Springbok, Northern Cape
Springbok is the largest town in the Namaqualand area in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. It was called Springbokfontein, until 1911. Springbok is located on the N7 national route which connects the Cape with Namibia, at the western end of the N14, which connects it with Upington and Pretoria, it is the main town of the Nama Khoi Local Municipality, which includes a number of surrounding towns such as Okiep and Nababeep. The town lies at an elevation of 1,007 metres in a narrow valley between the high granite domes of the Klein Koperberge; this name gives away the reason for the early settlement which turned into a major commercial and administrative centre for copper mining operations in the region. While the town developed this slowed down when rich copper deposits were discovered in Okiep; as the main source of water, Springbok continued to develop as the commercial and administrative centre for different mines in the area. Though mining activities have dwindled, the town remains an important administrative capital in the region and due to its location a favourite stopover for tourists on their way to Namibia.
Today the main income is generated from tourism, mining activities and farming. As of 2011, the small town which covers an area of 37.56 km², had a population of 12790. Coloured people make up 79.9% of its residents with Afrikaans being the most spoken language. Springbok experiences low levels of air humidity, limited soil moisture and severe sunshine throughout the year; this arid area is home to seasonal vegetation and drought resistant succulents like the kokerboom which have adapted to the harsh conditions to survive. What would be an unfavourable environment for vegetation, this area experiences high floral diversity. Springbok is fascinating since half of the plant species here are found nowhere else in the world; when the winter rain falls, the Goegap Nature Reserve, home to the Hester Malan Wild Flower Garden, with outcrops of granite, is covered in spring flowers like irises and orchids. The streets lead off from a central little koppie which now shows off Namaqualand’s strange flora, such as the leafless Quiver tree whose branches were used by San people to hold their arrows.
This area is famed for the incredible transformation which occurs every spring, when the near-lifeless scrubland explodes into colour from thousands of flowers hidden in the dry dusty earth, brought to life by winter rains. The town was founded on the farm Melkboschkuil when the farm was purchased from Kowie Cloete for £750 in 1852 so as to establish a copper mine. In 1862 the town of Springbokfontein was laid out; the -fontein was dropped in years. The "Klipkoppie" was used during the Second Boer War as a fort by the Boers under General Manie Maritz as it provided an excellent vantage point across the valley. Remains of stone walls inside the koppie can still be seen today. Next to the "Klipkoppie" is the beautiful Klipkerk, built in 1921; the town’s mining history and connection to the Second Boer War makes it a rich hub of natural and cultural heritage. It is still used as a stopover for those traveling between South Africa and Namibia. Monument Koppie, a small hill situated in the centre of town, remains a historical site and landmark.
While most of this area was destroyed by dynamite, planted by a commando, led by General Jan Smuts, some of the remains still stand today. Copper was first discovered in the area by the Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, in 1685. Blue Mine is believed to mark the origins of commercial mining in South Africa; the area has a blue tinge created. The Goegap Nature Reserve, south-east of the main town, is a conservation area that gets covered in spring flowers, it the home of several mammalian species like springbok and aardwolf. Throughout the year tourists visit for hikes and mountain biking on the trails and routes across the tranquil land. Photographs of Flora in Springbok
South Africa national rugby union team
The South Africa national rugby union team known as the Springboks, is governed by the South African Rugby Union. The Springboks play in green and gold jerseys with white shorts, their emblems are the Springbok and the King Protea; the team has been representing South Africa in international rugby union since 30 July 1891, when they played their first test match against a British Isles touring team. Although South Africa was instrumental in the creation of the Rugby World Cup competition, the Springboks did not compete in the first two World Cups in 1987 and 1991 because of anti-apartheid sporting boycotts of South Africa; the team made its World Cup debut in 1995, when the newly democratic South Africa hosted the tournament. The Springboks defeated the All Blacks 15–12 in the final, now remembered as one of the greatest moments in South Africa's sporting history, a watershed moment in the post-Apartheid nation-building process. South Africa regained their title as champions 12 years when they defeated England 15–6 in the 2007 final.
