Samples of 162 impala antelope (Aepyceros melampus) from throughout its distribution range in sub-Saharan Africa were surveyed using eight polymorphic microsatellite loci. Furthermore, 155 previously published mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from the same localities were reanalyzed. Two subspecies of impala are presently recognized--the isolated black-faced impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi) in southwest Africa and the common impala (Aepyceros melampus melampus) abundant in southern and east Africa. All tests performed indicated significant genetic differentiation at the subspecific level. Furthermore, individual-based analyses split the common impala subspecies into two distinct genetic groups, conforming with regional geographic affiliation to southern or east Africa. This was supported by assignment tests, genetic distance measures, pairwise theta values, and analysis of molecular variance. We suggest that the presence of such previously unknown regional structuring within the subspecies reflects a pattern of colonization from a formerly large panmictic population in southern Africa toward east Africa. This scenario was supported by a progressive decline in population diversity indices toward east Africa and a significant increase in the quantity theta/(1 - theta). Both microsatellite and mtDNA data indicated a genetic distinctiveness of the Samburu population in Kenya.