On Gamagara Safari Lodge, we host one of the special antelope called the Grey Duiker…

“Common” is a most suitable description of this little antelope as it has the widest distribution of any African antelope. It is also known as the grey duiker, bush duiker, Grimm’s duiker or savannah duiker. The name grey duiker comes from its characteristic greyish colouring while the name “bush“. This is a misconception as the animal does not live in thickets or forest but rather in savannah woodland, grassland and karroid shrubland.


The duiker is endemic to the African continent and is divided into the forest or thicket duiker of the genus Cephalophus with 15 species, Philantomba with two species and the savannah-woodland or bush duiker, genus Sylvicapra with one species S. grimmia and 25 sub-species. Some authors recognise up to 40 sub-species.

The major sub-species are:

  • the southern common duiker Sylvicapra grimmia grimmia of the Cape
  • the eastern Cape common duiker S.g. burchelli of the Eastern cape and KwaZulu-Natal
  • the Limpopo common duiker S.g. caffra of Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana, southern Mosambique and the former Transvaal
  • the Kalahari common duiker S.g. steinhardti of the northern Cape, western Botswana and Namibia
  • the Angolan bush duiker S.g. splendidula of Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zaqmbia
  • the east African bush duiker S.g. orbicularis of northern Mosambique and Tanzania
  • the desert bush duiker S.g. diserti of Kenya, Somalia and southern Ethiopia
  • the Nile bush duiker S.g. abyssincia from Uganda to Eritrea
  • the northern bush duiker S.g. rosevelti between the Nile and the Niger
  • the western bush duiker S.g. coronata of West Africa


A small hunch-backed, slender-legged, short-tailed and smooth-skinned antelope varying in size between the sub-species. The Cape common duiker is the largest at 21 kg, the Angolan sub-species weighs 13 kg and the western sub-species 12 kg. The ewe is slightly larger than the ram. The coat colour varies markedly from pale yellow-grey in the low veld, to red-brown in northern Zululand and the Eastern Cape valley bushveld, red-brown with an orange-yellow tint in the Sahel and a bright tawny with minimal speckling in central east Africa. The hair is soft and thick and generally 16 mm long, although in Botswana it grows as long as 30 mm. This gives the coat a furry appearance. Duikers most distinctive characteristics are the dark brown facial blaze, the dark brown pre-orbital scent glands in front of each eye and the crowned tuft between the horns.

So be sure to look out for this amazing antelope when visiting Gamagara Safari Lodge!


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