Of all the African antelope species, an adult male sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) is perhaps the most spectacular. Adult males are characterised by their black coat covering their back, pure white belly and distinct, white facial markings. Their impressive, long, scimitar-shaped horns that curve backwards are their most outstanding feature and can measure up to 1.2 metres. Cows and young are dark brown in colour. 

Sable antelopes occur abundantly in South Africa and their conservation status is stable and of least concern. They are gregarious and live in groups of up to 30. Territorial bulls are solitary and young males from the age of three years form bachelor herds, until they reach the age of six years when they start challenging the territorial bulls for their domain.


HESC maintains a strict policy of no contact or interaction with animals kept on the property. Our policy is aligned with international trends based on animal ethics and welfare and is aimed at ensuring the safety and health of both animals and visitors. Our policy further endorses the right of animals to live a life without fear, which is often the consequence of close contact with humans with whom they are not acquainted. We avoid human-imprinting, whereby the animals will identify more with humans than with their own species and cause them to become problem animals once released.