With the first rains upon us, it will not be long before we see the first impala and wildebeest lambs. But before lambs come rutting and mating season, which is preceded by impala rams fighting each other around May to determine who is the strongest. The strongest ram wins mating rights with the female breeding groups and secures the spot as top ram for the rest of the year and so ensures that his genetics are passed on to the next generation. This is a very tense time as the males are very aggressive towards other males and also chase the females around. During impala ram rutting season there are a lot of horn clashing and also some very strange guttural noises made by the rams.

In this photo, you can see two youngsters testing their agility and strength before being tested in adulthood and crossing horns with their competitors. It’s more playfighting than anything else, but they all have to start somewhere.