Average weight of the male is 250 kg (550 lbs.) and the female 180 kg (40 lbs.) Shoulder height averages at about 120 cm (47 in). Life expectancy is about 18 years.


Gemsbok are fairly large antelope and are light brownish-grey in colour. Their tails are long and black in colour. They have black markings running from the horns over the white face down the cheeks, down the throat and front part of the neck, through the junction of the shoulder and leg along the lower flanks (forming a borderline between the white belly and greyish-brown upper body) all the way to the midsection of the rear legs. The lower parts of the legs are covered in white socks. Both sexes have long straight horns.

Difference between male and female: Males have shorter and thicker horns than the females.


Associated with open dry, dessert-like landscape. Their diet consists out of grass, wild melons and succulent bulbs. Can survive without water for long periods of time due to the moisture they retrieve from the food they eat. Will dig for water in the sand during dry periods. They occur in groups that consists out of nursing herds, mixed herds, territorial males and then solitary males. They live in herds of up to 50 animals. They use their horns to defend themselves and will do that with amazing agility and accuracy.


A single young is born at any time during the year after a gestation period of +-9 months.