The Oribi also referred to as Ourebia ourebi is a notable small antelope that thrive in South, West and East of Africa including Uganda where it is explored on wildlife safaris in Uganda.
Noted to be the only member of the Oribi genus, Oribi was first detailed by August Wilhelm a German Zoologist in the year 1782 and it features a range of eight (8) sub species some of which are viewed on Uganda Safaris and Tours.
Stretching from 50 – 67cm at shoulder and 12 – 22kg in weight, the Oribi coat is yellowish to brown contrasting with the white throat, chin, rump and under parts. It is marked by long limbs and neck and slightly raised back as explored on safari in Uganda. The thin straight horns are present in males stretching from 3.1 – 7.1 inches in length. Their horns feature smooth tips and are ringed at their base.
The Oribis are diurnal and as result feed during the day. They live in herds of about four (4) members with the territories defended by males and these territories range from 25 – 100ha in size. These species are majorly grazers and tend to prefer fresh grasses along with occasional browsing. Some of the varieties consumed include; Eulalia, Andropogon, Loudetia, Hyparrhenia, Themeda and Pennisetum species.
Regarding reproduction, the Oribis become mature sexually at ten (10) – fourteen (14) months and mating occurs especially in the rainy season and the gestation takes six (6) – seven (7) months after which a single calf is produced. The calf can be hidden for close to a month with the mother visiting it regularly for suckling and weaning later occurs at 4 – 5 months. The Oribi life span is eight (8) – ten (10) years in the wilderness while in captivity; it can stretch between twelve (12) – fourteen (14) years.
The Oribi thrives in a range of habitats including savannahs, tropical grasslands, floodplains and montane grasslands. Usually, the Oribi choose the habitat depending on the availability of cover against predators.
The Oribi is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with global population estimate of 750,000 individuals. However, the population is reducing due to livestock competition and agricultural expansion.
In Uganda, the Oribis thrive in Kidepo Valley, Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo National Parks and are listed among the Uganda Safari wildlife attractions.