Photo & words by Justin Hawthorne
An image and experience from a calm late-winters day at Cape Point during 2019.
While photographing the landscape on a calm and beautiful morning in late winter at Cape Point I turned my head only to notice this beautiful female Klipspringer moving along the rocky footpath five metres away from me. A burst of excitement took over as she is the daughter of a pair I regularly see when leading interpretive nature excursions at the Cape of Good Hope where I often don’t have my camera on hand.
She kept her eyes fixed on me for a few seconds and then dropped down to a terrace lower down, moved swiftly past me and then back up onto my level, hopping onto a rocky area where she stood still for a couple minutes – allowing me to grab the odd photo. I love how we can clearly see her narrow hooves – as she stands gracefully on her tip-toes. Before too long she had dropped down and bounced from rock to rock into dense thicket and left me to continue what I was doing.
Earlier this year, before our COVID-19 lockdown was imposed, I had passed through this territory on numerous hikes I was leading. On the last five sightings I only had the adult pair recorded so curiosity abounds as to her whereabouts. As soon as I am able to hike the area again I will keep an eye peeled for her, or signs of her in another territory. Of course she may too have been taken by their natural predator on the Cape Peninsula, a Caracal (Caracal caracal). This post will get updated with any further knowledge on this individual.
Klipspringers (Oreotragus oreotragus) are small diurnal antelopes, primarily browsing herbivores, accustomed to mountainous terrain. They form territories of a breeding pair and their offspring. Klipspringers are most often seen as solitary, pairs or family groups of three and found in southern and east Africa. A beautiful little antelope!
Consider joining me on a guided nature experience this summer to potentially see this Klipspringer, or others, on foot – take a look HERE
South Africa is hoping to responsibly open up the tourism sector to international travel in spring 2020.
Photographed using a Fujifilm Xt20