Grey Duiker

Common or grey duikers are dapper little antelopes that occur widely across Southern Africa. You can see them on most safaris in Southern Africa.

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Common or grey duikers are the largest duiker species found within the Kruger National Park. Their horns are more prominent than those of other duikers. They are a grey-brown color all over, with slight reddish fur on their heads under their thorn-like horns, and have long faces with distinct charcoal-colored nose bridges.

These antelope occur throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, from the northern part of this range on the edge of the Sahara Desert, right down to Cape Point in South Africa. The Kruger National Park has common duikers in abundance. They can be found from the Lowveld areas of the southern part of the park to the grasslands near its core and beyond, to mopane and more tropical forest areas northwards as you pass the Tropic of Capricorn.

Common Duiker
Scientific Name
Sylvicapra grimmia
18.7Kg (M) 20.7Kg (f)
Shoulder Height
50cm (M) 52cm (F)
Mating Season
Throughout the year


The common duiker's conservation status, updated through studies in January of 2016, shows that it does justice to the "common"' part of its name. According to researchers, population estimates are in the 6-digit range, close to 7 digits, with numbers as high as ten million. There are no real threats to the species, and their population will almost certainly remain the same for the near future, despite potential habitat loss and overhunting by many growing settlements in central and more northern African countries.


The adaptiveness of common duikers has primarily contributed to their healthy state as a species and abundance in many Sub-Saharan African ecosystems. They live in any environment with enough vegetation to hide from predators. Their color and size may differ amongst individuals from different habitats as they have adapted to varying humidity levels, vegetation, rainfall patterns, and temperature ranges within that particular environment. Grey Duikers have even managed to survive within suburbs of towns and cities where they have replaced their regular diet with leaves, fruits, and flowers from garden plants. Their populations are highest in savanna and woodland areas.

Social Organization

They are territorial and have only one mate at a time, differing from most dwarf antelope species that form lifelong bonds with their mates. Both sexes have home ranges, and usually, at least one female's home range falls within the territory of a male with whom she mates. The territories of males are patrolled and marked by glands that they use to secrete a substance with a strong smell. Males chase each other at high speed and threaten one another with their horns when one violates the territory of another.

Finest Safari Areas in Africa for Encountering Grey Duiker

We recommend the following National Parks and Private Reserves for the best chances of spotting the duiker on safari game drives and bush walks.

Social Behavior

These light-footed, small antelope are most active during the early hours of the morning and late afternoon or right through the day on overcast days when it is cooler. They have become almost solely nocturnal in areas where they are hunted during the day, showing their adaptiveness. Their days are occupied by protecting territory and feeding on the different fruits, pods, and flowers the forest's flora offers if they are not interrupted by the ever-present predators.


Duikers have no definite seasonal breeding - they reproduce at any time of year. Their courtship involves the classic actions; of leg lifting, calling out to each other, and testing each other's urine before rubbing against each other. They start copulating within half an hour from the start of this courtship. Gestation periods differ from three to seven months. After birth, the mother keeps her offspring concealed for a few weeks, even though they can run after only three days.

Anti-Predator Behavior

When in danger, duikers send out distress calls in the form of a bleating sound. This sound attracts larger predators like hyenas and leopards when played by hunters. When predators threaten their fawn, males and even females attack small predators such as baboons or pythons, bumping them, puffing, and even charging at them. If predators do not spot them, duikers usually try to remain hidden within dense vegetation. The sharp horns of duikers easily pierce the skin of snakes when ingested and most certainly are not the ideal meal.

The Big 5

White Rhino
Black Rhino