Klipspringer pair on Table Mountain summit
Once plentiful on Table Mountain, the indigenous klipspringer (an Afrikaans word that translates to ‘rock-jumper’) antelope is a rare sight nowadays. Uncontrolled hunting led to local extinction by the 1930s. In 1999, the Table Mountain National Park reintroduced klipspringer to sections of the Cape Peninsula. The first introduction of 19 animals was into the Cape of Good Hope section of the Park in 1999. The second release was the reintroduction of the klipspringer onto Table Mountain in 2003, when 9 animals were released onto the Back Table. A further 10 animals were released onto the mountain in 2005.
I chanced upon the pair in the photo while hiking across the Eastern Table late in the afternoon. They perched themselves on a rock and watched curiously as I tried to sneak closer before bounding off. Despite the many hours I spend hiking Table Mountain each year, I see klipspringers perhaps only once a year. So this was a privilege indeed.