There are many types of antelope that you may encounter during your safari. Some are large and some are so small that the adults often get mistaken for babies of other species.

One of these small antelope species is known as a Steenbok. The name Steenbok is derived from a local word, Steen, which means brick. This is due to the reddish colouration of the antelope. They only reach approximately 0.5m at the shoulder. Males are clearly distinguishable from the female by having short, straight, pencil-like horns.

A Steenbok Surprise

When you encounter these antelope you may often see them standing in a frozen, upright and alert posture. Steenbok will evaluate any perceived danger and if need be they will make a lightning fast dash out of the area. Sometimes you may find some very relaxed individuals feeding off grasses and forbs or digging for bulbs.

Steenbok are mostly solitary antelope. Females may be accompanied by a lamb or a courting male. We were recently very fortunate to see these two Steenbok mating. This is not an event that one gets to witness all too often.

A Steenbok Surprise

Gestation for this species lasts for around 7 months. Thereafter the mother will usually give birth to one tiny lamb.

Written by – Cal Butler
Post courtesy of Leopard Hills Game Reserve

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