Wildlife Safari Africa
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African Safari, Topi

Masai Mara was the only place we came across topi. A strange looking animal, it is attracted to little hillocks and tussocks and spends much of its time just standing motionless on the top of these little mounds, staring endlessly into space.

It seems the females prefer the males who hold the high ground closest to the centre of their range, so I guess that has something to do with it. Either that or they are ruminating on the meaning of life, the universe and everything. After all, the text books do say that topi are ruminants!

The topi can be misidentified against the Cokes Hartebeest. I am no expert, so if you spot an error here, please let me know.

Our tracker tells me that herds of 100+ are not uncommon. I have to say that whilst we were in Masai Mara, January 2012, we seldom saw more than a handful at any one time, and they tended to keep their distance.

There were several small families with young, but I guess we never saw a herd of more than a couple of dozen topi.

I can't decide if this is a handsome or an ugly creature. It has a strikingly long thin aspect to its face and head and quite nice horns, which unfortunately are generally covered in mud and dirt. Both male and female have the horns, but males tend to have bigger horns.

In the picture below you can make out the scent glands just forward and below the topis eye. These, along with similar glands on their feet, are used to mark their territory.

topi masai mara
Masai Mara topi
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topi baby calf
topi masai mara photo safari
All images Copyright Avery Little