Steenbok are small antelopes found in southern and eastern Africa. Their coat is any shade from fawn to rufous, typically rather orange. The underside, including chin and throat, is white, as is the ring around the eye. Ears are large with "finger-marks" on the inside. Males have straight, smooth, parallel horns. There is a black crescent-shape between the ears, a long black bridge to the glossy black nose, and a black circular scent-gland in front of the eye. Their tail is so short that it is not usually visible.
Steenbok are found in two parts of Africa. In East Africa, they occur in central and southern Kenya and Tanzania. In Southern Africa, they occur in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. These antelopes live in a variety of habitats from semi-desert, such as the edge of the Kalahari Desert and Etosha National Park, to open woodland and thickets, including open plains, stony savannah, and Acacia-grassland mosaics.
Steenbok are generally solitary and only come together to mate. However, it is suggested that pairs occupy consistent territories while living independently and stay in contact through scent markings. This way they know where their mate is most of the time. These antelopes are active during the day and the night. During hotter periods, they usually rest under shade during the heat of the day. During the dry season, they usually feed at night. While resting, they may be busy grooming, ruminating or taking brief spells of sleep. At the first sign of trouble, steenbok typically lie low in the vegetation. If a predator comes closer, a steenbok will leap away and follow a zigzag route to try to shake off the pursuer. During such escape steenbok frequently stop to look back. They may even take refuge in the burrows of aardvarks.
Steenbok are herbivorous animals. They feed on low-level vegetation, scrape up roots and tubers. In some areas, they prefer forbs and woody plants. They will also take fruits and only very rarely graze on grass. Steenbok don't need water as they gain moisture from their food.
Little is known about the mating system in Steenbok. In order to attract females, rival males will take part in a display called "bluff-and-bluster". Breeding occurs throughout the year. Some females may breed twice a year. The gestation period lasts about 170 days, and usually, a single well-developed calf is born. The calf is kept hidden in vegetation for 2 weeks. Young are usually weaned when they are 3 months old. Females become reproductively mature at 6-8 months of age and males at 9 months of age.
There are no major threats to steenbok at present. However, they suffer locally from domestic dogs and subsistence herdsmen who often capture and kill calves especially those, staying alone in cover.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the steenbok total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.