Sable Antelope

Category: Wildlife

The sable antelope is a species of antelope that inhabits the more wooded areas of east and southern Africa. Relatively short with stocky necks, sable antelopes are best identified by their impressive ringed horns that curve towards the back of their heads.

Sable Antelope

Sable Antelope

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Mammalia

Order - Artiodactyla

Family - Bovidae

Subfamily - Hippotraginae

Genus - Hippotragus

Species - H. niger

Common Names – Sable Antelope. There are four subspecies, the Southern or Black Sable (H. n. niger), the Giant or Royal Sable (H. n. variani), the Zambian Sable (H. n. kirkii), and the Eastern Sable (H. n. roosevelti).


Sable antelope are tough and stocky animals, and do not have the typical graceful build associated with most antelopes. They have large horns that can be over five feet long!


Sable antelopes generally found in closely-knit herds of a few females and one male. Males use their horns to fight amongst themselves, and the whole herd will use them to fend off predators like lions.


Sable antelopes are very light in color at birth, and females and young individuals tend to be brown in color. As the males grow older, their coat grows darker until it is almost black.

Present Status

Though they are classified as a species of Least Concern, the grasslands that the sable calls home are subject to destruction for agriculture purposes.