National Animal of Malawi

National Animal of Malawi

Thomson’s gazelle is the national animal of Malawi. The Thomson’s gazelle is an herbivore, feeding mostly on young grass, shoots, twigs and tree barks. Malawian national animal is also called Tommie. It is a member of the bovidae family. Compared to other gazelle species, the Thomson’s gazelle is relatively small in size. There are two species of the Thomson’s gazelle, one is the Serengeti gazelle and the other one is the eastern Thomson’s gazelle. The eastern one is larger than that of Serengeti.

The national animal of Malawi likes living in open plains and grasslands. In such areas, Malawian national animal is guaranteed of enough food and water. They can also avoid their predators by running fast in such areas. Their population is estimated to be around 550,000 (IUCN red list, 1999). They graze together with other large animals like zebras, wildebeests and even cows. These large animals trample on the grass, enabling Malawian national animal to feed on the small grass.

Facts about the National Animal of Malawi (Thomson’s Gazelle)

  • Common name: Thomson’s gazelle
  • Scientific name: Gazella thomsonii
  • Average weight: 35-55 pounds
  • Average length: 22-26 inches
  • Habitat: open plains and grasslands
  • Diet: Herbivores
  • Lifespan: 10.5 years
  • Gestation period: 6 months
  • Predators: cheetahs, leopards, lions, hyenas, hunting dogs and many others

Malawian national animal is usually dark fawn on the upperparts. It also has a dark side strip running from the shoulders to the flanks. On its rump, Malawian national animal has a white patch. Its underparts are white in color. When you observe its black tail, you willnotice it is constantly in motion. This beautiful animal is the national animal symbol of Malawi.

As a social animal, the Thomson’s gazelles live in groups which can consist of as few as 5 gazelles or as many as hundreds of them. Its horns and skin are widely used in cultural events thus qualifying it as the national symbol of Malawi.