Cape Grysbok

© Nigel Dennis


Cape grysbok or southern grysbok (Raphicerus melanotis)


The Cape grysbok is a small, timid antelope. It measures 540 mm at the shoulder and weighs about 10 kg. Its stubby body has a coarse coat of white and reddish hair on its back and sides. Only males have horns of 60 to 80 mm in length, slightly curved and standing upright.

Cape Grysbok Diet

Largely a browser, the Cape grysbok feeds on succulent grasses and fruits in South Africa, and is not dependant on water.

Cape Grysbok Breeding

After a gestation period of seven months, single lambs are born. Lambing often peaks in the months of spring, however they can be born throughout the year. Under ideal conditions, females give birth twice a year. Newborns are darker in colour than adults and lighten with age, maturing sexually between 18 and 24 months of age.

Cape Grysbok Behaviour

The Cape grysbok is a solitary animal, browsing and grazing during nighttime while lying and resting in the heat of the day.

Where they are found

The Cape grysbok is found in South Africa in the mountain valleys and shrubby plains of the Western and Eastern Cape. It is endemic to the Fynbos Biome. It is similar to the Sharpe’s grysbok in habit and physical appearance, however the Sharpe’s grysbok ranges in the Lebombo mountain range in northeastern Mpumalanga, and even further north.