whether it is still the case. I will check if I have something.

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@@Paolo 4 to go

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I’ve actually seen sable a few times in Ruaha, though they’re not easy to find, I would think they’re much more common in the Miombo country up on the escarpment and on the Isunkaviula Plateau over in the far west of the park, than in the main tourist area.

 

 

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Finding sable in the miombo can be a challenge if only because they're not that easy to see

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This was near Mkwawa Springs a few years ago, on the same drive going to Mdonya I also saw nkonzi (Lichtenstein’s hartebeest), Eland, greater and lesser kudu, (also bush duiker, dikdik and impala), not bad for one drive.

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Scanned & cropped slide

This nice bull was somewhere below the escarpment somewhere between Mwagusi and Lunda I think but I can’t remember the exact location as this was a while ago

 

@@africapurohit I think adding maps is a great idea, but rather than a separate section I think they should be added under the relevant parks in the Parks section, under the entry for Katavi I did post a link to the Katavi website from where you can view the map but here’s a direct link to the map.

 

Katavi map

 

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Off topic, maps idea is a good one, but would be restricted by copyright etc, unless written permission was obtained.

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@@Paolo 4 to go

@@Anita

 

3 now....

 

@@africapurohit

 

If you look at the map posted by @@inyathi, Katavi Wilderness Camp (where I recall you are staying) is just to the north of Ikuu airstrip.

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Chobe NP - Botswana June 2011

 

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Thank you @@Paolo and @@inyathi - very helpful information as always.

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All Vumbura concession December 2011

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the sable tutorial! This is a "black" sable seen somewhere around Kings Pool Camp in Botswana 2003. These pics were taken with my first digital camera, an Olympus C700UZ...only 2MP!

 

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@@ovenbird that's 2MP more of sable than I've ever got - lovely photos.

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Thanks africapurohit...I was very lucky to get a few shots since it's the only sable we've ever seen!

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