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The Gemsbok is a very striking animal with dramatic features and long spear like horns. It has a thick horse-like neck with a short mane that runs from the head to the shoulders and a compact, muscular body. The distinctive black and white face markings are said to have contributed to their name Gemsbok, given to them by the Boers, which means chamois. There is white around the nose and mouth, black on top of the muzzle, which joins a black band that runs from in front of the ear through the eyes and to the middle of the lower jaw. The ears end in a black tip, and there is a narrow black stripe down the spine, a black patch on top of the rump, and a black tail. There is also a black band that separates their gray-fawn colored flanks and the white under parts. All four legs are black on their top half, with white below the knees and black patches on the shins. Males and females are difficult to tell apart. Their horns are long and extend straight back from the head and diverge rather widely at the tips. Female horns tend to be more slender and slightly longer than males and are sometimes curved and more parallel. The tips are pointed and sharp, and native Africans used the tips for spear points. The horns are ringed but are smooth near the tips. The horns of the calves grow extremely fast, and when they emerge from concealment after birth, their horns are very evident. This has lead to the myth that a Gemsbok is born with horns.

Key Facts



Gestation Period:
9 months

Number of Young:

Maximum Age:
20 years

Male & Female

Year Round

Pursue record-setting trophies.