Blaauwkrantz Safaris
Blaauwkrantz Safaris
Back to Index 02 December 2009

Black Impala

There was a time, not so very long ago, that small groups of these astonishing black impalas roamed the plains of Africa. A recessive gene, similar to what you find in the white tiger of India, the king cheetah and the white lion of Africa cause the black coloration, and therefore the odds for survival in nature is against these rare impalas. To impede their survival efforts, lions, leopards and other beasts of prey, have a black and white vision, and can spot the Black Impala much easier than their fellow red impala. These factors almost wiped out these amazing animals.

Fortunately, these animals fascinated, Dr Dirk Neethling, the owner of Botlierskop Private Game Reserve and a wildlife veterinarian from the Northern Province. When he was a young boy in the early 50's he saw the skin of a black impala, hunted in the Northern parts of South Africa. Since that day, he started his search for black impala.

In 1969, he followed the first substantial lead, the spotting of a black impala in the Northern Province. Though, his first attempt was fruitless, he tried again in 1991. This time he was successful. After two days of searching the Waterberg Mountains, covering 17 000 hectors by helicopter, he manage to capture two black impalas - a male and a female.

He started a special breeding program on his farm near Potgietersrus in the Northern Province. After a long and involved process he managed to breed more than100 black impalas.

Today, thanks to the vision of Dr. Dirk Neethling, 10 years of an intensive breeding program and a lot of patience, 100 + black impalas are roaming the hills of Botlierskop.

The distribution of these fascinating animals to other game farms started on September 8, 2001 with the auction of 21 black impalas.