As a result of the 2007 World Cup tournament the Springboks were promoted to first place in the IRB World Rankings, a position they held until July the following year when New Zealand regained the top spot. They were named 2008 World Team of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards; the Springboks compete in the annual Rugby Championship, along with southern-hemisphere counterparts Argentina and New Zealand. They have won this championship on three occasions in sixteen years, they play Test matches against the various rugby-playing nations. Their position in the World Rugby Rankings has varied between No. 7 positions. The first British Isles tour took place at Diocesan College; these were the first representative games played by South African sides. The tourists won; the British Isles' success continued on their tour of 1896, winning three out of four tests against South Africa. South Africa's play improved from 1891, their first test win in the final game was a pointer to the future. In 1903 the British Isles lost a series for the first time in South Africa, drawing the opening two tests before losing the last 8–0.
Rugby was given a huge boost by the early Lions tours, which created great interest in the South African press. South Africa would not lose another series—home or away—until 1956; the first South African team to tour the British Isles and France occurred during 1906–07. The team played tests against all four Home Nations. England managed a draw; the trip instilled a sense of national pride among South Africans. The South Africans played an unofficial match against a'France' team while the official French team were in England, it was during this tour. The 1910 British Isles tour of South Africa was the first to include representatives from all four Home unions; the tourists won just one of their three tests. The Boks' second European tour took place in 1912–13, they beat the four Home nations to earn their first Grand Slam, defeated France. By the first World War, New Zealand and South Africa had established themselves as rugby's two greatest powers. A Springbok tour to New Zealand and Australia in 1921 was billed as "The World Championship of Rugby".
The All Blacks won the first Test 13–5, The Springboks recovered to win the second Test 9–5, the final Test was drawn 0–0, resulting in a series draw. The 1924 British and Irish Lions team to South Africa lost all four Tests to the Springboks; this was the first side to pick up the name Lions picked up from the Lions embroidered on their ties. The All Blacks first toured South Africa in 1928, again the Test series finished level; the Springboks won the first Test 17–0 to inflict the All Blacks' heaviest defeat since 1893. The All Blacks rebounded to win the second Test 7–6. After a Springbok win in the third Test, the All Blacks won 13 -- 5. Despite winning South Africa's second Grand Slam, the Springbok tourists of 1931–32 were an unloved team, due to their tactics of kicking for territory, it was successful however, winning against England, Ireland and Wales, as well as defeating all their Welsh opponents for the first time. In 1933, Australia toured South Africa, with the Springboks winning the series 3–2.
In 1937 South Africa toured New Zealand and Australia and their 2–1 series win prompted them to be called "the best team to leave New Zealand". The British Isles toured South Africa again in 1938; the Springboks secured easy victories in the first two tests. However, the Lions bounced back to record a win in the third test, for the first Lions win on South Africa soil since 1910. Danie Craven was appointed coach in 1949, started his coaching career winning ten matches in a row, including a 4–0 whitewash of New Zealand on their 1949 tour to South Africa; the 1951–52 team that toured Europe was considered amongst the finest Springbok sides to tour. The team won the Grand Slam as well as defeating France. Hennie Muller captained the side; the South African highlight of the tour was a 44–0 defeat of Scotland. The team finished to London Counties, from 31 matches. In 1953, Australia toured South Africa for the second time and although they lost the series they defeated South Africa 18–14 in the second test.
This was the first Springbok defeat for 15 years. The 1955 British Lions tour to South Africa four-test series ended in a draw. In 1956, Springboks toured Australasia the All Blacks won its first series over the Springboks, in "the most bitterly fought series in histor
South African Airways
South African Airways is the flag carrier airline of South Africa. Its headquarters are in Airways Park on the grounds of O. R. Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Gauteng. In partnership with SA Express, SA Airlink and its low-cost carrier, the airline flies to 56 destinations in South Africa, continental Africa and around the world from its Johannesburg hub, using a fleet of 47 aircraft. Vuyani Jarana has been CEO since November 2017. South African Airways was founded in 1934 after the acquisition of Union Airways by the South African government; the airline was overseen and controlled by South African Railways and Harbours Administration. Anti-apartheid sanctions by African countries deprived the airline of stopover airports during apartheid, forcing it to bypass the continent with long-range aircraft. During this time, it was known by its Afrikaans name, Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens, which has since been dropped by the airline. In 1997 SAA changed its name and aircraft livery and introduced online ticketing services.
