Kudu - Tragelaphus strepsiceros

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Damara Dik-dik - Madoqua kirkii | Oribi - Ourebia ourebi | Suni - Neotragus moschatus | Grysbok - Raphicerus melanotis | Sharpe's Grysbok - Raphicerus sharpii | Klipspringer - Oreotragus oreotragus | Blue Duiker - Philancomba monticola | Red Duiker - Cepholophus natalensis | Common Duiker - Sylvicapra grimmia | Steenbok - Raphicerus campestris | Bushbuck - Trogelophus scriptus | Blesbok - Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi | Bontebok- Domaliscus dorcas dorcas | Reedbuck - Redunca arundinum | Mountain Reedbuck - Redunca fulvorufula | Grey Rheebuck- Pelea capreolus | Springbuck - Antidorcas marsupialis | Impala - Aepyceros melampus melampus | Blue Wildebeest - Connochaetes taurinus | Black Wildebeest - Connochaetes gnu | Tsessebe - Domaliscus lunatus | Gemsbuck - Oryx gazella | Red Hartebeest - Alcelaphus buselaphus | Lichtenstein's Hartebeest - Sigmoceros lichtensteinii | Sable- Hippotragus niger | Roan - Hippotragus equinus | Puku - Kobus vardonii | Waterbuck - Kobus ellipsiprymnus | Red Lechwe - Kobus leche | Nyala - Tragelaphus angasii | Sitatunga - Tragelaphus spekei | Kudu - Tragelaphus strepsiceros | Eland - Taurotragus oryx | Buffalo - Syncerus caffer


Koedoe  Zulu Mgankla
Tswana Tholo Shona Nhoro Shangaan Hlongo
R.W. Min 53" Max 69"
S.C.I Min 121" Max 150" Measurement Method 5
wpe28.jpg (7580 bytes)

F 10cm
H 9cm


2 cm
Short point at one end and a hollow at the other

Visible Male/Female Differences

Only males have horns. Females have two pairs of nipples between their hind legs.

Habitat and Distribution

Savanna woodland, including rocky areas and slopes. Does not occur in forest, desert, grassland or short scrub unless there is woodland nearby to provide cover. Independent of water as long as green food is available.


Browses on a very wide range of plants. Acacia and Combretum species are preferred. Can become a serious crop and garden raider. Males break  branches with their horns to get at foliage. Feeds below 1,8 m Browses for only about a minute on each tree to avoid tannin formed by the tree in self-defence. Often drinks water at dusk.


Single calves weighing 16 kg are born throughout the year after a gestation of 210-225 days. Calves are weaned at six months and horns start growing at five months. Males are sexually mature at three years and first breed at six years; females first calve at two or three years. Expected lifespan is 15 years. Cows leave the herd to give birth. Calves lie hidden for up to a month, perhaps as long as three months.

Behaviour and Habits

Kudu are most active in the morning and late afternoon. It sleeps before dawn and becomes more nocturnal where it is hunted.  They are not territorial. Herds have home ranges which vary from 400ha and upwards in drier areas. Bulls roam more widely than cows but return to a fixed area. Cows, calves and sub adults form small family herds, usually with 6-7 and up to 12 members. Social grooming occurs in both family and bachelor herds. Temporary aggregations may form at water holes in the dry season. Males leave herds at 3 years old; adult bulls live alone or in bachelor groups of 2-6, joining female herds in the breeding season which is May-August. Dominance among bulls is based on size as well as displays of fighting ability. During the mating season prime bulls develop massive neck muscles, thrash bushes with their horns and dig up soil. Fights are rare and involve lunging, horn clashing, and wrestling with locked horns. Deaths occur from stab wounds and when horns become interlocked.

Kudu are alert and nervous when on open ground; in cover stands motionless to avoid detection.  Runs with tail curled upwards, exposing the white underside as an alarm signal. Bulls run with their horns laid back close to their shoulders. A strong jumper; clears 2, m high fences with ease, and 3 m under stress.


The alarm call is a loud bark. Cows use a soft "moo" to call calves.

Dung and Field sign

Droppings are 2 cm long, slightly longer than wide, with a short point at one end and a hollow at the other. Thrashed bushes, horned up soil, broken down branches.


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