The Common elands are one of the popular Antelope species that you will encounter during safaris in Uganda. They are scientifically known as “Taurotragus Oryx” and are very adorable due to their exceptionally beautiful physical appearance and behaviors that sets them apart. Common Elands are listed under IUCN’s Red list of species of Least Concern.
Common Elands mainly inhabit the Savannah zones extending across the Eastern and Southern Africa and belong to the Bovidae family and the Taurotragus genus. They were first studied and detailed by peter Simon Pallas in 1766. If you learn more about these mammals, you will want to visit Uganda so as to see them.
Generally, common Elands are the largest Antelope Species and they can stand at a height of 1.6 meters at their shoulders and weigh up to 942 kilograms in size with their average weight ranging from 500 to 600 kilograms whereas the female ones are about 20 centimeters shorter than their male counterparts and weigh from 340 to 445 kilograms. With these weights, the Common Elands are undeniably the second largest and heaviest Antelope species after the Giant Elands.
Besides Uganda, these large Antelopes can be sighted from other African countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Lesotho among others. However, I would recommend visiting DRC, Uganda or Rwanda because you will also be able to encounter other exceptional wildlife species especially the Critically Endangered Mountain gorillas during safaris in these three countries.
Generally, Elands are herbivores with their diets comprising of mainly grasses and leaves. They are known to be social animals that live in herds numbering up to 500 individuals. It is obvious that these antelopes are territorial and always have guided-themed interpretation sighted during game drives. These mammals occupy a wide range of habitats with several flowering plants including Woodlands, Open and Montane grasslands and Savannah plains although they always avoid the thick forests. They communicate through loud barks, visual movements and postural changes.
People living around National parks have in many times used the Common Elands for meat, rich nutritious milk and meat which is one of the main reasons why these Antelopes are domesticated in some regions of Africa.
Nonetheless, Common elands in Uganda are entirely wild animals and only live within several Protected Areas that include Kidepo Valley, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo National Parks as well as Wildlife Reserves especially Pian Upe Game Reserve hence worth exploring during Uganda safaris. Besides the Common elands, Uganda is also a haven to other 28 Antelope species that include Topis, Uganda Kobs, Oribis, Defassa waterbucks, bushbucks, Jackson’s Hartebeests, Sitatungas, Grant’s gazelles, Greater kudu and many others.
In conclusion, the common elands are one of the fascinating species of Antelopes likely to be encountered during Uganda safaris. Of all the interesting facts you know about these animals, you will discover that they are the largest antelope species and found within Lake Mburo, Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls National Park as well as Pian Upe Game Reserve among others.