The grey rhebok is an antelope almost endemic to South Africa, with only two small populations outside our borders, in Lesotho and Swaziland.
Often confused with the mountain reedbuck, with which it shares its mountainous habitat, the grey rhebok differs in having a duller coat and overall more slender appearance. The horns of the rams are straight, not curved as in those of the mountain reedbuck. Grey rhebok stand up to 80cm high at the shoulder and weigh on average around 20kg.
Grey rhebok are mixed feeders, taking both grass and browse depending on the season. Unlike mountain reedbuck they are not dependant on drinking water. Rams are territorial and surprisingly aggressive, being known to have killed rival males and even sheep, goats, mountain reedbuck and dogs traversing their areas. Small herds consisting of females and their young often remain within the territory of the same ram for considerable periods of time. Most lambs are born in the wet, warm, summer months. Grey rhebok are extremely fleet-footed and agile and yet they do fall prey to predators ranging from eagles and jackals to leopards. Their life expectancy is only 8 to 10 years.
The IUCN considers the grey rhebok to be safe, with a population of between 10,000 and 18,000 in Southern Africa, with up to 3,000 occurring in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park alone. We’ve also seen them at Karoo and Mountain Zebra National Parks, but we’ve had our best sightings at Golden Gate Highlands National Park.