Yellow Blesbuck

Scientific name:

Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi

Colour variants of blesbok selectively bred by private game farmers for the commercial market. These variants are not genetically different from the blesbok and thus are not new sub-species. They breed successfully with each other and the blesbok, as well as with the bontebok sub-species


A medium sized plains antelope with shoulders that is higher than the hind quarters, resulting in a sloping back. This is the typical body profile of the Alcelaphinae, the hartebeest family. The popular name blesbok refers to the distinct white blaze on the forehead and muzzle. The remainder of the coat usually varies from a light to dark golden brown but lacks the dark plum like shading that distinguishes the bontebok. The saddle and the rear of the buttocks are a dull yellow-brown. The underside of the body and parts of the lower legs are a dirty white.


Short grass, and particularly favours fresh green grass appearing after a veld burn.


Blesbok can be found in open veld or plains of South Africa. Their preferred habitat is open grassland with water. They often occupy relatively small territories of 2.5 to 6.0 acres in size. They were once one of the most abundant antelope species of the African plains, but have become scarce since 1893 due to relentless hunting for their skins and meat. The blesbok’s distribution is restricted to the Republic of South Africa. Its historic range includes the Eastern Cape, Free State, southern parts of the former Transvaal, marginally in KwaZulu-Natal along the upper reaches of the Tugela River and into Lesotho, west of the Maluti Mountains.