Bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus dorcas)

Bontebok (damaliscus dorcas dorcas) Silhouette

Quick stats of the Bontebok

  • Diet: - Herbivore
  • Shoulder Height: - 0.9m
  • Weight: - Male - 62 kg
  • Weight: - Female - 59 kg
  • Lifespan - 12 years


Bontebok © SA Tourism

Confined to the south-western Cape, the Bontebok was endangered, but is now protected by national parks. They live in open fynbos veld or grassy plains, near plenty of water. Bontebok only eat grass, especially short grass. Bontebok have an unusual habit of standing in groups facing the sun with their heads bowed during the hottest time of day.

Males form separate herds to females although some males live alone and are territorial. Similar to the Blesbok, the Bontebok will mate with a female whose herd passes by during mating season. Males are not aggressive when it comes to a mate - the males will kneel and might poke each other, normally the interfering male backs away. After a gestation period of 8 months a single calf is born.

The Bontebok and Blesbok are very similar and possibly shared a common ancestor although they are found in different areas in South Africa. The Bontebok has a white patch on its rump and all its legs have white socks. The outer areas of the Blesbok's legs are brown.

Other Names for the Bontebok

  • No other Names


Distribution map of the Bontebok
Distribution map of the Bontebok

Taxonomy of the Bontebok

  • Order - Artiodactyla
  • Family - Bovidae
  • Sub Family - Alcelaphinae
  • Genus - Damaliscus
  • Species - D. pygargus
  • Sub Species - D. p. dorcas

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