What is the Difference Between Gazelle and Impala

The main difference between gazelle and impala is that gazelle is a small antelope whereas impala is a medium-sized antelope.

Gazelle and impala are two types of antelopes; species of even-toed ruminants that are indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Both belong to the Bovidae family which includes cloven-hoofed ruminant mammals.

Key Areas Covered

  1. Gazelle
    •  Facts, Features, and Behavior
  2. Impala
    •  Facts, Features, and Behavior
  3. Similarities Between Gazelle and Impala
    • Outline of Common Features
  4. Difference Between Gazelle and Impala
    • Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Bovidae, Gazelle, Impala

Gazelle vs Impala - Comparison Summary

Gazelle –  Facts, Features, and Behavior

Gazelle is one of the many species of antelope. In fact, gazelles are small antelopes. Usually, they are 60–110 cm in height at their shoulder. They are slender with evenly developed limbs, level backs, and long necks. Moreover, they have a tan color, with white underparts and rump patches, a dark side stripe, and contrasting facial markings. Gazelles live in the arid lands of Asia from China to the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa from the Saharan deserts to the sub-Saharan Sahel, and northeast Africa from the Horn of Africa to Tanzania.

Compare Gazelle and Impala - What's the difference?

Figure 1: Gazelle

Furthermore, gazelles have adaptations to waterless steppe, sub desert, and even dessert. Therefore, they are capable of extracting water from plants they ate. Moreover, their jaws are narrow and they have rows of incisors for highly selective feeding. They also have concentrated urine. In addition, their fur color is light colored and reflective. In the hottest weather, gazelles feed at night when the grass has high moisture.

Impala –  Facts, Features, and Behavior

Impala is a medium-sized antelope that lives in the savanna and light woodlands of eastern and southern Africa. Impalas live in large breeding herds closely shepherded by a territorial male. Moreover, impalas are beautiful and athletic. They are typically slender and have evenly developed legs and a long neck; impalas stand 70–92 cm and weigh 40–76 kg. In addition, they have the largest and longest horns among all antelopes.

Gazelle vs Impala

Figure 2: Male Impala

Moreover, both sexes of impala have the same body color with a sleek, two-toned coat that is tan with a red-brown saddle. They also have white markings, including the eye line, the inside of the ears, a throat patch, the underside of the torso, and a bushy tail; black markings are at the crown between the ears, the ear tips, vertical stripes down the highs and tail, and prominent tufts on the back feet.

Similarities Between Gazelle and Impala

  • Gazelle and impala are two antelopes that belong to the Bovidae family.
  • They are ruminants with even toes.
  • Both have horns.

Difference Between Gazelle and Impala


Gazelle refers to a small, slender antelope that typically has curved horns and a fawn-colored coat with white underparts, found in open country in Africa and Asia, while Impala refers to a graceful antelope often seen in large herds in open woodland in southern and East Africa.


Gazelles are small antelopes while impalas are medium-sized antelopes.

Horn Length

Impalas have a longer horn than gazelles. 

Fur Color

The fur color of the gazelle is tan while the fur color of the impala is tan with a red-brown saddle.


Gazelles have adaptations to live in deserts while impalas live in large breeding herds.


In brief, gazelle and impala are two antelopes in the Bovidae family. However, gazelles are smaller than impalas. In fact, the main difference between gazelle and impala is their body size. Furthermore, gazelle is tan-colored while impala has red-brown color fur. In addition, the horns of the impala are the longest while the horns of the gazelle are short. 

  1. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.). Gazelle. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  2. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.). Impala. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
Image Courtesy:
  1. Slender-horned gazelle (Cincinnati Zoo) ” By FisherQueen – Own Work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
  2. Black-faced impala from Etosha National Park, Namibia” By Yathin sk – Own Work (CC By-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things. She has a keen interest in writing articles regarding science.

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