This small antelope is at home on cliffs and other rocky terrain where it agilely jumps from rock to rock. It lives in life-long pairs and is seldom apart from its mate. The male can often be seen standing prominently on a rock keeping watch for intruders and predators.
Male klipspringers will remain standing to keep watch whilst a female rests or tends to her lamb.
A klipsringer will leap from rock to rock on its tiptoes. It demonstrates surefooted confidence due to its rubbery hooves that stop it from slipping and which also absorb the shock.
In southern Africa only male klipspringer have horns but in some parts of East Africa females will occasionally possess horns.
To help the klipspringer judge distances when jumping around cliffs and rocks it has a muzzle which is sharply tapered and eyes that are set forward.
The klipsringer’s name is derived from the Afrikaan’s word “klip” meaning rock and “springer”, jumper.
Klipspringers pair up for life and will seldom be apart from one another. Whilst one feeds the partner will keep watch.
The golden sheen of a klipspringer’s coat and its rounded back help it blend into the rocky habitat when it freezes at the threat of danger.
A klipspringer regulates its temperature by trapping an insulating layer of air in its hollow fur which lays flat against the skin.