In 2006, SAA was split from its parent company, to operate as an independent airline. It remains of the largest of South Africa's state owned enterprises. SAA owns Mango, a low-cost domestic airline, has established links with Airlink and South African Express, it is a member of the Star Alliance. South African Airways was formed on 1 February 1934 following the acquisition of Union Airways by the South African government. Forty staff members, along with one de Havilland DH.60 Gypsy Moth, one de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth, three Junkers F.13s and a leased Junkers F13 and Junkers A50 were among the acquired aircraft. Upon acquisition, the government changed the airline's name to South African Airways. Came under control of the South African Railways and Harbours Administration. Charter operations started that year. On 1 February the following year, the carrier acquired Suidwes Lugdiens / South West Airways, which had since 1932 been providing a weekly air-mail service between Windhoek and Kimberley.
During this time, South African ordered three Junkers Ju 52/3m aircraft, which were delivered in October 1934 and entered service 10 days later. These aircraft were configured to carry 14 passengers, along with four crew, they enabled thrice-weekly Durban–Johannesburg services, with weekly services on the Durban–East London–Port Elizabeth–George/Mossel Bay–Cape Town route. On 1 July 1935, SAA moved its operations to Rand Airport as it became obvious that Johannesburg would become the country's aviation hub, which coincided with the launching of Rand–Durban–East London–Port Elizabeth–Cape Town services. From July the following year a weekly Rand–Kimberley–Beaufort West–Cape Town service commenced. A fourth Ju 52/3m soon joined the fleet. Orders for a further ten Ju 52/3m aircraft, along with eighteen Junkers Ju 86s and seven Airspeed Envoys were placed; this raised the number of Ju 52s to fourteen, although three older models were sold when deliveries of the newer Ju 52s began. The airline experienced a rapid expansion during this time, but suffered its first accident.
From 1 February 1934 until the start of World War II, SAA carried 118,822 passengers, 3,278 tonnes of airmail and 248 tonnes of cargo, which were served by 418 employees. On 24 May 1940, all operations were suspended. Following the war, frequencies were increased and more routes were opened, which necessitated the conversion of three South African Air Force Envoys to passenger layout; these aircraft would prove to be unsuitable for passenger and cargo services and were returned to the SAAF after the arrival of the Junkers Ju 86s. The main aircraft of SAA in the 1930s was the Junkers Ju 52. Other types used in the 1930s included eighteen Junkers Ju 86s; the slow growth continued during the 1940s, though the airline was closed for the duration of World War II. In 1944 SAA began operating 28 Lockheed Lodestars to restart domestic services and by 1948 SAA was operating nineteen examples; these were withdrawn in 1955. On 10 November 1945, SAA achieved a longtime company goal by operating a route to Europe when an Avro York landed in Bournemouth, after the long flight from Palmietfontein Airport near Johannesburg.
These were replaced by the Douglas DC-4 from 1946 onwards, which in turn was replaced by the Lockheed Constellation on international routes in 1950. Of note in the post war era was the DC-3 Dakota, of which eight served with SAA, the last example being withdrawn as late as 1970. On 10 November 1945, the airline introduced its first inter-continental service, the 3-day Springbok Service, operated by the Avro York, routed Palmietfontein–Nairobi–Khartoum–Cairo–Castel Benito–Hurn Bournemouth. A weekly service was flown, but this increased to 6 times weekly due to high passenger demand; the Douglas DC-4 Skymaster debuted with SAA in May 1946 between Johannesburg and Cape Town, which coincided with the introduction of the Douglas DC-3 on the Johannesburg–Durban route. From 1946, passengers and cargo carried increased, along with the size of SAA's staff; as the Skymasters arrived, out went the Avro Yorks, back to BOAC. Air hostesses were introduced in September 1946, at first on domestic routes on Springbok Services.
