One of the most common animals in Kruger National Park (South Africa) is the Impala (or Rooibok). Herds would probably number a few thousand in total and the species is also found outside the park. But despite their commonness, they are one of my most favourite species. When all the more ‘exotic’ animals have made themselves scarce, you are almost always guaranteed a herd of Impala to observe and admire.
Only once have I been able to watch a herd on high alert as they became aware of a predator in their vicinity. A time of intense drama, every animal poised for flight, every head faced the danger and the only thing that moved was their flickering ears as they strained to hear what was unfolding a short distance away. The suspense was almost tangible – a powerful experience.
But most of the time, the herds move about quietly, showing off their beautiful colours and graceful shapes.
On my last visit to the park, I was treated to something I thought I would never see – a full grown albino Impala – it was completely white! Unfortunately, it was also a long way off in the distance and across a wide river, but there was no mistaking its identity as it grazed with the rest of the herd.
I would have thought that it would have stood out from the crowd so much that it would never have survived to adulthood, but I was obviously mistaken. What a rare and fun find!
I wonder if albino animals in the wild are more common than is realised?