Gemsbok in Pilanesberg

The gemsbok is a large antelope that has adapted to live in hot, dry areas where most large mammals cannot. Gemsbok or Oryx survive by getting water from fruits and vegetables and can withstand temperatures ranging up to 45 degrees Celsius. The current population of Gemsbok or Oryx in South Africa is estimated at 373,000.


The gemsbok is light brown-grey to tan in colour, with a long black tail. Their necks and legs are very muscular, and both genders sport long, straight horns. The Gemsbok stands at 1.2m shoulder height. The male weighs between 220-250kg. The female weighs between 180-210kg.


The Gemsbok lives in herds of 10-40 animals, which include one dominant male, a few non-dominant males and some females. They are desert-dwelling animals; therefore they do not depend on drinking to satisfy their water needs. The Gemsbok is capable of running up to 56km/h.