Body size is generally small. The South African Stud Breeders Association has breed standards, some of which are: bold head in males, wide forehead, strong muzzle; horns present in both sexes, that are thick in males and less heavy in females; ears are long and lopped; both sexes have mohair beard; coat colour is white as coloured hair reduced commercial value; hair not excessively curly or straight, but fine, dense and long (Wilson, 1991).
Distributed in southern Africa, including the Republic of South Africa (which is now the world’s main mohair producing country) and Lesotho; some are also found in Kenya; other global pockets are Turkey and southern Texas.
Probably originated from the Himalaya region, but modern development of the breed dates from the middle of the 16th century in the Angora region of Turkey. Mohair production was a Turkish monopoly until the early 19th century. The first importation into Africa was of 12 bucks (rendered sterile by the Turks) and one female brought to South Africa in 1838; the female gave birth to a male kid and this became the foundation of the South African national flock; other importations were made until 1896 and in 1900 the breed spread widely in the Republic; Angoras were already present in 1900 in Lesotho where the population reached one million in 1986 and became economically important to the extent that it is depicted on the national currency. Commercial keeping of Angoras started on the Laikipia plateau in Kenya in 1920 when two Angoran bucks were imported from South Africa, which developed to large commercial flocks, but total pure and high-grade Angoras in Kenya are about 4000. The climate is semi-arid in South Africa, highland subhumid in Lesotho and upland semi-arid in Kenya (Wilson, 1991).