African Klipspringer

Klipspringer, Botswana, Africa

Klipspringer, Botswana, Africa

Of over 90 species of antelopes in our world, there is only one that lives on rocks and cliffs:  the klipspringer.  Named for its ability to jump rocks, the Afrikaans translation is “rock jumper.”


A very small antelope averaging about 22 inches (58 cm) high, Oreotragus oreotragus lives in southern and eastern Africa on rocky outcroppings.  It gracefully bounds across the rocks, and lands with all four feet together. This acrobatic skill is their best protection from predators like leopard, jackal, and hyena.  They browse on leaves, berries, and fruits and are not dependent on water; so they can stay isolated and protected high up on the cliffs.


I only saw this rock-dancing antelope once, the pair was hundreds of feet up on a rocky cliff.  But you know how it is when you see an animal that is exhibiting such beautiful skill; you stop and watch, let nothing else distract you, and even after they’re gone, or you’re gone, you never forget it.  And it’s always great to have the photos to remind you it wasn’t just a dream.


Klipspringer, Botswana, Africa

Klipspringer, Botswana, Africa

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander


Klipspringer, Botswana

Klipspringer, Botswana

30 thoughts on “African Klipspringer

    • I admire it too, Gunta, they’re so agile and quick. We were not close enough to hear their hooves clicking on the rocks, but I bet that’s a thrill too. Thank you, m;y friend, and have a fun weekend. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Tiny. They are quite rare to find, too. I’ve spent over six weeks in Africa, and only saw this antelope once, led by a guide who knew where to look. Very glad you enjoyed it! 😀

    • I had never heard of them either, RH. They are quite rare to find. We were lucky our guide had heard where we might find a pair, then circled and circled and searched for them, and saw them hundreds of feet away on the cliff. I’m glad you got to “see” one too! 😀

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