The two de Havilland Doves were introduced at the end of the year. The 28-seat Vickers Viki
South Africa national cricket team
The South African national cricket team, nicknamed the Proteas, is administered by Cricket South Africa. South Africa is a full member of the International Cricket Council with Test, One Day International and Twenty20 International status. South Africa entered first-class and international cricket at the same time when they hosted an England cricket team in the 1888–89 season. At first, the team was no match for Australia or England but, having gained in experience and expertise, they were able to field a competitive team in the first decade of the 20th century; the team played against Australia and New Zealand through to the 1960s, by which time there was considerable opposition to the country's apartheid policy and an international ban was imposed by the ICC, commensurate with actions taken by other global sporting bodies. When the ban was imposed, South Africa had developed to a point where its team including Eddie Barlow, Graeme Pollock and Mike Procter was arguably the best in the world and had just outplayed Australia.
The ban remained in place until 1991 and South Africa could play against India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies for the first time. The team since reinstatement has been strong and has at times held number one positions in international rankings but has lacked success in organised tournaments. Outstanding players since reinstatement have included Allan Donald, Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla. European colonisation of southern Africa began on Tuesday, 6 April 1652 when the Dutch East India Company established a settlement called the Cape Colony on Table Bay, near present-day Cape Town, continued to expand into the hinterland through the 17th and 18th centuries, it was founded as a victualling station for the Dutch East Indies trade route but soon acquired an importance of its own due to its good farmland and mineral wealth. There was no significant British interest in South Africa until 1795, when British troops under General Sir James Henry Craig seized Cape Colony during the French Revolutionary War, the Netherlands having been occupied by French forces the same year.
After the British seized Cape Colony a second time in 1806 to counteract French interests in the region in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, Cape Colony was turned into a permanent British settlement. As in most other parts of the world, British colonisation brought in its wake the introduction of the game of cricket, which began to develop rapidly; the first recorded cricket match in South Africa took place in 1808, in Cape Town between two service teams for a prize of one thousand rix-dollars. The oldest cricket club in South Africa is the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club, founded in 1843. In 1862, an annual fixture "Mother Country v Colonial Born" was staged for the first time in Cape Town. By the late 1840s, the game had spread from its early roots in Cape Colony and permeated the Afrikaners in the territories of Orange Free State and Transvaal, who were descendants of the original Dutch settlers and were not considered a cricket-playing people. In 1876, Port Elizabeth presented the "Champion Bat" for competition between South African towns.
The first tournament was staged in Port Elizabeth. King William's Town won the tournament in 1877, too. In 1888, Sir Donald Currie sponsored the first English team to tour South Africa, it was managed by Major R. G. Warton and captained by future Hollywood actor C. Aubrey Smith; the tour marked the advent, retrospectively, of both Test cricket in South Africa. Currie donated the Currie Cup that became the trophy, first won by Transvaal in 1889–90, for a national championship of the provincial teams in South Africa. In 1889, South Africa became the third test-playing nation when it played against England at Port Elizabeth, captained by Owen Robert Dunnell. Soon after, a 2nd test was played at Cape Town. However, these two matches, as was the case with all early matches involving the erstwhile'South African XI' against all touring teams, did not receive the status of official'Test' matches until South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference with England and Australia in 1906. Neither did the touring English team organised by Major Warton claim to be representing the English cricket team.
