T he gemsbok is another of Africa’s great antelopes. Unlike the greater kudu, its range is more restricted to the continent. The gemsbok is the king of the Namib and Kalahari deserts. It is the thoroughbred of desert antelopes, surviving even in shadeless, sun-baked desert wastes. Seeing one of these beautiful antelopes on the barren plains and sand dunes of the Namib is a truly great sight. Gemsbok occur throughout Namibia in substantial numbers. Like with the greater kudu, there is no other country on the African continent where the gemsbok is found in greater numbers or higher average trophy quality. The best trophies are perhaps to be found in the western parts of the country at the edge of the Namib Desert, as well as in the Kalahari regions of eastern and south-eastern Namibia.
With these tough desert antelopes, shots have to be accurately placed and a caliber of .30 or more should be used.
To a certain extent the gemsbok is independent of open water. In the Kalahari these animals dig out water-carrying roots and tubers and in the Namib they travel considerable distances to reach remote little springs.
In the open country gemsbok can be spotted from afar and then approached in a careful stalk. Often they give themselves away by constantly wagging their long bushy tails. Their striking black and white face markings are very conspicuous. With its unique behaviour and striking habitat, the gemsbok, compared to the greater kudu, sable, bongo and Lord Darby eland, is one of the most magnificent antelopes and really great trophies to be obtained on the African continent.
|Shoulder Height:||120 cm|
|Mass:||120 – 240 kg|
|Diet:||Grazer, but changes to browser during dry season
|Rut:||No specified breeding season|
|Distribution:||Arid regions in Southern Africa, such as the Kalahari Desert and Namib Desert
|Appearance:||The only outward difference between males and females is their horns. In males horns tend to be thicker with a larger base|