Namibia's smallest antelope whistles when it senses danger - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection

Namibia with Heart and Soul: Take our hand and let us introduce you to this awe-inspiring country. Come and stay with us, experience Namibia.

WELCOME TO GONDWANA COLLECTION

Where the Namib Desert stretches languidly from the Atlantic Ocean and wild land extends into infinity, dreams become real. At this place where fantasy meets reality, you'll find the Gondwana Collection safely positioned.

Take our outstretched hand and let us introduce you to our extraordinary country, Namibia. From the massive chasms of the Fish River Canyon, the fossilised dunes of the Namib Desert and the red sands of the Kalahari Desert to the waterways of the Kavango and Zambezi, there are countless marvels to behold. Explore this awe-inspiring wilderness from the warmth of our lodges, created with conservation cognizance and ample character. And return to relax after an exciting day of discovery.

This is the Gondwana feeling: Namibia with heart and soul.

Come and stay with us, experience Namibia.

About us

Namibia2Go Car Rental

Experience Africa like never before. Explore Namibia your way with our well-maintained and fully inclusive rental vehicles. Easy. Hassle free. Unforgettable.

We offer a comprehensive travel service including car rental, accommodation, safaris and self-drive itineraries and day trips. Interested?

Boxed2Go Self-Drive Safaris

Let us spoil you with Gondwana Collection’s exceptional self-drive safari packages including accommodation, vehicle and a detailed route map guide. Make use of our comprehensive travel services to book an unforgettable safari. Discover the spectacular secrets Namibia holds. more

GO EPIC - Experience Namibia’s famed locations (11 days)
GO BIG - Discover Namibia's main attractions (13 days)
GO WILD - Track Namibia's awesome wildlife (12 days)

Safari2Go - The easiest way to travel the country!

10-Day Namibian Highlights Tour
Enjoy Namibia’s most popular destinations on this compact guided tour that incorporates visits to the Kalahari and Namib deserts – including the famed Sossusvlei dunes, the intriguing coastal town of Swakopmund, the Twyfelfontein rock engravings and Etosha National Park. more

3 Day / 2 Night – Sossusvlei Safari Shuttle
Exciting adventures await those who partake in this exhilarating safari to Sossusvlei, one of the most spectacular sites in the world. The magnificent star dunes are a photographer’s dream and the spectacular landscape will leave memories to last a lifetime. more

Namibia Road Map 2019/20

Anyone touring Namibia should definitely take our road map along. It is available from Gondwana free of charge, or as pdf download. This map features fascinating experiences plus recommended accommodation. At the same time it is an ordinary road map with all the essential information of the official Namibia road map by Prof. Uwe Jäschke and the Roads Authority of Namibia.

Gondwana's Newsroom

Namibia's smallest antelope whistles when it senses danger

Avatar of inke inke - 18. January 2019 - Environment

Dik-diks mark their territory by leaving a secretion from their preorbital gland on twigs and blades of grass.

Dirk Heinrich

Animals prick up their ears at the shrill whistling sound and flee. It takes a while before the whistler is identified, if he has not taken flight himself and is betrayed by moving. It is not easy to discover a Damara dik-dik standing dead still in dense vegetation. These hare-sized little antelopes owe their name dik-dik to their warning call. The shoulder height of Namibia's smallest antelope is less than 40 centimetres. Dik-diks are mostly spotted for the first time during visits to the Namutoni area of Etosha National Park, but they also occur at the Waterberg, in the Erongo Mountains, on numerous farms in the central western parts and in the northwest of Namibia. As for other countries, they are only found in a small section of south-western Angola.

In 1991, the year after Namibia gained independence, scientists showed great interest in the dik-diks of Etosha National Park. Dr Arlene Kumamoto and Steve Kingswood, who worked in California at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, wanted to find out whether the dik-diks in Namibia are the same species as the dik-diks 2000 kilometres away in East Africa, or a subspecies of the Kirk dik-dik or even a species in their own right. Blood and tissue samples were taken of dik-diks in the Namutoni area under the supervision of Chief Nature Conservation Official Wouter Hugo. The animals had been sedated for British researcher Peter Brotherton from the University of Cambridge and his assistant John Adams. The two British scientists wanted to study the behaviour of the dwarf antelopes. To this end at least 16 dik-diks were fitted with ear tags and two with a tracking device.

Namutoni's Chief Nature Conservation Officer Wouter Hugo and his colleague Johan Bester in 1991, fitting a dik-dik with a tracking device. It wasn’t very easily done: they had to get down onto their knees for the job.

Namibia’s dik-dik, the Damara dik-dik (Madoqua (kirkii) damarensis), is now regarded as a separate species. Other species of this genus are the Salt’s dik-dik, the Silver dik-dik, Günther’s dik-dik and Kirk dik-dik. The latter is divided into three subspecies: the Kirk, the Naivasha and the Ugogo dik-dik.

Dik-diks are even-toed ungulates with large eyes and elongated tubular snouts. They weigh about five kilograms and feed mainly on leaves, flowers and fruit. They stand on their hind legs, especially in the dry season, to get to leaves up to one metre high. In the rainy season, when everything is green, they also eat grass. Dik-dik pairs bond for life. Each pair has its own territory which is marked in numerous places, mostly by the male, with a secretion from the preorbital gland. Dung piles are also part of marking the territory. Males use their front hooves to cover the female’s dung piles with sand and then drop their own dung onto it. 

After a gestation period of about 170 days a single fawn weighing 620-760 grams is born. At the age of about eight months the young dik-dik is forced to leave the territory of the parents. Only males have horns, which are about eight centimetres long and pointed. Both sexes have a tuft of hair on the crown that stands upright when they are excited.

The watchful little antelopes have numerous enemies. They are hunted not only by leopard, caracal, rock python and occasionally cheetah, but also by large birds of prey such as the Martial Eagle. Many years ago nature conservation officer Raymond Dujardin saw a Verreaux's Eagle Owl catching a dik-dik in the Namutoni area. 

In times of drought Damara dik-diks often have to stand on their hind legs to reach the last few leaves on shrubs. With their grey-brown colouring the small antelope become almost invisible among dense shrubs in the arid landscape.

Comments are disabled for this post.

0 comments

Explore the Gondwana Blog

Subscribe to our blog and receive email notifications of all our latest articles & stories.

View the Blog

Romantik Hotels & Restaurants

200 hospitality establishments in the most beautiful locations in Europe - enjoy, relax and experience.

Read more

Stay up-to-date with our monthly 'Gondwana Tracks' Newsletter Sign up Today