The players who participated did not know that they had played international cricket, the side that played South Africa was regarded to be of weak county strength. The team was captained by C. A. Smith, a decent medium pacer from Sussex, for two of the Major Warton's XI, Basil Grieve and The Honourable Charles Coventry, the two Tests constituted their entire first-class career. So, the nascent, fledgling'South African XI' was weak, losing both tests comfortably to England, English spinner Johnny Briggs claiming 15–28 in the second Test at Cape Town. However, Albert Rose-Innes did make history by becoming the first South African bowler to take a five-wicket haul in Tests at Port Elizabeth. South Africa's early Test record remains the worst among all current Test-playing nations with ten defeats and just a solitary draw from their first eleven tests, it was not until 1904 that they began to emerge as a quality international team, they recorded. The low point of this barren early period for the South African team was an English tour of 1895–96, where South Africa was humiliated 3–0 in 3 Tests by an English side for the first time remotely comparab
Springbok was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the seventh Belmont Stakes in 1873. Foaled in 1870, he was sired by the imported stallion Australian, his dam was a daughter of Lexington. During his racing career he started 25 races. Besides the Belmont, Springbok won the Saratoga Cup twice, in 1874 and 1875 and was named Champion Older Male horse in 1874 and 1875. After retiring from the racetrack, he sired five stakes winners and died in 1897. Springbok was sired by the imported horse out of the mare Hester. Hester was by Lexington and out of a mare named Heads. Springbok was foaled in 1870, was a chestnut stallion, bred by A. J. Alexander of Woodburn, Kentucky. Springbok was one of 26 stakes winning foals sired by Australian. Springbok was Hester's only stakes winning foal. At two years of age, Springbok was owned and raced by Daniel Swigert, but was sold that year to David McDaniel for $2,000. Springbok won the seventh running of the Belmont Stakes in 1873 at Jerome Park Racetrack, he carried 110 pounds in the race.
He won $5,200 for his owner from the race. The race was run on June 7 over a distance of 1 5⁄8 miles on a fast track, he won the race by four lengths from the second-placed finisher, Count D'Orsay, the third place was Strachino. The winning jockey was James Rowe, Sr. to be a noted trainer. This was the third of three consecutive wins of the Belmont Stakes by David McDaniel as both owner and trainer, as he had won the 1871 race with Harry Bassett and the 1872 race with Joe Daniels. Besides the Belmont, Springbok won 1875 Saratoga Cup and the 1874 Citizens Stakes. During the 1870s, the Saratoga Cup was a 2 1⁄4 miles race. In 1874, Springbok won the race while carrying 108 pounds, beating Preakness who came in second, Katie Pease, who placed third; the winning time was 4 minutes 113⁄4 seconds, with a value to the winner of $2,450. His 1875 Saratoga Cup win was a dead heat with the horse Preakness. In that race, Springbok carried 114 pounds, the winning time was 3 minutes 561⁄4 seconds. Third place was secured by Grinstead.
The win paid $2,250 to Springbok's owner. Springbok's total race career was 25 starts with 17 wins for a total earnings of $20,020, he is considered to be the 1874 American Champion Older Male Horse, the Champion Older Male Horse for 1875, a title he shared with Preakness. In his breeding career, Springbok sired the stakes winners Audrain, East Lynne, Ethel and Vallera. Audrain, an 1881 stallion out of Alme by Planet, won the 1884 Latonia Derby, 1884 St. Louis Derby and the 1884 Hindoo Stakes. East Lynne was an 1882 mare out of Easter Planet by Planet. East Lynne won the 1885 Hunter Handicap. Ethel, an 1888 mare out of La Vena by Planet, won the 1890 Clipsetta Stakes and the 1891 Ashland Oaks. Huntress was an 1885 mare out of Edith by the imported stallion Saxon. Huntress won the 1887 Clipsetta Stakes, the 1888 St. Louis Oaks, the 1889 Cincinnati Hotel Handicap. Vallera, an 1888 stallion out of Valasco by Pat Malloy, won the 1891 Tennessee Derby, 1891 Travers Stakes, the 1891 Kenner Stakes. Springbok died on March 1897 at the Megibben-Edgewater farm in Kentucky.
