Spy Grazing Topi on a Serengeti Safari

June 13, 2011
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When booking a Kenya and Tanzania safari, most travelers will likely expect to spend a good deal of time exploring the majestic animals that populate Serengeti National Park. While more prominent animals like lions and elephants may be bigger draws, there are hundreds of lesser-known species populating the region that can be just as compelling. Animal lovers will delight in studying peaceful herbivorous creatures like antelope, including native topi, while exploring the Serengeti.

Topi are large, semi-bovine ungulates that closely resemble hartebeest barring the latter's coloration and horn shape. The creatures are typically a dark brown-red combination with purplish, discolored markings above each leg. Other defining characteristics include a pronounced hump at the base of the neck and dark facial coverings that resemble a mask.

Topi socialization is peculiar in that they are largely migratory creatures, yet males will often establish territorial leks between herd movements that forces weaker and elder males to the perimeter. At the center, these alphas will construct mounds of dung and stand atop them in an erect and commanding pose to challenge any comers and announce itself to local females.

The animal is also one of the faster species in the antelope family, with some males being clocked at an excess of 70 miles per hour.


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