Only the males bear horns, and they are usually seen in pairs, although a number of pairs may feed and intermingle when feeding. I once counted eight couples of these animals in an undulating valley on the plateau of a long range of hills overlooking Fort Manning, in Central Angoniland.
Klipspringer meat I consider more tasty than that of any other antelope, as it resembles tender mutton, and has not the soft, insipid taste of some of the other species.
They are most sporting little animals, and to get a shot at one it is often necessary to climb high, when lovely views of the surrounding country will be seen. I have climbed many a lonely hill to look for them, many probably never trodden by the feet of civilised man, and when doing so I have kept my eyes open for minerals ; but I never found any, probably because I know little about geology or prospecting work. It is often the way that the first men in a new country gain little, and those who follow are the lucky ones.
In running off, klipspringer often stop and look back from the top of a big boulder, and thus offer a fine chance for a quick shot. If they are startled and bolt, it pays to wait, and not risk a doubtful running chance, as they will likely have one look back before disappearing for good.
Klipspringers are found throughout Africa, where the country suits them, but it is hard work following them, although the beautiful scenery, and the trophy and meat, are a recompense for such hard exercise under a hot sun. They seldom drink, and doubtless get all the moisture they need by eating juicy and wet vegetation.
Chinyanja - Gwapi.
Chingoni - Phunzi.
Good average horns,
The duiker is one of the commonest small antelopes in Central Africa, as they are found all over the country.
They usually run in couples, inhabit fairly open bush, and go into the open in the cooler hours to feed. The females are, as a rule, hornless, although I have heard of several cases of their bearing horns, which, however, are smaller than those of the males.
As they are small-bodied animals, it needs fairly accurate shooting to kill them. They are very tenacious of life, considering their small size, and I have seen them go off with most severe wounds, although it is easy to recover them by spooring them up.
They have a habit of returning to the same place to deposit their droppings, but they are not singular in this respect, as many other animals do the same thing.
I do not think they drink often, as they are sometimes found far from water. They probably get all the moisture they require by eating wet grass and leaves, and also plants that are full of moisture.
Their colour is a brownish grey and they are well formed, and like other small buck can be easily tamed when taken young. The males have a long tuft of hair between the horns which, when they are close, look like a third horn. Their meat is fairly good eating, and their kidneys and liver are particularly good.
Chinyanja - Kasenye.
Chingoni - Nsumpe.
Good average horns,
A very localised species, but where found may exist in fair numbers. Inhabits fairly thick bush, and is seldom seen in open country. The colour of the skin is a reddish brown with white hairs interspersed. When they run off they do not often stand and look back like oribi, klipspringer, and duiker. They could easily be killed with a shot gun and heavy shot, such as a charge of No. 4, but I think it is more sporting to shoot them with a rifle.
I have seen them near Gwazas, on the Shire River, in Central Angoniland, and different parts of North-Eastern Rhodesia. They seem to have acute senses of smell and hearing, and are seldom seen standing. Only the males grow horns.
Chinyanja - Kadumba.
Good average horns,
The females grow horns as well as the males, and both sexes show an inward curve on the horns. The colour varies from a blue brown to a chocolate brown. I have seen these tiny antelopes in the Mlanje district of Nyasaland, and also at Mpezo about fifteen miles from Blantyre, where there are a few of them, although their numbers are kept low by the natives, who set snares across their runs. They are very wary, and it is most difficult to get a shot at them with a rifle. I believe they are plentiful in parts of Portuguese East Africa, and I saw the skins of two of the chocolate-coloured variety, which were got in the stony hills bordering the Lupata Gorge, on the Zambesi River. In Mlanje, where they used to be very plentiful, they inhabit the thickest of cover, and the natives there also kill great numbers with their snares.
In running they assume a crouching attitude, and so creep through small spaces among the thick vegetation, and, once they are startled, they do not stop to look back, but go right away. The female does not, probably, weigh much more than 12lb. Their feet are very small and gracefully formed, and they are the smallest antelopes in this part of Africa.
When living, about a couple of years ago, for a few months near Mikolongwe, in Blantyre district, a friend (Mr. J. Maiden, of Midima Estate) gave me a pair of horns, on frontlet of skull, of a small antelope killed by one of his natives with a shotgun on the slopes of Midima Hill. At the first glance I thought it belonged to a male Livingstone's antelope, so I wrote Mr. R. Lydekker, F.R.S., of the Natural History Museum, London, and sent him, with a full description, a pencil sketch of the horns, and he replied that I was correct in thinking it belonged to this species. I have never seen another specimen, and it is a pity Mr. Maiden was not able to keep the full skull and skin ; but he happened to be away from home when his boy shot it, and the horns were all he could recover.