Famous Horses of America pages 34–35
Springbok colours is the name given to green and gold blazers awarded to members of the South Africa national rugby union team. They were awarded to teams and individuals representing South Africa in international competition of any sport, following their creation in 1906. With the arrival of South Africa's new post-apartheid government in 1994, the name Springbok was abandoned by the various control boards since they felt that the term had been abused by the previous apartheid governments, stigmatised by the anti-apartheid movement. An exception was made in the case of the national rugby union team, who have retained the practice of awarding colours; the first Springbok colours were created in 1906 during the 1906–07 South Africa rugby union tour of the Northern Hemisphere as none had been provided for them and the captain Paul Roos decided that the team need to create their own emblem and nickname to prevent the British press creating one for them. Using the guidelines that the director of the South African Rugby Board had given for the playing kit of myrtle green jerseys and a gold collar, Roos instructed that a green blazer with gold piping and a Springbok emblem on the breast pocket would be made for the team in Richmond.
Despite this, not many colours were made. On they became standard issue for all sportsmen representing South Africa internationally but was used by rugby union as the creators; the first dispute over Springbok colours came from the rise of rugby league in South Africa in the 1950s. SARB felt it was their duty as members of the International Rugby Football Board to defend amateur rugby union against professional rugby league after several Springboks had defected to rugby league. In 1959, the SARB declared that all players that represented South Africa in rugby union had to sign a declaration they would not turn professional for two years. Any player who refused this was obliged to return his Springbok colours and was not permitted to purchase a replacement. In 1963, the SARB took the step of copyrighting the Springbok emblem and Springbok colours as a badge under the Heraldry Act to pre-empt any other sporting body copyrighting it; the board declared, it was happy to share the Springbok colours providing that they were only awarded to white amateur sportspeople representing South Africa internationally.
It was an attempt to try and stop the South Africa national rugby league team from using the colours, though Rugby League South Africa circumvented this by developing their own version of the Springbok colours. Legislation in 1971 was passed in order to enforce apartheid so that only white South Africans could be awarded Springbok colours though this extended to those deemed as "honorary whites"; this came after three black Africans were awarded Springbok colours for competing in the World Paraplegic Games. As a result of the legislation, Glen Popham was not awarded Springbok colours following winning a gold medal in Karate in the 1969 South African Games alongside his white team, as his race was classified as Coloured which the South African National Olympic Committee were not aware of prior; as non-whites were not eligible to be selected for South African national sports teams, the Springbok colours came to be viewed as a symbol of white supremacy in apartheid South Africa because they were only awarded to white sportspeople.
Following the repeal of apartheid legislation, Springbok colours started to be issued to non-whites. In 1994, following the election of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, the National Colours Board was set up to control the distribution of Springbok colours. Despite this, the majority of South Africa's sporting organisations stopped awarding Springbok colours, following the replacement of the Springbok by the Protea by government demand; the only sporting body in South Africa, allowed to retain Springbok colours was the South African Rugby Union as an act of conciliation towards the white minority who made up the majority of the national rugby union team. In 2008, the South African Sports Minister claimed under the National Sport and Recreation Act, 1998, that the Springbok colours copyright had been transferred to the government and the SARU had been issuing it illegally and requested they cease using it. However, legal writers stated that the South African government's claim had expired in 2007 while SARU's copyright still was valid and pursuant to the case of In re: Certification of the Constitution of the RSA 1996, if the government tried to stop the SARU issuing Springbok colours the government would be liable to pay millions of Rands in compensation.
