Meet The Springbok

South Africa's National Animal

Meet the Symbol Behind South Africa's 2023 Rugby World Cup Team

Cape Town, 17 October 2023

The springbok, a small and agile antelope, is South Africa’s national animal – and the symbol behind South Africa’s National Rugby team. The Springboks, also called the “Bokke” or “Amabokoboko” by locals, are charging into the France Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-finals this weekend, and it’s time to show your support.

With rugby fever gripping the nation, there’s no better time to combine the thrill of the game with the excitement of an African Big 5 Safari adventure. Here at Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa, you can experience the best of the Rugby World Cup while enjoying the best of our nation’s wildlife. 

The Springbok: A National Icon

The Springbok antelope, known for its ‘springing’ jumps and striking appearance, holds a special place in the heart of South Africans. It’s a symbol of national pride, resilience, and unity. The Springbok’s black stripes, white markings, and distinctive horn shape makes it an easily identifiable symbol that is proudly represented by many of South Africa’s top sports teams.

As the Rugby World Cup unfolds, you’ll notice the Springbok emblem on the jerseys of South Africa’s national rugby team. The Springbok rugby team is one of the most identifiable teams in the rugby world – and probably the most feared. The springbok antelope (Antidorcas marsupialis) is native to the Karoo’s arid habitat, and can only be found in southern Africa. Springboks got their name from the Afrikaans words “spring” (meaning jump) and “bok” (meaning antelope). This apt name refers to the Springbok’s unique ‘pronking’ and ‘stotting’ behaviour, characterised by their ability to make their legs straight and rigid as they jump, propelling them high into the air as if they were ‘springing’ upwards. These leaps can reach impressive heights of up to 2 meters (6 feet).

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The Ultimate South African Experience

Cheering for the Springboks on the rugby field is a national pastime filled with excitement and pride, but witnessing the Springboks in their natural habitat is an experience like no other. Aquila Private Game Reserve & Spa, located only 2 hours from Cape Town, in the Western Cape, offers day trip and overnight visitors the opportunity to explore the South Africa’s wildlife and get up close with the Big 5: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo.

Among these magnificent and fearsome creatures, the Springbok holds its ground, gracefully roaming the vast plains of the reserve. As you venture on your safari, you’ll have the chance to say that you “watched the Springboks in person”. Whether you choose a day trip safari, overnight safari, horseback safari, or quad bike safari experience, encountering Africa’s national animal in the wild is both a humbling and rare opportunity, providing guests with a glimpse into the untamed heart of South Africa.

Embracing the 2023 Rugby World Cup Spirit

Can you really watch the Rugby World Cup at Aquila Game Reserve? Yes, absolutely! Aquila has a dedicated upstairs lounge and bar area for overnight safari guests to enjoy freshly-made cocktails, beers on tap, live sports games, panoramic views of the reserve, and more. 

So, while the Springboks chase victory on the field, you’ll be chasing your own adventure, filled with once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters and untamed African landscapes. Imagine celebrating a Springbok victory while savouring sundowners against the backdrop of a stunning Karoo sunset. Join us in celebrating the strength and beauty of South Africa, both on and off the field.