The impala (Aepyceros melampus) is a medium-sized African antelope. It is the type species of the genus Aepyceros and belongs to the family Bovidae. It was first described by German zoologist Martin Hinrich Carl Lichtenstein in 1812. Two subspecies of the impala have been recognised: the common impala (A. m. melampus) and the black-faced (A. m. petersi). Impala are fast runners and are known for their leaping ability, reaching heights up to 3 m (9.8 ft).
They are characterised by a glossy, reddish brown coat. Only the males have the characteristic slender, lyre-shaped horns, which can grow to be 45–92 cm (18–36 in) long. The black variant of the impala has a darker coat than that of the red impala. The saddleback impala has a marking on its back that is similar to a saddle thus called the saddleback impala.
It is a mixed forager, whose diet consists of grasses, forbs, monocots, dicots and foliage. It switches between grazing and browsing depending on the season and habitat. Water is an essential requirement.
The impala inhabits savanna grasslands and woodlands close to water sources.