One of the more unusual (yet characteristic) sounds in the African bush is the sound of the male impala during the rut. Their call is a combination of growls and snorts and is very unlike anything that an antelope should make.
They spend so much time in mating and fighting that they do not have much time for eating and thus lose strength. When a male is ousted he will join the bachelor herd again and may later return to challenge a dominant male.
Yesterday when we were almost home, we came across two males challenging each other. Normally when we drive up to impalas they are very skittish and run away. These two didn’t really give a damn – no wonder so many male impalas get eaten by lions during this time.
We even saw them lock horns and fight a bit but I was not quick enough to catch that on camera. All the while I was taking the photos, they continued to snort and growl loudly. It really is a frightening sound if you don’t know where it’s coming from. We will be hearing a lot more of it over the next month. As you can see these boys are in prime condition. By the end of the rutting season they will be looking thin and rather demented – it’s a tough life fighting over your women.