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Game Warden

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

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Safaridude

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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Safaridude

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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Safaridude

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

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

Edited by Tdgraves
P

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marg

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

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africapurohit

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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Safaridude

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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africapurohit

 

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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Game Warden

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

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africapurohit

Sable were seen on the foothills of the Mlele Escarpment, at Chorangwa but access difficult.

 

Thanks 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?

Edited by kittykat23uk

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inyathi

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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Game Warden

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

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Paul T

Chobe NP - Botswana June 2011

 

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africapurohit

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

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ovenbird

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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africapurohit

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

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ovenbird


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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CapitanBurton

I recommend the quarterly reports at http://angolafieldgroup.com/palanca-negra/ to all the people in the fórum interested in the giant sable (with a lot of pictures indeed)

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Game Warden

For those who haven't previously seen it, you can read my interview with John Frederick Walker, author of A Certain Curve of Horn: The Hundred-Year Quest for the Giant Sable Antelope of Angola here, although it deals more specifically with the ivory crisis. A Certain Curve of Horn is thoroughly recommended: a very interesting read for those interested in the Palanca Negra.

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Duma Tau

Here are a few Sable Antelope photos from Vumbura Plains Camp in Botswana taken with a D800E in late March of 2013. BTW, The D800E is a fabulous camera for detail. Vumbura Plains was a wonderful place to photograph Sable Antelope. I was there for 8 days and saw them almost everyday. I'll also post a trip report soon. Thanks for looking, Glen Weaver, Montgomery, AL.

 

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Edited by Game Warden

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madaboutcheetah

Are the sable relaxed in Vumbura around vehicles, or you still have to sneak up quietly like in the Linyanti areas?

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Safaridude

Are the sable relaxed in Vumbura around vehicles, or you still have to sneak up quietly like in the Linyanti areas?

 

Sable are generally relaxed in Vumbura. My conjecture on why they are shy in the Linyanti/Kwando area is that (1) they were hunted (legally) until recently; and (2) they are seasonal visitors to the safari camp areas (deep in the mopane until July/August/September when they come out to the camp areas for water and graze) so they are not comfortable around vehicles. Sable never really leave the Vumbura camp area even during the rains (their preferred habitat of well-drained woodland not far from the camps) so they see vehicles all the time.

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madaboutcheetah

There is a relaxed very small herd of 4 or 5 around Lagoon, but, less predictable these days.

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Game Warden

Let's see some more sable...

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