Regional Names

Afrikaans: Oos-Afrika Rooibok French: Impala
German: Impala Portuguese: Impala
Nama: Arab Shangaan: Mhala
Sotho: Phala Spanish: Impala
Shona: Mhara Swahili: Swala Pala
Tswana: Phala Xhosa: Mpala
Zulu: Mpala
Average Body Dimensions Trophy Dimensions
Average male mass: 143 lb (65 kg) Rowland Ward Minimum: 20⅞” (53cm) : Method-7
Average shoulder height 3.0’ (0,90m) Rowland Ward Record: 36⅛” (91,8cm)
Spoor size: front 1.9” (47mm) SCI Minimum (Rifle): 60 / SCI Record (Rifle): 77⁶⁄₈ : Method-1
rear 1.8” (46mm) SCI Minimum (Bow): 46 / SCI Record (Bow) – 69⅞

Distribution

Major populations in Kenya, Mozambique (northern), Tanzania with few other minor East African variety populations in other countries (such as Uganda) around Lake Victoria.

Behaviour

Impala are gregarious diurnal animals living in herds of 20 – 100. During rut dominant rams become territorial and separate harem herds of 15-20 ewes. A lot of male vocalisation and fighting occur during this period. The harems herds reunite with the main breeding herd after the rut and the breeding and bachelor herds can then be clearly distinguished, with the latter circulating away from the breeding territories.

* Read more in Game Animals of the World by Chris & Tilde Stuart

Hunting tips

Seek the dominant male towards the back of the herd or find a bachelor herd and look for a truly mature old ram. Shots will general be less than 75 yards. The impala may be a lightweight, but pound for pound it is a tough animal that gets up from a poor shot or incorrect bullet.

Sexual Dimorphism

Males have lyrate horns. Females are hornless and smaller.

Habitat & Food

They are mixed feeders that browse and graze but prefer woodland savannah containing Acacia and Mopani with ready access to water.

Rifle and Cartridge Recommendations

Bolt Action Rifles: Any decent bolt action rifle will do. So will single shot rifles. Moderate velocity, reasonably compact combinations are recommended.

Double Rifles: There is no need for a double rifle when impala hunting

Bullets: Opt for premium bonded core bullets if muzzle velocities exceed about 2,700 fps (±825 ms).

Typical Cartridges: Combinations delivering less than 2,800 fps are preferred to counter bullet fragmentation and venison damage. For trophy hunting faster cartridges can be used provided sturdy bullets are opted for.

.222 Remington 70-gr bullets
6 x 45mm Kimber 100-gr bullets
.250-3000 Savage 120-gr bullets
.257 Roberts 120-gr bullets
6.5 x 55mm Swedish 160-gr bullets
.260 Remington 160-gr bullets
.308 Winchester 180-gr bullets
.303 British 215-gr bullets
8 x 57mm Mauser 223-gr bullets

* Read more in African Medium Bore Cartridges by Pierre van der Walt