The Tiny Ten
While local hunters do not really hunt these there indeed are a move by owners of the ten elk size South African antelope trophies to also collect the Tiny Ten, pictured below. Photos and descriptions mostly are from Kruger National Park archives: Absolutely the best rifle is a .22 Hornet with round nose full metal jacket bullets.
Blue Duiker (Philantomba monticola)
The Blue Duiker is the smallest antelope in Southern Africa. Measures less than 12"at the shoulders and females weighs 10 lbs and males under 9 lbs. The coat is blue-grey. Both sexes carry short sharp horns, which are often concealed by a tuft of hair.
The Blue Duiker feeds on fresh leaves, fruit and flowers fallen from the forest canopy.
The Blue Duiker is widely distributed from the Eastern Cape to parts of West Africa. However, as a consequence of its habitat preference the distribution range is as disjunct as is the indigenous evergreen forests they frequent. The species is classified as rare in the South African Red Data Book.
Blue Duikers are known to eat birds eggs and insects - making them omnivorous, although the predominant food is vegetation. They are preyed on by eagles, in particular the forest patrolling Crowned Eagle.
Damara Dik-Dik (Madoqua kirkii)
Only found in northern Namibia. The Eastern Karst woodlands in Etosha National Park are their favourite habitat, particularly the tamboti woodlands east of Fort Namutoni. Females weigh average 14 lbs and males 12 lbs, and stand 16" and 15" high.
Due to their small size, excellent camouflage and habit of standing motionless to avoid detection they are difficult to spot, even though they often stand close to the roads. They are quite tame and will withstand observation for some time before moving off.
Pairs bond for life and males are dominant. Males do not help with the rearing of young and cover the female's scent markings with their own in order to maintain the pair bond.
This petite antelope stands only 14" high at the shoulders, and rams weigh only 5 kg. Ewes are slightly larger. Light-brown to chestnut coat, they have broad, rounded ears, ashy-grey on the outside and pink inside. Only the rams grow horns. Of all African antelope, this species has the largest pre-orbital scent glands relative to body size.
Sunis feed on the forest floor, mostly at dawn and dusk. It takes freshly fallen leaves, fruits and flowers dislodged from trees. They are rare. The Suni is primarily active during the evening and night, sleeping the rest of the day in a shady, sheltered area. When danger approaches the Suni freezes, remaining hidden until the threat is nearly on top of them, at which point it leaps up and dodges around bushes and shrubs, vanishing into the undergrowth.
The young are heavily preyed upon by the crowned Eagle and Python.
Sharp's Grysbok (Raphicerus sharpei)
A shy antelope, It stands 19" at the shoulder and weighs 17 lbs. as an adult. The Afrikaans "grys" refers to the appearance of grey hair mingling with the rich rufous hair on the back and sides which gives this species a wiry, grizzled appearance. Only rams have horns.
Principally a browser, feeding on the leaves and young shoots of shrubs and bushes. Cultivated crops are also taken at night.
Because of its secretive nature very little has been recorded of this animal's habits. It is usually solitary, lying up during the heat of day and grazing and browsing at night and early hours of the morning.
Found in the north-eastern Lebombo mountain range and further north. Males and females have their own territories independent of each other and they mark territories by dung middens. They been seen to take cover in burrows such as those of the Aardvark.
A small, shy antelope with a thick-set body and a coarse coat of hair. Only males have horns. It stands 540 mm at the shoulder and adults weigh 10 kg. Predominantly a browser and not dependant of free water.
The Cape Grysbok is usually solitary, lying up during the heat of day and grazing and browsing at night.
It habituates the southern mountain valleys and scrub-covered flats of the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces in South Africa. It is endemic to the Fynbos Biome while Sharpe's Grysbok is similar in appearance and habit, but found in the Lebombo mountain range of north-eastern Mpumalanga and further north. The country in between these two extremes does not have any grysbok at all.
Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus)
The name Klipspringer is the Afrikaans for "rock jumper" and alludes to the animal's ability in rocky territory where it can be seen moving freely, seemingly on tiptoe.
Weighing 24-26 lb. and standing 20-24" high at the shoulders, it is stocky for its size. Ewes are slightly larger than the rams. Only rams have short horns, which are ringed only at the base. They have smallish rounded ears positioned far back on the head, and with noticeable dark inner markings. A prominent feature is the large, black pre-orbital gland.
Leopard, jackal and spotted hyena prey on them. Lambs are vulnerable to eagles and baboons. They are very alert to predators and to alarm signals of other species when browsing and react by fleeing to higher ground with the female leading. Once safe they give whistling alarm calls in duet.
They are selective browsers of flowers, tender green shoots and fruits of a wide variety of shrubs and herbs and are not dependent on drinking water.
They have a restricted habitat preference, namely very rocky environments of mountainous areas and outcrops.
Smaller than the Common Duiker it stands 17" at the shoulders and has a mass of 25lb. The upper body is a deep chestnut-red. Both sexes carry short, straight horns. The horns have coarse basal rings and longitudinal striations, but are smooth towards the tips.
it forages on freshly fallen leaves, fruits and flowers from forest canopies, mostly during the early mornings and late afternoons. They are very territorial and normally live in pairs pairs with one dependent youngster.
The Red duiker is found in gallery forests, forest edges, woodland edges and clearings and is decidedly less confined to dense forests than most other Duikers.
The Duiker gets its name from the Afrikaans word 'duiker' which means to dive, relating to its habit of ducking away into bushes when danger threatens. They can live independently of water and feed on leaves, fruit and seeds. They are one of the very few antelope to have been known to eat insects and carrion. They are mainly active in late afternoon and into the night
Only the males having short horns. Adult males stand 19" at the shoulders and females are about an inch taller. They weigh between 38 to 44 lbs. Considerable colour variation within populations are observed in some areas. They browse a wide range of broad-leaved forbs, trees and bushes, they also eat fruit, pods and seeds, roots, bark, flowers, fungi, caterpillars and even nestling birds. In arid areas wild melons are eaten for their water content. They may be a problem in crops, orchards, vineyards and plantations.
Their main predators are eagles, leopard, jackal and python.
Oribi. (Oribia scoparia)
This gracious little antelope has a long, slender neck and legs. Ears are oval. The coat is rufous-brown with white under parts. The tail of the oribi is black. Situated close to the inner corners of the eyes are two large pre-orbital glands. Only the rams have short, straight horns of up to 7" long, which are ringed at the base. Adult rams measure 24" at the shoulders and weigh 3-lbs Ewes are slightly larger than rams. Oribi display a distinctive "stotting" action when alarmed, which entails vertical leaps with straight legs. it is not dependant on free surface water.
Found in small monogamous groups of a ram with two ewes. These groups are territorial, and actively defend their territories of 100-400 acres in size. A family regularly performs a dunging ceremony, although dung middens are not maintained. Distribution is patchy and discontinuous in the northern parts of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mphumalanga.
Steenbok (Raphicerus Campestris)
Rufous brown to fawn coat with long, broad ears. Measures 20+" at the shoulders and weigh 22lbs. Only rams have upright, slender horns projecting above the eyes. Conspicuous black, facial glands are situated in front of the large, dark brown eyes.
Exclusively a browser, and shows a preference for forbs. It is generally highly selective for green material such as young leaves, flowers, fruits and shoot tips of various plants. Roots, tubers and bulbs are taken during dry months by raking the ground, and even digging shoulder-deep, to reach these nutritious food supplies which are high in moisture content.
To conceal the infant's presence, the mother eats her lamb's faeces and drinks its urine during her visits, this keeps the hiding place relatively odour free and protected from predators.They are the only bovid who scrape the ground before and after urination and defecation.
Inhabits open savannah country where they are reliant on adequate cover in the form of taller grass and clumps of bushes. Probably the most abundant small antelope occurring in South Africa.