Klipspringers “Rock Jumpers”

Whenever we are in rocky areas in Kruger National Park, all eyes are on the lookout for the elusive Klipspringer. These small antelopes are secretive and often remain motionless on steep rock cliffs. They seem to have glue on their feet as they nimbly jump for one rock to another with ease. The name Klipspringer is Afrikaans for 'rock jumper' and alludes to the animal's agility. In a rocky territory where it is seen, they seemingly move on tiptoe. They are often light tan or brown and blend into the rocky terrain making them hard to spot. Weighing around 23-26 pounds when full-grown, this makes them one of the small, South African antelope. Males have short horns appearing like small spikes on their heads while females lack horns. Most of the time, my sightings have been a pair of Klipspringers but once I was fortunate to see a youngster. Young tend to be hidden from sight and away from leopards who also like to frequent rocky terrain. Once we spot one, getting a picture becomes the next challenge as they like to disappear quickly.