Natural Histories

photograph of a Sunda Pangolin


Ourebia ourebi


Orbi are a small species of antelope about 92-110 cm long, 50-66 cm tall at the shoulder. The coat of an orbi is a red-brown with white fur on the underbelly, rump and line above the eye. There are dark patches of bare skin beneath each ear which appear black. Their short tail is also black. The hair along the knees is longer than the rest of the leg hair. Orbi have preorbital glands between the eye and mouth which appear as vertical folds in the face. This species displays sexual dimorphism which can be seen in the small spike horns of the males.


Oribi can be found throughout the grasslands of central and southern Africa, the moist parts of Africa’s Northern and Southern savanna (Guinea Savanna to Ethiopia), and south to western East Africa and Tanzania. This species avoids steep slopes and prefers open grasslands with short grasses and patches of tall grasses for hiding.

Feeding Behavior and Diet

Oribi is an herbivore, consuming only vegetation. This species consumes a variety of at least eleven different plants. During the wet season oribi graze fresh grass while during the dry season oribi browse because there is less fresh grass.


This species can be monogamous, meaning male and female having only one mate, or polygynous, which means having multiple mates. Whether a male oribi is monogamous or polygynous depends on how many females are within a male’s territory. Oribi breed all year with a peak in breeding in October and November. Six to seven months after mating, a female will produce a single offspring. Females become sexually mature after tem months while the males do not reach sexual maturity until they are at least fourteen months of age.

Months and Times of Activity

Oribi are typically solitary mammals but can sometimes be seen living in pairs. Small groups of individuals can occasionally be seen traveling together. This species is mostly active during the day.

Special Features, Stories, Relationships

•    This is one of the few species that benefit from wildfires because fresh green grass grows in after a fire.

•    To read myths featuring this animal go to;

•    Children’s book featuring this animal: Artie the Antelope Throws a Party by Debbie Robinson


 Frey, D. 2000. "Ourebia ourebi" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed November 04, 2014 at