Bongo antelope | Animals in Africa - Ree Park Safari

Bongo antelope

Animals in Africa

The bongo antelope is the largest and heaviest of all forest antelopes, and also one of the most beautiful. The bongo antelope has a beautiful reddish brown color with white stripes, and the twisted horns can grow up to one meter long.

Bongo antelope 

The Bongo antelope is the biggest of all forest antelopes and for many the most beautiful, too. It has a red and brown pelt with white stripes and amazing horns that can be up to 1 m long. These beautiful pelt functions as an effective camouflage, as it looks just like the forest ground. The bongo itself cannot see very good in the dense forest, but to its advantage it is equipped with huge, round ears that will absorb even the slightest sound.  

In captivity bongos can be quite tame, but in the wild they will flee into the forest as soon they feel threatened. They will lay there head down while running so there horns will not get entangled in twigs and limbs. Therefore many wild bongo antelopes have naked spots on their backs, which looks a bit odd.

Bongos eat a lot af different plants like leaves, buds and bark, but also dirt and burned wood to cover their need of minerals. To reach the leaves and buds, the bongo will stand on its hind legs and keep its balance with the forelegs leaned against the tree. It also uses it horns to rip off limbs.
The bongo is the only forest antelope that lives in herds. Often they are not more than a handful, but there has been seen great herds with up to 50 individuals.

The Bongo antelope can be divided into to subspecies: lowland- and forest Bongos. Especially the forest Bongo is critically endangered, since its natural environment is disappearing as a result of deforestation. Another reason is poaching and for many years their skin has been used for the famous Bongo drums. Luckily it is illegal to hunt Bongo antelopes today. 


Bongo antelope

  • Lenght

    170-250 cm
  • Shoulder height

    110-130 cm
  • Weight

    210-405 kg
  • Food

    Leafes, buds and grass
  • Lifespan

    20 years

"...Did you know that the skin of the bongo antelope was traditionally used in Western Africa for the bongo drum?"

Bongo antelope

Animals in Africa

On 4 July 2015 a small calf was born in the park's forestry enclosure.



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    On the map you can find out where the different animal feedings are.

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