25 September 2012 by Julienne du Toit

Roadside steenbok

Widespread across South Africa, steenbok have a special fey beauty. Look out for them at the sides of roads, on farms and even on golf courses.

A steenbok pair, the male with little chopstick horns. Photo Chris Marais

With all the private game reserves springing up around the country, it’s possible to have free game drives in certain areas just by driving along side roads.

Around Grahamstown, just slow down and from the road you’ll often see warthogs, giraffe, red hartebeest, springbok and wildebeest going about their business on the other side of a game fence.


A female steenbok dashing for cover. Photo Chris Marais


But I love the steenbok, which have always been roadside wanderers – sometimes to their detriment, unfortunately.

They’re often found close to human settlements, all over the country. You’ll find their neat little footprints on farms and open golf courses. You’ll often see them as you drive in the countryside, especially along dirt roads.


A steenbok male in the grassland. Photo Chris Marais


Small, brick-coloured antelope, you can distinguish them from the equally small duikers because steenbok will flash their white tail and underparts as they run.

Every animal has something to commend it, but the steenbok's outsize ears, big eyes and air of Bambi innocence just squeeze the heart.


A pair of steenbok. If threatened, they will typically sprint off in different directions. Photo Chris Marais

Category: Wildlife

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