The sable (Hippotragus niger) are less robustly built and lighter in mass than their close relatives the roan. It is a horse-like antelope with a long mane and easily identified by their distinctive swept-back horns. They are a savannah woodland species, dependent on cover and the availability of water. They prefer open woodland or grassland with medium to high stands of grass and avoid woodland with a high density of trees or where the grass is short.
Sable are gregarious and herds of 20 to 30 are common, with larger temporary aggregations of up to about 200. They may fall prey to lion, but most predators attack with caution.