The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Kudu

Afrikaans name: Koedoe

Kudu

Magnificent male Kudu

Photo © Steven Herbert

Tragelaphus strepsiceros

Interesting facts about Kudu

The Kudu, as it is known in South Africa, is referred to as the Greater Kudu elsewhere to separate it from the Lesser Kudu.

Male Kudus are larger than females and have magnificent spiral shaped horns. A male Kudu can weigh up to 270 kgs while females weigh around 200 kg. Male Kudus only start developing horns when they are at least 6 months old. By the time they are 6 years old the horns are fully developed and are around 1.2 metres in length.

They are brownish in colour and have a number of vertical white stripes along their bodies. There is a white bar between the eyes. They have large rounded ears. They are normally found in, or near, dense bush through which they can run surprisingly fast. The male lifts his head to lay his horns against his back as he runs through the bushes.

Kudus may drink from waterholes but they also take in water by eating roots and bulbs. Their normal diet consists of leaves, grass and shoots.

Kudus are preyed on by Lions, Leopards and Wild Dogs.

A Kudu herd normally consists of up to 20 individuals. Males may be seen by themselves or in small bachelor herds.

Click to see a comparison of Kudu and Nyala.

A young male Kudu

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - A young male Kudu whose horns haven't fully developed

Below - A female Kudu


A female Kudu

Photo © Steven Herbert

A magnificent male Kudu

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - Male Kudus are magnificent creatures! This particular male was photographed at Tala Game Reserve. Something that always amazes me is how they manage to run so fast through thick bush with those horns.

References and further reading

Wild Ways - 2nd Edition - Author: Peter Apps - Published: 2000 - Page: 174

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 222

What Antelope is That? - Author: Paul Rose - Published: 1967 - Page: 1

Tracks and Tracking in Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2000 - Page: 123

The Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa - Author: P. Briggs - Published: 2020 - Page: 330

The Mammal Guide of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 2011 - Page: 28

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 292

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 60

South African Animals in the Wild - Author: Anthony Bannister - Published: 1985 - Page: 17

Signs of the Wild - 5th Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1996 - Page: 198

Signs of the Wild - 3rd Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Published: 1986 - Page: 215

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 9

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Published: 1980 - Page: 140

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillie - Published: 1987 - Page: 135

Maberlys Mammals of Southern Africa - Revised edition - Author: Richard Goss - Published: 1986 - Page: 305

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Published: 1986 - Page: 190

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Published: 1987 - Page: 127

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 415

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 40

First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2003 - Page: 51

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Published: 1987 - Page: 134

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2001 - Page: 186

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1997 - Page: 114

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 169

Field Guide to Fynbos Fauna - Author: Cliff & Suretha Dorse - Published: 2023 - Page: 258

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edit - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1988 - Page: 186

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 15

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Published: 1987 - Page: 269

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Published: 1999 - Page: 50

A Field Guide to the Tracks & Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife - 3rd - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 2000 - Page: 83

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Africa including Madagascar - Author: Theodor Haltenorth and Helmut Diller - Published: 1980 - Page: 63

African Wildlife Foundation


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List of South African Mammals

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