Eco Travel Africa Guide to accommodations, adventures, African safaris, eco-tourism tours, wildlife, maps and routes

Guide to the mammal species of Southern Africa

Kudu - Tragelaphus strepsiceros
Travel Writer: EcoTravel Africa  

Kudu are considered by many to be the most attractive of the southern African antelope: they are usually fawn-grey, with a series of unevenly spaced white transverse stripes across their backs.

Photographer: EcoTravel Africa 

They are easily recognisable due to the two magnificent spiral horns in the male. The kudu's ears are a distinct feature in both sexes, as they are particularly large and broad for the size of the head, and fringed with white hair. Adult males have a short beard of dark hair, and a fringe of long hair down the mid-throat.

Their name is derived from the Khoikhoi name kudu. Kudu are graceful leapers capable of clearing a 2,5 m fence from a standstill. They are a savanna woodland species, and do not occur in open grassland, forest or desert.

Kudu are predominantly browsers, and eat a greater variety of browse than any of the other antelope in the southern African region. They do also eat fresh grass.

The call of the kudu, the loudest of any antelope, is a penetrating hoarse bark. When alarmed, kudu run away, lifting their tails over their rumps and fanning out the white undersurface as a warning signal to others.

Despite their incredible horns, which are known to reach a length of 1,8 m, the kudu is a gentle animal, preferring flight to fight. However, enraged kudu bulls do engage in fierce combat, sometimes accidentally killing each other by locking their horns together.

Kudu are gregarious, although the herds they form are very small: usually only about four animals, although they may number up to twelve. Small bachelor herds are also found, as well as solitary males. A single calf is born, usually in summer, and is hidden by its mother in tall grass for two to three months, until it is strong enough to follow the herd. Female kudu usually live up to 14 or 15 years; males live up to 6 or 7 years.

More facts about Kudus

Best places to see the Kudu in Southern Africa:

Kruger National Park (South Africa)
Pilanesberg National Park (South Africa)
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park
Addo Elephant National Park
Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
Karoo National Park
Vaalbos National Park
Tembe Elephant Park

Mammals of Southern Africa    >> Printable List <<
Wildlife - Fauna & Flora of Southern Africa

<<< Back to previous page <<<

Learn more about the Kudu - Tragelaphus strepsiceros with Wildlife Campus. Course content includes in-depth information about Kudu habitat, spoor, droppings, ecology...

Wildlife Campus offers many courses including: Field Guide Courses (FGASA); Game Ranging; Wildlife Management; Photography; Astronomy...

Southern Africa has many top Game / Nature Reserves, and is home to many of the mammals of southern Africa. Numerous wildlife safari and tour companies operate guided tours to Southern Africa. Popular adventure travel activities in Southern Africa include: horse riding safaris, elephant back safaris, mountain biking, birding, wilderness walking trails, science safaris and volunteering especially for GAP year students.
Southern Africa Wildlife - Fauna & Flora
Amphibians Ecology
Birds Trees
Fishes Shrubs
Mammals Grasses
Reptiles : Snakes Herbaceous Plants
Invertebrates Fungi : Mushrooms
Copyright Information: The travel information, images and, landscape, safari lodge and wildlife photographs on this Kudu page are the © of Eco Travel Africa and the Travel Writers / Photographers. Royalty Free Images and Photos of African wildlife, including Kudu of Southern Africa are available on this website.