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Topi Range Map (Africa)
Topi Range Map (Africa)

Latin Name Damaliscus lunatus
Conservation Status Conservation Dependent
Location Africa
Colour Red/Brown
Length 1.2 - 2.1 m (4 - 7 ft)
Tail 10 - 60 cm (4 - 23.5 inches)
Weight 68 - 155 Kg (150 - 340 lbs)
Life Expectancy 15 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Topi are medium sized antelope that have a body length between 1.2 and 2.1 m (4 - 7 ft), a tail length between 10 and 60 cms (4 - 23.5 inches) and they weigh between 68 and 155 kgs (150 - 340 lbs).

Their coat is red/brown in colour with the top part of their legs being black and the lower part being tan coloured. They have a black chest and a black strip running from their forehead to their nose.

Their head is long and they have a shoulder hump and a slightly sloping back. Both males and females have thick, ringed horns that measure between 30 and 40 cms (11.8 - 15.7 inches) in length.

Topi can reach speeds up to 70 km/hr (43 mph) when they are frightened and they are known to be one of the fastest antelope.

They are active during the day with most activity being in the morning and evening.


Topi are found on the seasonally flooded grasslands and savanna of Africa. Males are territorial and they will defend a range that also encompasses 2 - 6 females and their young. Females assist in defending the territory and included in each area is a high vantage point which is used to watch out for danger and to signal where their territory is.

Males have exclusive rights to the females within his territory therefore the herds are considered closed. When the male is away the highest ranking female will take over as leader until his return.

When there is a large group of Topi, males act differently. It is too difficult for them to defend females so they become less aggressive.


Topi mainly feed upon grass. They can be found grazing at any time during the day, but more often in the early morning and evening.


Topi breed once a year with most calves being born at the end of the dry season. During the breeding season males form "Leks" which are small pieces of ground that males compete for and defend. Females travel to the leks where they remain for 1 - 2 days, choosing which males they wish to mate with.

After a gestation period of approximately 8 months, 1 calf is born weighing approximately 11 kgs (24 lbs). The calf chooses to be either a "follower" or a "hider". "Followers" join the herd immediately and are protected from predators by their large herd. "Hiders" tend to be from smaller herds and they stay under brush for several months.

Calves are weaned at a year old and young males are expelled from the group by the territorial male. Females become sexually mature at 16 - 18 months old, while males reach sexual maturity at 3 years old but are unlikely to breed before they reach 4 years old.


The main predators of Topi are leopards, lions, cheetahs, african wild dogs and hyenas. Calves also fall prey to caracals, servals, jackals, pythons and large eagles.


There are seven recognized subspecies of Topi and these include:

(Damaliscus lunatus lunatus)
They are found from Zambia southwards.

Damaliscus lunatus jumela
They are found in north eastern Congo and east Africa.

Damaliscus lunatus topi
They are found in north eastern Congo and east Africa.

(Damaliscus lunatus tiang)
They are found in north western Kenya, western Ethiopia and south Sudan.

Damaliscus lunatus korrigum
They are found from Senegal to western Sudan.

Interesting Facts

Topi are also known as:

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