Springbok [Antidorcas marsupialis]
Best places to see Springbok in Botswana
Springbok occur throughout central and southern Botswana. They number in the thousands in the Nxai Pan National Park
, Central Kalahari Game Reserve
and Makgadikgadi Pans
Springbok occurred in their millions across the arid regions of southern Africa
and were referred to as 'trekbokken' by the early settlers. In fact it was recorded that a herd would take as long as four days to pass a certain point. With more settlers and greater development the springbok numbers plummeted
and today the numbers are a fraction of what they used to be.
Springbok are now confined to game farms and reserves with the only numbers of substance being found in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. In these reserves gatherings of thousands can still be seen - especially during the rainy season when they gather on the new grass plains.
As arid-zone antelope Springbok can survive without water
- getting their liquid needs from the food they eat and they are also able to limit water-loss in a number of ways: their faeces is very dry and when in the heat of the day they stand with their rumps to the sun thereby limiting the surface area exposed to the sun.
Predators and Pronking
When chased by predators a herd of springbok will disperse
in all directions. Some will 'pronk' or 'stott'
as they head away from danger. This involves an individual jumping up and down with all four legs stiff. It is believed that this is an anti-predator behaviour but watching springbok after a rain storm or early in the morning then it becomes obvious that they 'stott' from sheer exuberance
Due to their habitat the chief predator of the springbok is the cheetah with jackals and caracal preying on the youngsters.