In 2013, as part of their "Yesterday's Heroes" programme, SARU retrospectively awarded Springbok colours to all non-whites who had played for a South African national team such as the black SAARB Leopards and the Coloured Proteas. Springbok colours are only awarded to South Africans. Australian Eddie Jones, who worked as a technical advisor to South Africa for the 2007 Rugby World Cup, was not allowed Springbok colours as a non-South African and was obliged to wear a South Africa tracksuit when pitchside. Following South Africa's victory that year, all other players and coaching team members were expected to wear their Springbok colours to the post-tournament awards dinner. In protest at Jones not being issued with colours, Bryan Habana gave his to Jones and the team attended the awards dinner in suits instead. Cornelissen, Scarlett. Sport Past and Present in South Africa: forming the Nation. Routledge. ISBN 1317988590
The springbok is a medium-sized antelope found in southern and southwestern Africa. The sole member of the genus Antidorcas, this bovid was first described by the German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1780. Three subspecies are identified. A slender, long-legged antelope, the springbok reaches 71 to 86 cm at the shoulder and weighs between 27 and 42 kg. Both sexes have a pair of 35-to-50 cm long horns that curve backwards; the springbok is characterised by a white face, a dark stripe running from the eyes to the mouth, a light-brown coat marked by a reddish-brown stripe that runs from the upper fore leg to the buttocks across the flanks like the Thomson's gazelle, a white rump flap. Active at dawn and dusk, springbok form harems. In earlier times, springbok of the Kalahari desert and Karoo migrated in large numbers across the countryside, a practice known as trekbokken. A feature unique to the springbok is pronking, in which the springbok performs multiple leaps into the air, up to 2 m above the ground, in a stiff-legged posture, with the back bowed and the white flap lifted.
A browser, the springbok feeds on shrubs and succulents. Breeding takes place year-round, peaks in the rainy season, when forage is most abundant. A single calf is born after a five- to six-month-long pregnancy. Springbok inhabit the dry areas of southwestern Africa; the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources classifies the springbok as a least concern species. No major threats to the long-term survival of the species are known, they are popular game animals, are valued for their meat and skin. The springbok is the national animal of South Africa; the common name "springbok" comes from the Afrikaans words bok. The scientific name of the springbok is Antidorcas marsupialis; the specific epithet marsupialis comes from the Latin marsupium. In fact, this physical feature distinguishes the springbok from true gazelles; the springbok is placed in the family Bovidae. It was first described by the German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1780. Zimmermann assigned the genus Antilope to the springbok.
In 1845, Swedish zoologist Carl Jakob Sundevall placed the springbok in Antidorcas, a genus of its own. In 2013, Eva Verena Bärmann and colleagues undertook a revision of the phylogeny of the tribe Antilopini on the basis of nuclear and mitochondrial data, they showed that the gerenuk form a clade with saiga as sister taxon. The study pointed out that the saiga and the springbok could be different from the rest of the antilopines; the cladogram below is based on the 2013 study. Fossil springbok are known from the Pliocene. Three fossil species of Antidorcas have been identified, in addition to the extant form, appear to have been widespread across Africa. Two of these, A. bondi and A. australis, became extinct around 7,000 years ago. The third species, A. recki gave rise to the extant form A. marsupialis during the Pleistocene, about 100,000 years ago. Fossils have been reported from Pliocene and Holocene sites in northern and eastern Africa. Fossils dating back to 80 and 100 thousand years ago have been excavated at Herolds Bay Cave and Florisbad, respectively.
Three subspecies are recognised: A. m. angolensis – Occurs in Benguela and Moçâmedes. A. m. hofmeyri – Occurs in Berseba and Great Namaqualand. Its range lies north of the Orange River, stretching from Upington and Sandfontein through Botswana to Namibia. A. m. marsupialis – Its range lies south of the Orange River, extending from the northeastern Cape of Good Hope to the Free State and Kimberley. The springbok is a slender antelope with long legs and neck. Both sexes reach 71–86 cm at the shoulder with a head-and-body length between 120 and 150 cm; the weights for both sexes range between 42 kilograms. The tail, 14 to 28 cm long, ends in a black tuft. Major differences in the size and weight of the subspecies are seen. A study tabulated average body measurements for the three subspecies. A. m. angolensis males stand 84 cm tall at the shoulder. The males weigh around 31 kg, while the females weigh 32 kg. A. m. hofmeyri is the largest subspecies. The males, weighing 42 kg, are heavier than females.
However, A. m. marsupialis is the smallest subspecies. Average weight of males is 31 kg (68