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A territorial impala ram (top), and ewe with calf (below)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Aepyceros melampus
(Lichtenstein, 1812)
  • A. m. melampus Lichtenstein, 1812
  • A. m. petersi Bocage, 1879
      Black-faced impala
      Common impala
Female Black-faced Impala at water hole
Male impala lock horns in mating-season fight

An impala (Aepyceros melampus) is a medium-sized African antelope. The name "impala" comes from the Zulu language.


The impala is reddish-brown with white hair inside the ears, over each eye and on the chin, upper throat, underparts and buttocks. A narrow black line runs along the middle of the lower back to the tail, and a vertical black stripe appears on the back of each thigh. Impalas have unique brushlike tufts of black hair that cover a scent gland located just above the heel on each hind leg.

The impala can jump more than 10 meters distance and 3 meters high, and can reach running speeds of about 80 to 90 km/h, to escape from predators.


Impalas are found at grassland and woodland edges, usually very close by water.


  1. IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2016). "Aepyceros melampus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T550A50180828. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T550A50180828.en . Retrieved 4 January 2017.