• The rarely seen reedbuck are found in some of the rocky areas of the park
While some people might be aware of the more common bohor reedbuck frequenting the wetland areas of the Nairobi park, very few people are aware of the rarely seen Chanler's mountain reedbuck found in some of the rocky areas of the park, like Mbuni loop and the drive between No 8 and No10 junctions.
Every time I drive these routes, I look carefully at the rocks for the mountain reedbuck. They have excellent camouflage as their almost mottled brown colour has been created to blend in on rocky terrain and long golden grass. During the dry months they are more difficult to find, but after the rains with greener grass, they can be seen more easily.
Males 43-65kg tend to be larger than females 35-45kg. Both sexes have a soft, woolly coat of greyish-fawn fur. The underparts are bright white, and the tail has a bushy white underside. A round bare patch of black skin (a scent gland) is located beneath the long, slender ears. Only males grow horns, which are short and possess a slight forward curve.
Horn length varies between subspecies, being shortest (approximately 13cm) in the Adamawa mountain reedbuck, 18-22cm in the southern mountain reedbuck (Rf fulvorufula), and from 14cm up to 35cm in Chanler's mountain reedbuck (Rf chanleri). Reedbuck face many pressures to survive and usually give a high-pitched alarm whistle to alert others from danger.
Reedbuck is a common name for African antelopes from the genus Redunca. There are 3 recognised species in Africa, namely Southern, Bohor, and Mountain Reedbuck. The Bohor Reedbuck (sub-species Redunca redunca Wardi) and the Mountain Reedbuck (sub-species Redunca fulvorufula Chanler) are found in the Nairobi National Park.
When visiting the Nairobi park, it is always best to drive slowly, you might just be blessed with great sightings of a rare species like the Chanler's mountain reedbuck.
For more information link to the following websites www.kws.go.ke