Tsessebe - Damaliscus lunatus
An antelope of seasonally flooded grasslands, the tsessebe is usually dound in habitats where woodland meets grassy plain and it does pareticularly well in the Okavango Delta. It stays close to water, following the receding waters in the dry season - a preference borne out by its local name in some areas which is synonymous with 'mud'.
Elsewhere in African this large antelope is called topi. Tsessebe may be identified by their sloping backs, dark brown coloruing with a distinct irredescent purplish sheen, outward curving and widely set horns. They congregate in large herds in the savuti marsh in the winter months and in smaller herds in Moremi and the Okavango.
They frequently can be seen using a termite hill as a vantage point to check for approaching danger and will seldom be found in areas where there are not termite hills. They wipe their faces on the ground, on low grasses or on termite mounds as part of their scent-marking ritual to demarcate their territory. They may often be seen on their knees rubbing their faces and horns in mud and then vigorously slinging the mud about. They also nod away to each other, especially common in male groups. This is possibly a way of asserting dominance.
They are reputed to be the fastest antelope and can apparently reach speeds of up to 100km/hour with their deceptive brounding run. This speed is their main form of defence but it can be used against them by cheetah who trip them up and throw them off balance.
Mothers only accept their offspring until the next calf is born and juveniles may be forced to join bachelor herds as young as eight months old. It is interesting to note that bachelor herds often include yearling females which have been excluded from the herd by the dominant male.
Lodges and Camps in Botswana: Audi Camp - Camp Moremi -Camp Okuti - Camp Okavango - Chief's Camp - Chitabe Camp - Chobe Game Lodge - Chobe Marina Lodge - Crocodile Camp - Deception Valley Lodge - Delta Safari Camp - Duba Plains Camp - Duma Tau Lodge - Elephant Camp Victoria Falls - Footsteps Camp - Gunn's Camp - Grassland Safari Lodge - Jacana Camp - Kanana Camp - Kings Pool - Kubu Safari Lodge - Kwara Camp Okavango Delta - Leroo-la-Tau - Linyanti Camp - Little Mombo Camp - Mariolina's Victoria Falls - Mapula Lodge - Mombo Safari Camp - Motsentsela Tree Lodge - Nxabega Okavango Safari Camp - Pom Pom Camp - Sandibe Safari Lodge - Santawani - Savute Safari Lodge - Savuti Camp - Semetsi Camp - Xakanaxa Camp - Xigera Camp - Xugana Lodge
Botswana Destinations: Chief's Island - Chobe National Park - Gemsbok National Park - Kalahari - Khwai - Linyanti - Makgadikgadi Pans - Maun - Moremi Game Reserve - Nogatsaa/Tchinga - Nxai Pan - Okavango Delta - Savute - Tsodilo hills - Tuli Block - Xakanaxa
Zimbabwe Destinations: Victoria Falls
Birds of Botswana: Crowned Plover - Blue Waxbill - Cormorant - Egyptian Goose - Fish Eagle - Grey Lourie - Kingfisher - Kori Bustard - Lilacbreasted Roller - Ostrich - Saddlebilled Stork - Secretary Bird
Mammals of Botswana: African Wild Dog - African Elephant - Baboon - Bat-Eared-Fox - Brown Hyena - Buffalo - Bushpig - Cheetah - Eland - Genet - Giraffe - Hartebeest - Hippo - Impala - Jackal - Kudu - Leopard - Lion - Oryx - Puku - Red Lechwe - Roan Antelope - Sable Antelope - Sitatunga - Slender Mongoose - Spotted Hyena - Springbok - Squirrel - Surikate - Tsessebe - Warthog - Waterbuck - Wildebeest - Zebra