Raphicerus campestris - The Steenbok

A member of the dwarf antelope group, the Steenbok is a delicate little dwarf antelope that spends the day moving through the savannah in search of food.

Did you know? According to the IUCN, unlike some animals in Africa, steenbok have probably benefited from human presence.

Steenbok are petite, weighing 7-16 kg and measuring 70-95 cm in length. Unlike the crouched stance of forest duikers, steenbok carry their heads high and have long legs, with a shoulder height between 45 and 60 cm. The hind quarters and lower parts/belly are pure white.

Did you know? Steenbok are also known as steinbuck and steenbuck.

The male Steenbok have upright, slender horns projecting above the eyes. Conspicuous black, facial glands are situated in front of the large, dark brown eyes. These pre-orbital glands are noticeable in both sexes.


70-95 cm in length.


7-16 kg.


Open savannah country where they are reliant on adequate cover in the form of taller grass and bushes.


Steenbok are abundant in South Africa and distributed widely throughout the country. They are considered a common species.

See this elegant little antelope in the Western Cape at the West Coast Biosphere Reserve (neighbour to Langebaan and close to Paternoster), Elandsfontein Private Reserve (about 30km from Yzerfontein), and the Grotto Bay Coastal Nature Reserve (about 60km from Cape Town). Other reserves that are home to steenbok include Camdeboo National Park in Graaff-Reinet (Eastern Cape), and Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Pretoria.

Diet - Herbivores

Browsers, Steenbok feed on shoots, young leaves, tubers, flowers and fruits. They seldom drink as they obtain the moisture they require from their diet.


This delicate little dwarf antelope spends the day moving through the savannah in search of food. Although it feeds on many kinds of plants and fruit, the steenbok can go for long periods without drinking, a useful adaptation in a dry habitat.


Gestation is seven months after which a single lamb is born. Lambs are concealed for the first three to four months, during which time the mother only makes contact in the early morning and evening to feed and groom the infant. Steenbok use old aardvark burrows as places to raise their young, and as refuges from predators.

Life Expectancy

9 years in the wild.


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Where to see Steenbok in their natural habitat?

Want to see steenbok in their natural habitat? Considered a common species in South Africa, steenbok are an abundant small antelope and distributed widely throughout the country. See them at most reserrves and parks including...

Conservation Status
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