Impala; dispelling the Myth - Tim Brown Tours

Dispelling a myth about Impala!

It is so common in the safari industry that guides are taught things which are not inline with logic and the laws of nature.

Sometimes an exciting story is created from watching something and Guides/Rangers take it as truth and over time if you say it enough you can believe it. The worst thing is you make your clients believe it.

I have always found, if you cannot scientifically prove that something happens or is true rather don’t say it, you just never know if your next client has a doctorate on the topic you chose to share…

One of the most common myths is the one about Impala holding back there birth up to 1 month to coincide with the arrival of the summer rains! – Really! ; Look I know nature is complex and very cool but do you really think that an Impala Ram says to himself “Keep it down for another month, I can smell the rains will be a month late this year…”


Do you really think that an Impala ewe says to herself- “I have got to hold my baby in for a few more weeks….”


Just in case you haven’t yet figured the impossibilities of this out, I will go into more detail.


Impala have a gestation of about 6.5 month or around 196/200 days. This means at the point of conception the fetus begins to grow…(of course)


If an Impala holds back the birth…her baby will become too big to be pushed out during labor which would mean the mother would die and the baby.

This is also a huge issue when it comes to predation. If an Impala gets to “big” she will not have the ability to get away from a predator and thus both mother and baby would be killed.


Mother nature obviously has worked this all out and therefore there is a rough gestation for every animal in the kingdom to prevent the above mentioned problems from happening.


Hence it is impossible for an Impala to hold back her birth at all. You may find a few days either side which is normal to each individual but not much more. What is more likely is that the Impala ram only got around to breeding with his harem later as he was either to busy fighting off other males or he was one of the other males which dethroned the other big boy hence a later pregnancy.





I hope that we all now take logic into guiding and don’t take every book we read or every story we hear at face value. Do some research first!

Remember how important flight is if you cant fight do to being to heavily pregnant, remember how Impala show predators how agile they are… Not easy if you are pregnant… making you a target.

So it is impossible for Impala to hold back the birth of their baby!



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