The 5 Stages of Watching Impala.

Impala1

I remember the first time I saw impala in the wild. I was genuinely enchanted, they typify what’s most captivating about antelope; they’re elegant, beautifully coloured and move with speed and grace. I think I said something earnest like “what are they? They’re gorgeous!” Everyone else looked at me with a mixture of surprise and knowing, but patient pity.

You see, impala are EVERYWHERE in east Africa, you can’t open a door or turn a corner without tripping over them, so you quickly become accustomed to their existence – like pigeons in London, only the tourists pay them any attention (and they’re likely insane anyway, only the insane go on holiday to London).

Impala: A species of east African pigeon.

Impala: A species of east African pigeon.

If you’re not insane, most people go through the following stages of encountering impala in the wild:

Stage 1: Wonder – “Wow, they’re gorgeous, look at the colours. Look at them run and jump! And there’s so many of them! I love Africa, I love impala!”

Stage 2: More impala – “Wow, impala are great. But there’s quite a lot of them aren’t there?”

Stage 3: Oh, more impala. Again – “Oh look, more impala. I wonder if there’s anything else around here?”

Stage 4: Even more impala – “I see something over there! What is it? Oh never mind, just more impala”. “Wait! What’s that over there? I think I saw a lion. Oh no, sorry, just impala again.”

Stage 5: Impala death – “Wouldn’t it be cool to see lions catch and eat some of those impala?” “YES!” (Everyone else in the vehicle).

Impala: so numerous that even lions quickly become jaded and apathetic.

Impala: so numerous that even lions quickly become jaded and apathetic.

Daniel Swindlehurst.

ds413    December 23rd, 2014    Kenya archive